Sign in to follow this  

Re-naming A Boat

    Recommended Posts

    Hey everyone,

    finally have decided to bite the bullet and get a new (2nd hand) motor for my tinny. I had trouble selling just my hull, so decided to keep it and give it a new lease on life. I am  very spiritual minded person and strongly believe in a proper re naming ceremony. The last trips i had in it did not go well, so i want to do it properly. Has anyone done it properly? 

    Share this post

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    There are so many cool things out there on the net on how to rename your boat. A fairly standard one is here: Please login or register to see this link.  or here: Please login or register to see this link.

    But I like the ridiculousness (and serious) of the one I found below:

    Required Items

    • Lots of liquid spirits for the guests – soft drinks, beer, wine, rum and other liquor
    • Lots and lots of food available for all to eat
    • A silver dollar – the older the better
    • Bottles of champagne for christening
    • Red wine for blessing
    • Ship’s Bell for ringing

    Planning the Ceremony / Summary

    1. You must plan to put on a great show. Show your boat that money is no object, and that you will do anything for it. Show the vessel that your checkbook is wide open. In fact, you want to make this boat really believe that you, as the newly adopted owners, will make life really terrific!
    2. Pour a round of drinks for everyone who comes by.
    3. Ring the bell to call the ceremony to order. Ring it again to make sure that they heard it.
    4. Ask your guests to give verbal comments about how nice your hospitality is. You might think this is really weird, but the boat needs to hear others rave about your generosity.

    Please Note: In the interests of brevity, we have eliminated some of the more obscure but conceivably important requirements which might have involved activities such as dancing about the boat with a chicken on your head, possibly naked and perhaps in violation of numerous laws, morals and regulations.

    Tradition and History

    Want to change the name of your boat? Heard about the bad luck in renaming a boat? It’s a big decision, but if done properly with due reverence there is no reason to hesitate. Some say that when a boat is named it has been enlivened, and from that time on the vessel must be treated with the same respect that we would have for a person. Renaming a boat is not something to be done lightly. Since the beginning of time, sailors have sworn that there are unlucky ships and the unluckiest ships are those who have defied the nautical Gods and changed their names improperly. Thankfully there is a way to change a boat's name without upsetting the various deities of the sea and air.

    According to tradition and legend, each and every vessel is recorded by specific name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the God of the sea. Thus if we wish to change the name of our boat, the first logical thing that must be done is to purge its former name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory.

    There are five necessary elements in this important ceremony:

    1. invocation
    2. expression of gratitude
    3. supplication
    4. re-dedication
    5. libation.

    The ceremony should be read with flair on the foredeck before a gathering of distinguished guests. In summary: ( details later )

    First: You must de-name the vessel. Bless the former name and allow that name to go to the everlasting sea. A simple thanks for it's former service, a good-bye to the original name and a blessing for it's past service. Be sure to remove all traces of the original name.

    Second: You must establish the new name Ceremony is required. This is the fun part !! Here are three possible ways to Rename a boat if the vessel has no name (new or un-named ). One or more of these methods work just as well. There are other methods, but these seem to be the most commonly used.

    1st method

    You must pour very good red wine (or champagne) on the bow and offer some to the God Poseidon (Neptune). Pouring wine into the waters of the Home Port, then saying 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 required. Also, the Captain (owner), crew and guests should sip the wine as well (spill and intake quantity are not limited! The gods like generosity!)

    2nd method

    After de-naming: Scuttle the boat out of sight of land for cleansing, then re-float and rename. However, not many of us can do that one! (at least not on purpose)

    3rd method

    Have a Virgin urinate on the bow while renaming the boat and asking Poseidon's blessing. The major problem is ........well, you can work on that one. 😆


    Red wine is the wine to spill as it symbolizes the blood of a virgin (which used to be sacrificed ). In some cultures leather was used to cover boats and urine helped tan the leather. Urine was also used to "wash" away old things and to clean wounds. Since boats were thought to have souls, when captured, the soul needed to have the old wounds washed away and re named to reflect the new owners culture.

    The libation part must be carried out at the bow, as was the original naming ceremony. You are advised to use nothing but the finest red wine (or 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.

    You should have a "de-naming" ceremony. The purpose of this is to prevent her from becoming confused about what her name really is.

    First, in purging your boat, you must expunge and remove all physical traces of the boat’s old name before the ceremony. 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. It is easiest to simply remove the offending document from the boat and start afresh. Take all papers that bear the name ashore, including logbooks, engine and maintenance records as well as any charts with the name inscribed. Be ruthless. Remove the old name from the lifebuoys, transom, dinghy, and oars. Don’t forget the life rings and especially the transom and forward name boards. Sand away, as painting over is not good enough. You are dealing with the Gods here, not mere mortals and they will catch any error. If the old name is carved or etched, try to remove it, or at least fill it with putty and paint over it.

    Do not under any circumstances place the new name anywhere on the boat or carry aboard any item bearing your boat’s new name until the purging and renaming ceremonies have been completed, as this would be tempting fate! 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. The last part of the ceremony, the libation, must be performed at the bow, just as in a naming ceremony. Two things to watch out for here: don't use cheap-cheap champagne, and don't try to keep any back for yourself. Buy a second bottle if you want some. Use a reasonably expensive brew, based on your ability to pay, and pour the lot on the boat. One of the things the gods of the sea despise most is meanness; so don't try to do this bit on the cheap.

    Since this is an auspicious occasion, it is a good time to invite your friends to witness and turn the ceremony into a party. You can read the ceremony with flair in front of a gathering of distinguished guests

    Order of Events

    1. Opening Invocation
    2. Blessing
    3. Expression of Gratitude
    4. Supplication & De-naming
    5. Rededication & Renaming
    6. Libation & Ceremonial Rituals
    7. Honoring Gods of the Winds and the Seas Christening
    8. Party

    Ceremony Details
    Opening Invocation & Blessing: Ring the ship’s bell and call the ceremony to order.

    “In the name of all who have sailed aboard this vessel in the past and in the name of all who may sail aboard her in the future.”

    “We invoke the ancient Gods of wind, Aeolus, and the sea, Neptune, also hailed as Poseidon, to favor us with their blessing today.”

    Expression of Gratitude:

    “Mighty Neptune, King of all that moves in or on the waves, and mighty Aeolus, guardian of the winds and all that blows before them! We offer thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel in the past. We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from tempest and storm and enjoyed safe passage to port.”

    Supplication & De-Naming: 

    Invoke 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.)

    “Now therefore, we submit this supplication, that the name of this vessel has hitherto been know as (old name), be struck and removed from your records and archives.”

    “Further, we ask that when she is again presented for blessing with her new name, she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again the self-same privileges she previously enjoyed.”

    “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 Red Wine or Champagne into the sea from East to West. The remainder may be passed among your guests.)

    Rededication & Re-Naming: 

    Again call on Poseidon as follows:
    "In return for this, we rededicate this vessel to thy domain in full knowledge that she

    shall be subject as always to the immutable laws of the Gods of wind and sea.”

    “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 ( new name ), guarding her with your mighty arm and trident and ensuring her of safe and rapid passage throughout her journeys within your realm”.

    Libation and Ceremonial Rituals:
    “In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a libation offered

    according to the hallowed ritual of the sea.”

    “In appreciation of your munificence, dispensation and in honor of your greatness, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.”

    Honoring Gods of the Wind and Sea (in Australia we'll need to switch around the wind gods). see the link above to Please login or register to see this link.

    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.

    Pour very good red wine on the bow and offer some to the God Neptune, pouring the wine into the waters of the Hailing Port, then use the following words to say the new name out loud and request the blessing of Neptune and Aeolus. Captain, crew, and guests should sip the wine as

    well. ( At this point, one bottle of red wind then one bottle of Champagne,
    less one glass for the master and one glass for the first mate are poured into the sea from West to East or sprayed over the bow.)

    “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)

    “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.”

    “Hail! Aeolus and Neptune!! We seek your benevolence upon this vessel, now to be knownas“ (new 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.”

    “To Aeolus!” ( Everyone drink a toast to Aeolus, pour wine into the air, ring the bell )

    “O! Neptune, 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.”

    “To Neptune!” (Everyone drink a toast to Neptune, pour wine into the water, ring the bell)


    After a boat is de-named, you simply rename her using the traditional christening ceremony, preferably with royalty (or a pretty lady or handsome man) breaking the bottle of champagne on the bow and incanting the sacred words.

    The word "christening" should be a consideration when renaming. You really are not christening a new boat when renaming. It would not be appropriate to say " I Christen thee" if you are renaming. A simple "I name thee" will do.

    “We will now perform the Christening Reverend Jimmy ( or other name ) will provide a serenade during this part of the ceremony.”

    Play pre-selected song(s) from Jimmy Buffet or some other favorite, nautical selection.

    “Let it be recorded, that on this day this fine vessel is named“

    “I name (or christen) this ship“
    May god bless her and all who sail in her."

    Take a bottle of champagne and crack it on the hull.

    Share this post

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    Sign in to follow this