Renaming your boat

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Veteran Member
Nov 20, 2009
United States Of America
Vessel Name
Reef Drifter
Vessel Make
1983, 34 ft., Marine Trader
The trawler we have chosen to buy has a name that we don't really like so much so we want to make a change.* I have read ways to make this name change so as not to tempt fate but is it all that necessary to go through the*rituals?* We are not exactly superstitious but want to do this the right way.* Anyone out there have experiences in name changes that will make all the gods happy?
I've always just gone ahead and changed the name on the transom and quarter boards, and when done drank a couple of bourbons and spilled a sacrificial bit (not too much if good stuff) on the boat. Seems to have worked out fine for both me and every boat I've had.
We simply had the (nicely painted) old name on the transom sanded off and made new nameboards for the transom and flying bridge sides with the new name on them. Sent in the documentation papers with the new name and that was that. The USCG didn't even change the documentation number.

You can do a Google search and find the various rituals for changing a vessel's name but the boat's not gonna give a rip what you do or don't do.
Most importantly, you need to dress up like Neptune for the week prior to the name change.

Where is the fun in that?*

I looked up the name changing cerimony. Sounds like a real hoot.
Great excuse to have a party don't cha know.

We did a christening/renaming ceremony on our latest boat. I started with Vigor's Interdenominational Boat Denaming Ceremony (I found it on the web) and modified it to suit me. You're right, Skipperdude, its a great time for a party. We "dressed ship" with signal flags, and then we did the Denaming with some rum being splashed about (Pusser's Navy Rum, of course), and rechristened with some champagne.

Then we had a big pirate party, with lots more rum and champagne - a great time was had by all!
We have a name changing ceremony posted on our Beach House web site, just scroll down the left side. Chuck
skipperdude wrote:


Where is the fun in that?*
Hmmm.... I would hope that I would get a lot more fun out of our boat than some silly name-change ritual.* I guess it boils down to what a person thinks is fun and what they think is a total waste of time.* I'm not much on meaningless rituals, but that's just me.

Besides when we got our boat and changed the name my Neptune suit was at the cleaners and we needed to get the documentation papers mailed off.* So our name change ritual was 30 minutes with a sander.

I wanna party with you dude.

*I'd just love to see you in a neptune suit.

We changed the name on our last two vessels. Patricia Louise I and then Patricia Louise II. Let's see now.... What happened to PL1? (no ceremony). I remember ! She SANK in Hurricane Katrina!
"I'm not much on meaningless rituals"

Marin, I nominate you for curmudgeon of the year. By the way, why waste the 30 minutes to rename the boat in that case?

I remember an old comic strip from several years ago. 2 guys, one asks "what is your religion?" answer "Holy roman Baptist Jewish Lutheran". So what do you believe in? "Taking no chances"

BTW, I know several master mariners - unlimited captains - who toss a coin overboard (to neptune) whenever they cross the bar.

So, I had a party with 30 very good friends who came to celebrate the good fortune of a new boat, and a great time together is hardly a meaningless waste of time for me.
I'm still thinking about that Neptune suit. You guys get yours ready, the party is about to begin!!!!!! can come but you have to have fun.

-- Edited by reefdrifter on Wednesday 10th of February 2010 08:05:39 AM
RED wrote:

By the way, why waste the 30 minutes to rename the boat in that case?
Because the previous name of the boat was stupid and I wanted to name it for something from my heritage instead.

reefdrifter can come but you have to have fun.
Thanks but no thanks.* We run the boat for the same reason we run the plane.... to get away from everybody.* If I wanted to hang out with a bunch of people I'd stay at work.

The Germans have a saying about Austria.* "Austria is better than Germany in every way except one--- it's full of f---ing Austrians."* That's how I feel about boating.* Boating would be absolutely incredible if it weren't for all the f---ing boaters.

That's why we love winter boating so much.* Nobody around.* I took these shots this past weekend when we took the boat down to our property in the islands.* The only boats we saw out on the water during the three hours down and three hours back were four ferries, two native crab boats, and two tankers.* On the other hand we saw fifteen eagles, a bunch of harbor porpoises, a zillion seals and two sea lions.* That's what boating is all about to us.


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Removed all the things that had the old name on it... Did a few shots of rum while standing on the bow (perhaps more than a few) reading that silly script, gave one to the boat, grabbed a rag and cleaned it up the spilled rum...

Took five minutes. Tah-DAH! Skinny Dippin'.
Beautiful Pictures Marin. I bet it is spectactular cruising out there in the dark of the night. The stars should be very bright.

GonzoF1, I think I will do it the way you did but not give the boat a real big drink. You know the boat should not be under the influence anyway.

Thanks for all the tips guys!!!! It is important to keep the gods happy.

I hear ya talkin big guy. One of the reasons I live and boat in Alaska.
I can go out on the Sound and have about any anchorage I choose all to my self.
Come on dude ya got ta have friends.* Just knocking back a cold one*when you say "It don't get any better than this."* That's what these stupid ceremony's are all about.* Nobody wants a bunch of strangers hanging around drinking your suds and eating your victuals. But family or your best buds?
You can't kidd me. *after all you are the only person I know who claims to have a Neptune suit. Even if it is in the cleaners.

by the way great pics.

skipperdude wrote:Come on dude ya got ta have friends.* Just knocking back a cold one*when you say "It don't get any better than this."
I say "It don't get any better than this" when we're out on the boat and there is nobody around or even in sight.* There are only a few other people we enjoy boating with, and besides the fact they're great people in general, they tend to view boating the same way we do.

The absolute horror of boating to us is a noisy, crowded dock party.* I cannot think of anyplace I would rather be less than an event like that.

One of the main reasons I learned to fly when I lived in Hawaii was to be able to take off on my own, go to a remote airstrip on Kauai, Maui, or the Big Island, and sit on the beach or wherever with nobody around except maybe a girlfriend.* My line of work involves me with a lot of people every day, day after day, not only here but in other countries all over the place.* So during the time I have off there is no way in hell that I want to be around another bunch of people.

So for us, and me in particular, boating---and flying--- is not a social event outside of the small handful of similar-minded boaters we have gotten to know over the years.

I met a fellow at a friend's retirement party several years ago and in idle conversation I learned that he had a Harley-Davidson and he and his wife have taken trips for years all around the northwest and out through Montana. We don't have a motorcycle but what they did sounded interesting so I started asking him about different Harley models.* The couple of my co-workers who have Harley's can recite the entire model line from 19-whenever-they-started and can tell you the bolt pattern on the head of every model made in 1963.* So I assumed this guy was the same way.

He said he didn't know much about other Harley models and then explained that "I really like OUR Harley but I'm really not interested in other Harleys or Harley clubs or anything like that.* So I actually don't know much about them."

From a boating perspective, I can identify with that.
reefdrifter wrote:

I bet it is spectactular cruising out there in the dark of the night. The stars should be very bright

The stars (on the rare occasions the overcast and constant rain goes away long enough to see them) can be spectacular as you say.* The other year in an anchorage up north with no other lights within miles of us, looking at the stars through binoculars showed more stars than blank space.

However we don't deliberately cruise at night.* There are too many Big Things in the water which, if you ran into one, could bring a quick halt to one's boating days.* Fishermen run at night but they have boats that can take the collisions, plus they often run with their big forward floodlights on.* But based on what we see in the water during the day, we would be very reluctant to run at night up here, at least with a wood or fiberglass recreational boat.
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