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Old 25 September 2008, 11:11   #1
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Changing your boats name...

I was giving the RIB a scrub a while back and noticed something new, the really faded lettering 'P.D.Q' in a fancy font. I assumed that this must be the boats original name (as far as I was concerned it didn't have one).

I don't mind this name, I was thinking about having it re-printed, however, it got me thinking about some slightly more imaginative ones! I gave my uncle a call to see if he'd reccomend me any graphic printing companies and he advised me never to change a boats name because it's meant to be bad luck?!

Has anyone else heard this or is it new to everyone? I'm not supersticious in the slightest, just seemed a bit weird!

What do you reckon?
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Old 25 September 2008, 11:43   #2
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Your uncle is correct. Sort of. It is reputed to be very bad luck to change a boats name, unless the proper preparation is performed, and teh proper ceremony, uh, celebrated.

This is from a page describing the process:

According to legend, each and every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea. It is logical therefore, if we wish to change the name of our boat, the first thing we must do is to purge its name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory.

This is an involved process beginning with the removal or obliteration of every trace of the boat’s current identity. This is essential and must be done thoroughly. Don’t forget the life rings and especially the transom and forward name boards. Do not under any circumstances carry aboard any item bearing your boat’s new name until the purging and renaming ceremonies have been completed! Once you are certain every reference to her old name has been removed from her, all that is left to do is to prepare a metal tag with the old name written on it in water-soluble ink. You will also need a bottle of reasonably good Champagne. Plain old sparkling wine won’t cut it.

• Since this is an auspicious occasion, it is a good time to invite your friends to witness and to party. Begin by invoking the name of the ruler of the deep as follows:

“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, implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection the name (here insert the old name of your vessel) 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, the prepared metal tag is dropped from the bow of the boat into the sea.)

“In grateful acknowledgment of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court. (Pour at least half of the bottle of Champagne into the sea from East to West. The remainder may be passed among your guests.)”

• It is usual for the renaming ceremony to be conducted immediately following the purging ceremony, although it may be done at any time after the purging ceremony. For this portion of the proceedings, you will need more Champagne, much more because you have a few more gods to appease. Begin the renaming by again calling Poseidon as follows:

“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, implore you in your graciousness to take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel hereafter and for all time known as (Here insert the new name you have chosen), 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. (At this point, one bottle of Champagne, less one glass for the master and one glass for the mate are poured into the sea from West to East.)”

• The next step in the renaming ceremony is to appease the gods of the winds. This will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas. Because the four winds are brothers, it is permissible to invoke them all at the same time, however, during the ceremony; you must address each by name. Begin in this manner:

“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 (Insert your boat’s new name) the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.”

• Facing north, pour a generous libation of Champagne into a Champagne flute and fling to the North as you intone:

“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.”

• Facing west, pour the same amount of Champagne and fling to the West while intoning:

“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.”

• Facing east, repeat and fling to the East:

“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.”

• Facing south, repeat, flinging to the South:

“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.”

Of course, any champagne remaining will be the beginnings of a suitable celebration in honor of the occasion. Once the ceremony has been completed, you may bring aboard any and all items bearing the new name of your vessel. If you must schedule the painting of the new name on the transom before the ceremony, be sure the name is not revealed before the ceremony is finished. It may be covered with bunting or some other suitable material.
[end transcript]


FWIW, I was considering changing my boats name (when I received her, my wit was not as quick as my desire to get a name attached), but have yet to do so.

Luck;

jky
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Old 01 October 2008, 15:47   #3
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Wow, I knew it was bad luck to change a boats name but didn't realize it was that hard to change it! I heard somewhere that you simply had to change the name then launch the boat on the first new moon of may (to signify a new year or something) with a birchwood branch on the bow (as apparently thats a very lucky wood on boats, hence the gin palace makers).

That said if she hasn't taken the huff yet over the original change not sure I'd take the risk again

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Old 01 October 2008, 16:38   #4
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...and on that note, for those that missed the story first time round...
I bought my boat unaware that she had been astutely de-named by the reseller. I had her (new) name stencilled on the curiously blank patches on the bows. One patch promptly developed a rapid leak. Bad luck? - you decide!
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Old 01 October 2008, 16:42   #5
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According to legend there is no ceremony that will quell the bad luck from changing a boats name. Many of the US destroyers and Ships that were 'lend leased' to the UK had their names changed - and they were reputed to be the unluckiest ships to serve on. Many of the old Leander Class Frigates and such that were sold by the Royal Navy to the Aussies and New Zealanders had their names changed - and again had the reputation of being bad luck


Think it may be linked to boats and ships always being 'She' - try calling the wife a different name, or calling out another womans name when pretending to be asleep and dreaming - pretty sure you will get some bad luck ........
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Old 02 October 2008, 07:26   #6
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Hmmmm does this also apply if the original name was "D.O.T. Approved. - Boat number 840<I forget the rest of the number>" . Also under the "rescue orange" paint on the console, I found one of it's previous owners had painted the club's name.... When I bought her, there was a different name written - nay scrawled - on the portable fuel tank!

So, am I triply doomed? Does a D.O.T reference number or a previous owner's name (as in the club, not what they called it) count? Does it count if it's only been written on a portable thing that may or may not have been originally from that boat, but certainly wasn't it's original "I.D."? How many of us have a secondhand "classic" that was once called "rescue 3" or similar?

Mind you, it may explain my self dissassembling engine.......!
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Old 02 October 2008, 11:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraemeCooper View Post
Think it may be linked to boats and ships always being 'She' - try calling the wife a different name, or calling out another womans name when pretending to be asleep and dreaming - pretty sure you will get some bad luck ........
Graeme; You can't be saying that a boat is like a wife? A boat will treat you *much* better than most wives will.

9D280: This only applies to the "Christened" name of the vessel. Manufacturers ID's do not fall into this category. But yes, previous owners names do.

Now, do I believe the superstition? Not really. But why take a chance?


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