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Old 12-06-2010, 00:56   #1
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Bad Luck to Rename a Boat ?

Hi all,

I'm officially buying the sailboat I currently live on, and I had in mind to change the name, but I mentioned this to another sailing friend and she said it was super bad luck. Is this an old wives tail, or is there something to it? It's not that I dislike the name she currently has, but the name I have in mind has personal significance and she's an older vessel, so I thought a new name would give her a sort of symbolic breath of new life. Another superstition I've heard is that having a woman aboard is bad luck, but being that I am a woman, that doesn't hold water with me. (Pun wholeheartedly intended!) What do you think?
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:40   #2
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hi i have heard that changing the boats name is bad luck. i changed my first boats name only because i kept on having so much bad luck with it and every thing was going wrong so after fixing it all up and giving her a new name and rechristened her she seemed to appreciate it and every thing was fine since then. i have never heard that having a woman aboard was bad luck in fact i think its goodluck if you can find a woman on board a boat.the only other thing i have heard of thats bad luck is having bananas on board cheers markus
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:44   #3
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I've always heard about that superstition. I think it's a good idea to give her a new name, it will make her and you feel special. I guess I'm lucky, the boat I have now only had a name on paper not on the boat, so I'm thinking that this superstition won't work.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:29   #4
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Bad luck for who????
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:58   #5
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can be bad luck but,

Sailors are funny people as I have found out. There are all kinds of superstitions that I have learned over the years that I researched my new boat.

Renaming a boat can be bad luch but there are things you can do. Here is the one I was going to use. http://www.quietspace.ca/thename.htm
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:42   #6
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Originally Posted by Lovelyr3ta View Post
sailing friend and she said it was super bad luck. Is this an old wives tail, or is there something to it?
You're gunna DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!


We have kept the name FARTIN' and have never had bad luck.




Mark
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:44   #7
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Often you do not have a choice...the last two boats we bought had 'problem names.' We bought one 7 yrs ago but my wife refused to use the radio...she was called 'Big Fat Fun!' The boat not the wife. The present one caused even more confusion as she was called 'Upsidedown!'

You should never have a name that is confusing or makes people laugh! Both boats brought us much pleasure under their new names. 'Shadowfax' was a 18 knot tri and 'Moondancer' is taking us around the world.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:42   #8
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If you actually believe that there could be a cause and effect relationship between a name changed on a vessel and your fortune; then, you may not have the reasoning skills to safey venture out on the water. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:14   #9
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You should never have a name that is confusing or makes people laugh!
Check in other lauguages too!
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:26   #10
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It's an old superstition. A friend did it ... there's a whole ceremony to appease The Powers That Be. We had a lot of fun at his "renaming party" - he really camped it up.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:52   #11
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The banana thing is true. We went on a fishing charter two years ago and the captain asked us not to bring bananas. We were out 4 hours without a nibble when someone noticed that one of my friends' son had brought "Banana Boat Sunscreen" in his backpack.

Damn near left that kid in the middle of the Chesapeake...
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:04   #12
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Origin of the Myth

Changing the name is not bad luck if there have been substantial changes to the boat too.

The story behind the bad luck is... In the days of the REAL pirates, a ship captured or stolen would have its name changed to avoid detection in the hands of the 'new owners'. If it could be seen that the ships name had been changed, eg the old name still visible beneath the new, it was assumed the ship was in the hands of a pirate crew and unless they could come up with valid proof of title, they could be hanged. EXTREME bad luck as a result of changing the name!
Also, if better known ships could be identified by some particular or unique characteristics in spite of the name change, the same EXTREME bad luck for the captain and crew if they couldn't prove ownership.

So, bad luck is avoided with a name change provided the vessel has also undergone sufficient change so as to be substancially different from original.

These days that could mean a coat of paint, change from sloop to cutter, or the more usual method... a ceremony involving enough rum to remove any incriminating memory of the old vessel.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:09   #13
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Boat name changes have been performed through history. It wasn't uncommon for the Royal and other navies to rename their vessels and ships. I believe some causation started to be attributed to it because boats sink. Always have. Always will.

Sometimes boats need to be renamed for practical reasons, as formentioned. In fact, I know at least one internationsl offshore race where boat names must be only 2 words long due to communication issues. For example, if your boat is named "Giver of the Sun", you might rename her "Sun Giver"

If you do decide to rename your boat, I suggest you do it properly and in accordance to neptunes laws. There are a number of ways to go about it, but if you want to be sure you will have to sink your vessel after denaming, and raising it again in a symbolic rebirth:

Good Old Boat: Renaming a boat? How bad could that be? by John Vigor
Boat Renaming
Vessel Renaming Lore

And remember, who's to say the original name was the rightful one for the boat. The boat might be unlucky because the original name was ill chosen by the owner.

Do I believe in it? Absolutely unshakably YES!
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:48   #14
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Make peace with the Gods in your own way. If you're heart is pure all is well, if not , a name change is the least of your problems. Dave
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:17   #15
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Aww, now you've put the willies up me. On the Vessel Renaming Lore site it says over and over to obliterate all traces of the old name.

We thought we'd done everything right. Added a scoop and changed the length and shape. Completely changed her colour. New set of sails. Ripped out the insides and changed the layout. New deck. New hatches even. But we still have the old name emblazoned in permanent ink on the life jackets!!!! AAaaaaargh!!!!! What am I supposed to do now? How can I remove all traces of the old name without compromising crew safety??? Help me, quick.....
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