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January 10, 2009



It all depends on how lucky you feel. If, like me, prior to my epiphany, you think you can bypass the gods and feel sure you do not have to worry about pissing them off, no ceremony needs to be undertaken. If, however, you are a more prudent sailor and wish to cover ALL bases, I would recommend proceeding with the ceremony, however, I would also add an extra round of libation and include Zeus, the god of Thunder and Rain, making sure to include Aoleus in addition, then all bases are covered. As an added bonus, if one makes a transit from the lakes to the sea, there will be no hindsight retribution to worry about.


You can skip the ceremony for the simple reason that freshwater is so much less corrosive than salt. When (not if but when) your boat sinks because you're too damned lazy to perform an *essential* maritime task, at least your boat will not have rotted at the bottom and might be somewhat recoverable.


I believe sea lore is that the 'gods of the sea' are offended by changing the name of a boat. So this leads me to think if you've been on a lake you're okay to rename.

However, just for fun or for true believers... you might want to pick up a copy of John Vigor's "How to Rename Your Boat". This is a light fun read and gives you a ceremony to de-name and re-name your boat.


PS Your post a comment isn't working's posting different names to the comments.....just FYI

Carol Anne

I believe there's so much at stake that you don't want to risk Poseidon getting angry at you, whether you're on the ocean or a mill pond. For that matter, the lake probably has its own demigod, who would like to get the same respect that Poseidon does. It's best to play it safe.

Plus, the renaming ceremony is a great occasion to throw a party. Yeah, you have to pour out libations to Poseidon (or the lake demigod), but you also get to serve up booze for your guests as well, and there's this whole bit about having a virgin up on the bow of the boat to pour out the most important libations. (No, not THAT kind of virgin -- you need to find somebody who's never sailed before, so you have an opportunity to get a newcomer interested in the sport.)


Speaking from personal experience yes, it applies to freshwater too.

I bought a beat up coronado 15 years ago... it had no name on it, but some dolphin stickers. When leaving with my new boat, the previous owner said "oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, her name is flipper... my friend used to have a boat named "lightning" so I names this one flipper, cause everyone knows "flipper is faster than lightning".

So I got the boat home, did a whole lot of fiberglass work to get her seaworthy again, and figured since she hadn't been in the water in years, had a LOT of new equipment and repairs, and had no name printed on her, that it was pretty much a new life for her, and I was safe with giving her a new name. My yellow coronado has been known as "Sunshine Daydream" since... but I did keep the dolphin stickers out of respect for her previous life.

On her madien voyage, the centerboard split upon trying to drop it, main sheet block broke, the vang connection to the boom pulled out, the plug leaked badly nearly sinking her, and a trailer bearing fried bringing her home.

Never again will I rename a boat, without paying proper respect to Poseideon.

Carol Anne

Just got an email from a friend in Texas ... he's going to be having a big de-naming/re-naming ceremony for his lake-based boat. He's already got more friends planning to come for that occasion than he got for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years combined.

If community support counts for anything, whether with Poseidon or with whatever demigod rules that lake, his 18.5 foot daysailer is going to be well protected.


Propitiate propitiate propitiate.


Hi I have recently bought a boat with a name on it I dont Know if it has had a previous name, is this bad luck for me if it has?

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