Skip to main content

Appellation Controlee

A rose is a rose, it is said, and smells just as sweet by any other name. Would that it were true of boats. In fact, it seems many boats these days have perfectly horrible names. Glancing around at transoms in marinas and mooring fields, I must blush and/or wince at half the names I see. I realize this is a subjective topic and that one mariner’s bon mot is another’s bad word.



A rose is a rose, it is said, and smells just as sweet by any other name. Would that it were true of boats. In fact, it seems many boats these days have perfectly horrible names. Glancing around at transoms in marinas and mooring fields, I must blush and/or wince at half the names I see.

I realize this is a subjective topic and that one mariner’s bon mot is another’s bad joke. But based on my own observations, I’d say many of you boatowners out there have created very dangerous situations with your boat names, wherein your boat’s self esteem may be so threatened it might at any moment, out of sheer embarrassment, cease to be a boat. Needless to say, there could be grave consequences if you and your family happen to be on board when this occurs.

Those who must immediately change their boat’s name (they should know who they are by the end of this post) may complain that to do so will bring bad luck. Certainly there are various deities who take great offense when a boat’s name is changed improperly, but these same deities will also cause trouble if a boat’s name is just plain silly to begin with. By taking appropriate measures, however, the un-naming and re-naming of a poorly named boat can be performed quite safely and should greatly improve performance.

How to Un-Name Your Boat

The following is an ecumenical un-naming procedure that encompasses the tenants of all relevant religions and belief systems and is guaranteed to be 100 percent effective. It should not, however, be used on anything other than a boat.

First, walk (or swim) around your boat three times in a counter-clockwise direction (or clockwise, if you are in the southern hemisphere). Next take one red human hair, which must be exactly six inches long and must be from a genuine redhead, wrap it around a rabbit’s foot three times in a clockwise direction (or counter-clockwise, if you are in the southern hemisphere), then soak the rabbit’s foot liberally in rum. It should not be cheap rum, but the most expensive you can reasonably afford. Rub the rum-soaked rabbit’s foot vigorously over your boat’s existing name, then drink the rest of the rum. Throw the rabbit’s foot over your left shoulder into the sea.

Next remove all traces of the boat’s existing name. It is not enough merely to paint over the old name; it must be obliterated entirely. This means getting out the sand-blaster, the grinder, the heat-gun, whatever it takes to physically erase the monstrosity from your transom.

You must also remove the old name from any ancillary equipment or documents, or, if this is not possible, said equipment and documents should be destroyed by fire. This is especially important, so be careful you don’t overlook anything.

Once you have finished un-naming your boat, you must never again mention the old name. To re-name your boat, simply follow all the usual procedures. Smash a bottle of champagne on her bow and utter some appropriate christening-type words, then distribute more champagne and other inebriants to whoever happens to be around. Sailors, of course, must to be sure replace the coin under the mast with a new one in order for the new name to take.

If this sounds drab, you might try a Viking christening. Evidently they believed that for a ship to have good luck its keel must taste the blood of a virgin prior to touching water. To make sure things went smoothly, they lashed virgin slaves (both male and female) to the keel blocks they used in launching a ship. As it slid into the water, the ship neatly crushed the bodies of the slaves and so bloodied its keel and theoretically lived happily ever after. This procedure unfortunately is now illegal in many jurisdictions, so be sure to consult an attorney before performing it.

Related

00LEAD

A Force for Change: Captain Liz Gillooly

I first heard about Capt. Liz Gillooly in 2016 from my cousin while working three jobs in our shared hometown on the North Fork of Long Island and living with my parents to save money for a boat. But despite being the same age and growing up only 13 miles apart, Liz and I never ...read more

291726157_3222349914654950_8713674249134934221_n-2-1024x684

Sailing in the Growth Zone

The Goal This year, I’ve had a specific goal to be a better sailor. Some people have laughed and said, “Why do you need to be a better sailor? This was my 22nd year racing on the same boat, with the same crew. I like to win and want to make sure we stay at the top of the fleet. ...read more

00LEAD-Thomas-on-%22Melody%22-2004

The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald

The first boat Thomas Tangvald ever owned was just 22 feet long. She was an odd craft, a narrow plywood scow with a flat bottom, leeboards on either side, and square ends—little more than a daysailer with a rotting deck and tiny cabinhouse tacked on. Thomas paid just $200 for ...read more

VIPCAshowbynight

USVI Charter Yacht Show Showcases a Flourishing Industry

As the U.S. Virgin Islands continues to attract sailors seeking to charter and explore the pristine territory on their own, the immense growth and expanded options for a crewed yacht or term charters have exploded here over the past five years. Last week, the USVI Charter ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-11-21-at-9.48.33-AM

Personal Locator Beacon Wins Top Design Award

The Ocean Signal RescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator took top honors at the 2022 DAME Design Awards, while Aceleron Essential, a cobalt-free lithium-iron phosphate battery with replaceable and upgradeable parts, won the first DAME Environmental Design Award. Announced each year ...read more

tracker

EPIRB in the Golden Globe Race

Tapio Lehtinen’s boat sank early this morning southeast of South Africa while racing the Golden Globe Race, a faithfully low-tech reproduction of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe. The boat went down quickly and stern-first according to the skipper’s emergency transmissions. ...read more

99640-victoire-de-charles-caudrelier-a-bord-du-maxi-edmond-de-rothschild-r-1200-900

Victory, Tragedy in the Route du Rhum

The 2022 Route du Rhum was a highly anticipated event in the ocean racing calendar, but few could have predicted exactly how challenging, dramatic, and tragic it would ultimately prove. French yachtsman Charles Caudrelier took home gold aboard the Ultim maxi trimaran Maxi Edmond ...read more

DSC_1879

Boat Review: Lyman-Morse LM46

Lyman-Morse has been building fine yachts in Thomaston, Maine, ever since Cabot Lyman first joined forces with Roger Morse back in 1978. With experience creating and modifying boats built of various materials, backed by its own in-house fabrication facility, the firm has ...read more