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C34 FAQ Boat Renaming

I heard it was bad luck to change the boat's name. Am I stuck with the old name ? 

Poseidon, God of the SeaIt is not bad luck to change names, as history attests. In fact, if you are superstitious, there could be a case for some "bad luck" ships that should have had their names changed. 

However, should you wish to avoid testing fate (or the gods), perform a little ceremony to de-name and then re-name; you will have then have your bases covered.  

First: You must de-name. Example: Bless the former name and allow that name to go to the everlasting sea. ( A simple thanks for its former service and a good-bye to "...Old name..." should do.) Also remove all traces of the original name. 

Second: You must establish the new name. Now here comes the fun part! 



1st method You must pour very good red wine (red wine- see below) on the bow and offer some to the god Poseidon (Neptune) pouring the wine into the waters of the Hailing Port, then say out loud the new name asking Poseidon to bless the boat and all who ride within. If it is a sailboat, don't forget Aeolus, the god of winds. Both gods' blessings are required. Also, the Captain (owner), crew, and guests should sip the wine as well. (Spill and intake quantity is not limited! The gods like generosity!) 

    Hail!   Aeolus and Poseidon! We seek your benevolence upon this vessel. now to be known as " ..... name....... " 

    Aeolus, whose mighty hand doth charge the wind, to this vessel gentle zephyrs send, and we who sail within will bend our heads in awe and tribute, without end. 

    With breath from high that maketh heaven's breeze, to cause we sailors joy, or fear, upon the seas. We call upon you Aeolus, please - grant this ship and all its mortals, ease. 

    O! Poseidon, you spirit god of waters great and small, on this vessel, by your grace, allow these sons and daughters all, to pass from port of hailing to their port of call, and on these sailing subjects make your gentle blessings fall. 

    You who cause the seas to rage or lie in sweet repose, please list' to we mariners here, your servants of the flows. This ship, the captain, crew and all of those who love the wind and seas  - will follow where thee goes. 

    --Ralph E. Ahseln (April 1996)

2nd method  After de-naming: Scuttle the boat out of sight of land, refloat, and rename. Not many of us can do that one --at least not on purpose!    

3rd method The one I like!   Have a virgin urinate on the bow while renaming the boat and asking Poseidon's blessing. The major problem here is...    ahhhhhh -- Well I'll let you work on that one. 

Note: Red wine is the wine to spill, because it symbolizes the blood of a virgin (they used to sacrifice a virgin and spill the blood on the boat). A little later in history they used the blood of enemies and sacrificial animals. Red wine works for me! White (or pink)  champagne is a relatively recent innovation, and was not used until a few years ago, when apparently the high cost of bubbly, was thought to be a factor when christening a new ship. A form of fancy baptism.  I would break champagne but also spill some red wine when naming a new boat. 

May Poseidon and Aeolus bless your boat ! (Ralph E. Ahseln


Important: The opinions expressed here are those of the individual contributors to this page, and not those of the Catalina 34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc. Additionally, this material has not been reviewed by a classics scholar, theologian, or archaeologist for historical accuracy. Note that this page's maintainer cannot guarantee that your preferred divine entity will smile upon your engaging in the worship of other gods or goddesses. Please consult a competent priest or theologian before engaging in any of the practices described here.    


Last modified by Phil Imhof, Monday, August 09, 2004 . Copyright 2001 by Catalina 34 International Association.  All rights reserved.