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Old 08-07-2014, 07:53   #1
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Superstitions :-) :-(

Well I just wondered what other users thought about superstitions aboard a boat.

I've heard cats on ropes in the docks
The colour green, Bananas and whistling, which was I think a sound of mutiny.

So I thought if anyone had any good or bad luck superstitions it may be a light hearted (or not) post...

Look forward to reading them... :-o



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Old 08-07-2014, 08:01   #2
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

As Yogi said: I'm not superstitious, but I heard it's bad luck not to be.

How about the fact that since we aquired a new-to-us boat we can't utter her new name onboard until we have the proper denaming ceremony, and then a proper renaming ceremony.

What is the banana one? I just brought a bunch onboard two days ago -- are we gonna sink???
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:12   #3
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

Bad luck: Renaming a boat (only sail, powerboats are OK) or starting a voyage on a Friday.

I've heard the bananas one in regards to fishing. Bananas aboard = no fish. Not sure if you should expect bigger problems than that.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:17   #4
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Superstitions :-) :-(

Peter tangvald claimed most superstitions had reasonable beginnings. Ie don't leave a port on a Friday was usually because the skipper was rushed to not pay another 2 days dockage and risk sailing with a hungover crew. Makes sense to me..
The French think it's bad luck to mention rabbits on board. No idea why but I just typed it on board so I better throw some salt over my shoulder just in case..
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:34   #5
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

Found this about bananas. Hope it helps...

"I would however like to take issue with the story of the Bananas and being bad luck. While spending time in Hawaii fishing I spoke with some "native" Hawaiians who clued me in to the origins of Bananas and bad luck. Back before fiberglass and powered boats the Hawaiian men would go out in dugout canoes and fish for weeks at a time. They would always take Bananas. Well it happens that the Bananas would rot about the same time they would get to far out to really catch any fish. So they associated bananas as bad luck. I learned this the hard way when I took banana boat sun screen out fishing. We were not catching anything and I was baking in the hot sun. I was putting the sunscreen on when the 1st mate saw it was banana boat. He immediately grabbed it from my hands and threw it overboard. Not 5 min later we hooked into a 950# marlin. So I am a true believer in the banana superstition and will not allow anything to do with bananas on my boat at any time. I look forward to possibly fishing with you this year.


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Old 08-07-2014, 08:37   #6
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

I probably wouldn't leave the dock on a Friday if I saw a whistling cat holding a green banana....

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Old 08-07-2014, 08:54   #7
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

Whistling is not bad luck, it brings wind. Therefore, it's whistling in the wrong direction which is frowned upon. Or too much whistling. Scratching a backstay also brings wind...
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:54   #8
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

A green (color) boat will try to find land.

A green (colour) boat will try to find a cold, rainy, gray land.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:30   #9
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

"It is often considered lucky to touch the collar of a sailor's suit.."
..however, the same could be said of a sailor's spouse or their beer!
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Old 08-07-2014, 15:33   #10
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

Bananas were bad to have aboard as tarantulas and other large spiders would get onto the boat from the nannas. Bad things happen kind of like in "were the millers"

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Old 08-07-2014, 15:37   #11
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

All I can say is that my Mother-in-law was with us once for a 50 mile trip and midway she decided pray for wind because she didn't think we were going fast enough .............. she got it! Which leads to another superstition; if you are going to puke and you have false teeth be sure to use a bucket and not try to puke over the side
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Old 08-07-2014, 15:59   #12
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

We were behind schedule in delivering a boat into charter. We finally had her outfitted and ready on a Friday, not any Friday but a Friday the 13th with a full moon. I did all I could do to convince the owner that we should leave at midnight but was over ruled and we left at 10 PM.

It was a glorious sail until sunrise when we could see a front to the north over taking us. We were caught in a November nor'easter in the stream, got pooped twice, blew out the genny and the engine quit.

Murphy was on board laughing all the way to Nassau.....

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Old 08-07-2014, 16:33   #13
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

I worked on a troller off the west coast of Vancouver Island in the late 60's. According to the skipper it was bad luck to open a tin can with it upside down. If it was something like a can of condensed milk that wouldn't get used up all at once, it had to go overboard, couldn't stay aboard. If it was something like a tin of canned beans, you could empty it into a pot, but then the can had to go.
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Old 08-07-2014, 17:08   #14
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

I'd never heard of the banana superstition until a few years ago when I started to do some fishing with a bunch of stinkpotter owning fishing friends. All I can say is that I could not believe how serious they took the whole "do not bring bananas" onboard thing. Since then I've discovered that this superstition is very widespread around my way. Nothing to do with the welfare of the vessel, just the insistence that even a hint of banana on a boat will mean no fish. Apparently the theory goes that the smell of the banana is what does it. I've heard plenty of stories too that start with "I didn't believe it either until one day someone came out with a banana on board....". All I can say to this one is that I must possess a natural banana smell!

The other superstition for me is leaving port on a Friday. Early in my sailing days we left port on a Friday and we ended up caught in wild seas, nearly dismasted, many miles from port and were on the verge of calling for help. Since then I'll avoid leaving on a Friday to go anywhere on the boat other than a couple of hours weekending jaunt.
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Old 08-07-2014, 17:52   #15
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Re: Superstitions :-) :-(

People who are superstitious bring all kinds of trouble to a boat.

That's why I won't sail with them.
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