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Old 06-05-2021, 07:12   #1
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To Rename a Boat

We (being myself, a nonreligious, only-slightly superstitious spiritualist, and Boyfriend, an atheist with exactly zero superstitious tendencies) bought a sailboat last week. The guy we bought it from did not tell us the boatís name - he bought it used and may not have known it himself. Nothing except the HIN is painted anywhere on it, or in any of the paperwork that came with the boat. None of the supplies have the name written on it either.

It sits on the trailer in our yard for now while we clean it up, and I was out there scraping off dead mud dauber nests when I found a brass name plate screwed into the wood frame around the cabin entrance, but you canít see it unless the top is slid all the way back. So clearly the boat DOES have a name.

Weíve been calling the boat the name we chose since we handed over the money, but have not yet taken anything with the new name into the boat. We donít particularly want to keep the name on that little brass plate. Boyfriend rolls his eyes at the idea of having to ask mythological beings for permission to change the boatís name, and Iím not one for elaborate prayers and rituals like the ones Iíve seen online. Just exactly how important is it to appease wind and sea gods you donít really believe in when you arenít very superstitious? Is there a minimal-fuss thing one person can do with the boat on land, without the need for all the pomp and ceremony?
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:36   #2
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Re: To Rename a Boat

I'm confused. I didn't realize boats could be renamed without pomp and ceremony.

Or another way to look at it - why is he a party pooper?
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:46   #3
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Re: To Rename a Boat

Renaming a boat is a great time for a party, at least that is what happens here in Texas. I, personally, did have a simple, mystical, renaming ceremony, just my wife and I, just incase. I really don't think it is all that big a deal now.

Make yourself happy and learn how to properly sail/cruise/have fun. That would probably appease the "Gods of Boat Renaming" more than pouring good rum into the water.
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:54   #4
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Re: To Rename a Boat

We’re just not big party people. We keep parties at home few, far between, and understated, so the whole “invite everyone you know to a ritual they won’t care about or understand” thing just doesn’t appeal anyway. (Some of them are even the type to get extremely offended at the religious/superstitious aspect. We don’t come from Boat People backgrounds.)

I guess I’m wondering if it’s enough to take the name plate off, keep cleaning up and refurbishing the boat, and maybe pour a shot of rum over the side when we get her out on the water.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:14   #5
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Re: To Rename a Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by slfro85 View Post

I guess Iím wondering if itís enough to take the name plate off, keep cleaning up and refurbishing the boat, and maybe pour a shot of rum over the side when we get her out on the water.
It is enough. Congratulations!
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:19   #6
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Re: To Rename a Boat

Pour the shot of rum into each other and toast to the new name you have decided on. Something related to the mermaids?
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:25   #7
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Re: To Rename a Boat

Abby, because he loves Fear the Walking Dead but felt Abigail (luxury yacht in the show) was “too much name for a small boat.” We are calling the dinghy Gail, so we’ll still have the whole name.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:30   #8
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Re: To Rename a Boat

I don't know. I blazingly renamed a MY we bought and immediately starting having more than usual weird problems. After 2 months and $25k I asked Poseidon and Neptune for forgiveness and their blessing. things have now improved greatly.

Of course we did have to acknowledge our error in front of people at a party.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:44   #9
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Re: To Rename a Boat

How to Rename a Boat

  1. Remove all traces of the current name.
  2. Begin the purging ceremony.
  3. Begin the renaming ceremony.
  4. Appease the four wind gods.
  5. If you have champagne left, indulge in honor of completing the ceremony.
1. Remove all traces of the current name.

Start by taking any and every item bearing the boatís name off the boat. This means documents, decor items, nameboards, and even life rings. Then, strike the name from every record, ranging from log books to maintenance documents. Some people recommend burning them, to ensure you obliterate the name, but white-out fluid does the trick just as well. Finally, after youíve checked and re-checked that youíve completed these steps, write the old name in water-soluble ink on a metal tag. Do not, under any circumstances, take even one item with the new name onboard yet! In fact, you canít do this until youíve completed all of the tasks outlined below.
2. Begin the purging ceremony.

The official ceremony, in which you address Poseidon himself, calls for good champagne, and good friends as witnesses. Once youíre gathered together on the bow of the boat, recite the following:
Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, I implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection the name (mention the old boat name), which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom. As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name, to be corrupted through your powers and forever be purged from the sea.
At this point, drop the metal tag over the bow into the water. Then say:
In grateful acknowledgement of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.
Pour at least half the champagne into the water, from east to west. Share the rest among yourselves.
3. Begin the renaming ceremony.

Speak to Poseidon once again:
Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, I implore you in your graciousness to take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel hereafter and for all time known as (say the name youíve selected), guarding her with your mighty arm and trident and ensuring her of safe and rapid passage throughout her journeys within your realm.
In appreciation of your munificence, dispensation, and in honor of your greatness, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.
Make sure you have more champagne on hand, because youíll need to pour it, minus one glass for you and one for the mate, into the water, this time from west to east.


4. Appease the four wind gods.

Renaming a boat also involves asking for fair winds and calm seas for your pending voyages. Recite:
Oh mighty rulers of the winds, through whose power our frail vessels traverse the wild and faceless deep, we implore you to grant this worthy vessel (say your boatís new name) the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.
Next, address each wind god individually. In facing north, pour champagne into a champagne flute and toss the libation to the north as you say:
Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your frigid breath.
Next face west, repeating the champagne pour and toss while saying:
Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.
Face east, repeating the champagne pour and toss while saying:
Great Eurus, exalted ruler of the East Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath.
Lastly, face south, pouring the champagne and tossing it while reciting:
Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your scalding breath.
5. Finish Off the Champagne

If you have any champagne left, indulge in honor of completing the ceremony.
Now, at long last, you can take your first item bearing the new name onto your boat. Hopefully you havenít had the transom graphics changed yet. If scheduling issues prevented waiting until after the renaming ceremony, though, keep the new name covered until you finish all the steps.
Yes, this is incredibly detailed, and incredibly superstitious. But would you rather tempt fate?
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:50   #10
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Re: To Rename a Boat

The CDC is warning you that if you rename the boat without ceremony, you'll catch Covid.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:52   #11
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Re: To Rename a Boat

Honor truth. Disregard the supernatural. Do as you please.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:56   #12
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Re: To Rename a Boat

When you are ready to re-launch the boat, do so with an attendant Re-Commissioning Party! All the pomp and circumstance!
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:56   #13
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Re: To Rename a Boat

This question arises every time the owner is changing, but there is more to consider than superstition. Properly registered, changing the name costs money. It is custom to mention boat's name when calling on VHF, then you not only need a MMSI-number but also the boat's name, and many more.
In case you really want to use a especially smart name, which describes perfectly what you want and feel, then go through the process of renaming and registering.
If you don't , stick with the old name, and you could always say, its not your fault.


Besides this, old boats have something like a soul, connected to its name. You might find that soul nowadays in the internet. If you google such an old name, you can find the whole history of that boat, though the owner changed several times. If a new owner changes the boat's name, all that is lost without a trace, though the boat might still be alive!


Boats live longer than their owners!
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:57   #14
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Re: To Rename a Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickbarbary View Post
The CDC is warning you that if you rename the boat without ceremony, you'll catch Covid.
We already had Covid in December and survived. Wouldnít want to repeat that month-long cough, lingering shortness of breath, and stubborn loss of smell, though.
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Old 06-05-2021, 09:16   #15
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Re: To Rename a Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariner-dovb View Post
This question arises every time the owner is changing, but there is more to consider than superstition. Properly registered, changing the name costs money. It is custom to mention boat's name when calling on VHF, then you not only need a MMSI-number but also the boat's name, and many more.
In case you really want to use a especially smart name, which describes perfectly what you want and feel, then go through the process of renaming and registering.
If you don't , stick with the old name, and you could always say, its not your fault.


Besides this, old boats have something like a soul, connected to its name. You might find that soul nowadays in the internet. If you google such an old name, you can find the whole history of that boat, though the owner changed several times. If a new owner changes the boat's name, all that is lost without a trace, though the boat might still be alive!


Boats live longer than their owners!
Weíre going to do the title registration tomorrow when heís off work; Iíll look into whether we register the new name then or if itís a separate process and expense.

I did just now Google the name and year on the name plate and now Iím wondering if we got a different boat than the paperwork and ownerís manual says we got. We were told it was a 1979 AMF Paceship PY23 but the name plate says Mariah 1979; when I looked it up I found that Mariah is a boat manufacturer. So now Iím less sure thatís the name of the boat after all.
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