Howard, the skipper of Knot Again, the boat I crew on, told me to take great care with this. Renaming a boat is a superstitious thing and there is a ceremony to observe that needs to be taken very seriously.
It is a very complicated ceremony that can be found in full here. If you are unfamiliar with it, check it out, it's bizarre.
Howard recounted his own tale of woe to me of the perils of not observing the ceremony with the appropriate decorum.
Howard's 35' C&C had two previous owners. The original owner named her Ariadne. The owner before Howard named her Persephone. A nice sounding name but why would you name a boat after the bride of Hades and queen of the underworld? Howard being a master of the pun renamed her Knot Again. Being a scientist by training, Howard disregarded the superstition and did not perform the boat renaming ceremony.
Howard was racing the newly named Knot Again in the Around Long Island Race. They were over half way into the 200 mile race and about to round the corner to pass through Plum Gut. This is a notoriously tricky cut. If the tide is against you, you are screwed. It also has some very nasty submerged spires on its Eastern edge.
Howard was off-watch and sleeping below. His son was at the helm. As they approached Plum Gut, there was one other boat ahead of them, a longer and faster boat. Knot Again was at the Eastern edge of the Gut and close to the submerged spires. She was clearly sailing faster than the other boat and would pass through first.
In a fit of competitive pique, the other boat started luffing up on Knot Again in an effort to overtake her. She forced Knot Again closer to the Eastern edge of the channel. Clearly she wasn't letting the upstart from Raritan upstage her. This was disastrous. With an almighty bang, Knot Again's 7ft keel struck the spires. To Howard below, it was like being in a car wreck. The boat stopped dead. Howard immediately drilled open the cabin sole to inspect the damage. His worst fears came true. The impact had knocked the keel backwards and water was gushing in.
The crew bailed like crazy to keep her afloat. They managed to get Knot Again to Greenport, an hour away, where she was immediately hauled out. Repairing the damage cost $20,000.
The name of the boat who forced Knot Again formerly-known as Persephone? Cerberus! Yes, the dog of Hades that guards the gates of the underworld tracked Howard down and got its revenge on Howard for daring to eradicate the name of its queen without conducting the proper ceremony.
I have to admit that I am getting pretty nervous about the renaming.
PS: Not surprisingly, Howard protested against Cerberus a day later. His protest was denied because he had not flown a protest flag immediately after the incident. What was Howard thinking?
PS 2: Another bizarre coincidence was that one of Howard's crew had a daughter called Ariadne, the boat's original name.
PS3: The owner of Tiger Lily was also on board. Oh, crap, I am scared!