B is for Boat Names . . .
This week’s letter assignment is the letter B.
I’ve always enjoyed looking for boat names~ humorous, serious, clever, pun-intending, or nautical-inspired~ and wonder about the inspiration for the names chosen.
A couple of Jimmy Buffett song-boat-names to put you in boating spirit. . .
I thought I’d include a little of the lore & superstition regarding boat names along with photos of boats we’ve spied on the lake. . .
The act of naming a vessel, according to maritime historian James Clary, author of “Superstitions of the Sea: A Digest of Beliefs, Custom and Mystery,” dates back to 2680 B.C., with the Egyptian ship “Praise of the Two Lands,” a name thought to signify the unity between the north and south Nile.
Naming a sea vessel is an important tradition before the inaugural launch of the ship. There seems to be conflicting beliefs about naming a boat after a woman. Some superstitions say it is thought to bring bad luck. Despite this, the majority of vessels are named after important female figures, either historical or personal, with the names often including important women in the captain’s life. There is wisdom in not naming your boat after your wife, since apparently there as much or more ceremony in changing a boat’s name, as there is in changing wives :-)
One well-known belief is that changing names on a boat is thought to bring bad luck. If you must change the name of your boat there is a comprehensive ceremony to follow since 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. If you wish to change the name of your boat, the first thing to do is to purge its name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory. Guidelines to follow can be found here.
Some believe there is a stigma attached to names beginning with the letters “S” or “O” and boats with 13-letter names, also naming a boat with a word that ends in “A”.
According to Commander Bob, avoid tempting fate and perform the christening ceremony below before taking your vessel out for her maiden voyage. A proper christening ensures good fortune to the boat and her crew throughout the life of the vessel. If, after being properly christened, a vessel does have a run of bad luck, it will be because her christening ceremony was poorly performed, rather than due to her Captain’s incompetence. . . The Titanic was never christened and thus the boat was doomed from the beginning.
First invite everyone to the christening who is important to the boat. Since this is an auspicious occasion, it is a good time to invite your friends to witness and join the festivities. Distribute champagne to all attendees. Then, recite the following:
“For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” To them we toast, and ask to celebrate (the name of your boat).” Then everybody raises their champagne glasses and shouts “TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO_________ (the name of your boat).”
At this point, everyone takes a sip.
Then follow with: “The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this ship be given the strength to carry on. The keel is strong and she keeps out the pressures of the sea.” Again the glasses are raised, and the assemblage shouts, “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO THE SEA!”
Everyone takes another sip.
Continue: “Today we come to name this lady_____________ (name of your boat), and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for the __________ (name of your family) family. We ask the sailors of old and the mood of God that is the sea to accept ________________ (your boat’s name) as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. ” Again, with the raising of the glasses, “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS BEFORE US…TO_________(the name of your boat).”
A last, long sip by all.
Now pour champagne over the bow to appease King Neptune, and lay a branch of green leaves on the deck to ensure safe returns. (This is when you break the bottle across the bow.)
Once the ceremony has been completed, you may bring aboard any and all items bearing the new name of your vessel. If you must apply the new name 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.
Have another bottle on hand to continue sipping :-)
If you’re stumped on what to name your boat, you can always go this way~