In spite of all what you hear about changing the name of your boat it is perfectly safe to do as long as you de-name your boat first. Follow these steps and you will be safe.
De naming a boat
The ceremony should be read with flair on the foredeck before a gathering of distinguished guests. Or it can be mumbled down below by the skipper
alone if he or she finds these things embarrassing.
The libation part, however, must be carried out at the bow, as was the original naming ceremony. And I would advise you to use nothing but the finest champagne and to pour it all on the boat. One thing the gods of the sea despise most is meanness, so don't try to do this part on the cheap
How much time should you leave between the de-naming ceremony and the new-naming ceremony? There's no fixed limit. You can do the renaming right after the de-naming, if you want. But I'd prefer to see a gap of at least 24 hours to allow the demons time to clear out.
Oh, and one other thing - you have to remove all physical traces of the boat's old name before the de-naming ceremony. There may be official papers with the old name on them, of course. If you can't destroy them you should at least keep them well out of sight in a locker during the ceremony. But don't neglect to wipe the name out in obvious place - bow, stern, dinghy
, oars, logbook, life ring, charts
and so on. Likewise, do not lace the new name anywhere on the boat before the de-naming ceremony is carried out. Hoo-boy, that would be tempting fate.
"In the name of all who have sailed aboard this vessel in the past, and all who may sail aboard her in the future, we invoke the ancient gods of wind
and sea to favor us with their blessing today.
"Mighty Neptune, king of all that moves on the waves, and might Aeolus, (pronounced EE-oh-lus), guardian of the winds and all that blows before them: we offer you our thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel in the past. We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from tempest
"Now, therefore, we submit this supplication, that the name whereby this vessel has hitherto been known, '_________', be struck and removed from your records.
Further, we ask that when she is again presented for blessing with another name, she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again the self-same privileges she previously enjoyed.
"In return for this, we rededicate this vessel to thy domain in full knowledge that she shall be subject to the immutable laws of the gods of wind
"In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea.
Now pop the cork, shake the bottle and spray the whole of the content over the bow. Then go quietly below and enjoy the other bottle yourselves.
Buy a bottle of the best champagne you can afford (you don’t want to offend the sea gods with the cheap
stuff). Say a few words of supplication to every wind and ocean god as above (and don’t forget your own higher power) asking for good will, indulgence and safety
for your boat. Pour an enormous libation over the bow of your boat and share the rest with any guests. If you have more than one excellent bottle of champagne, by all means wrap it in a towel and break it over your bow, but it’s a lot harder to do than it looks.
To cement the naming ceremony, tradition holds you should then take your newly christened boat out on the water
. If it’s a sailboat, luff it up into the wind and drift to a complete stop, then allow it to sail backwards — a boat-length is long enough to appease the spirits. If it’s a powerboat, some traditionalists suggest running it aground (gently, of course). The moderates claim three times on purpose will make the gods happy, while die-hards say these groundings can’t be intentional. It’s up to you.
After a boat is denamed, you simply need to rename her using the traditional christening ceremony, preferably with the First Lady (see caveat below) breaking a bottle of champagne on the bow, and saying the words:
"I name this ship ___________ and may she bring fair winds and good fortune to all who sail on her”
Caveat - You will need to contact the White House several months in advance of the ceremony in order to ensure that the First Lady is available, she is busy, travels a lot and probably does not know who you are.
Obviously this caveat does not apply if you are well connected with the party in power at the time of your request.