So, before we bought her, our boat was named Tenacious.
While it’s an OK name, it didn’t fit our vibe. Jim suggested the name Liberty because of what that word means for us. After deciding that was The Name, I began researching the renaming process as I’d heard about the dire consequences of not doing it properly.
The main thing we had to keep in mind prior to the Official Ceremony was to refrain from bringing anything aboard with the new name; the Universal and Ancient Laws of the Sea proscribe incorrectly identifying a vessel because, apparently, it confuses Poseidon about the vessel he is to be protecting. We were tempting Fate a bit because the USCG Documentation, which has to be kept onboard, reflected the new name since we had already changed the Federal Registration at the time of purchase. Changing the name on her stern before having her repainted seemed a waste of time and resources so we had to live dangerously a whole season until we had cosmetic work done over the winter. Once the new name was applied to her stern, we performed the ceremony. Unfortunately, it was a cold, windy day so the only attendee other than Jim and myself was Jim’s son, Sawyer, who agreed to photo-document the ceremony. (Thanks, Sawyer!)
The entire process was pretty lengthy, mostly due to the deferential invocations of the various gods involved. Research uncovered a few options for ceremonial procedure; one didn’t seem deferential enough and another involved a virgin urinating off the bow. We went with the one most likely to appease the applicable deities yet least likely to ruin our new paint job (or land us in jail.) All involved copious amounts of champagne (I know- bummer, right? 😉 ). Below is the condensed version of the process:
First step- make Poseidon aware that the old name would not apply any more. This required the old name to be written (in water-soluble ink) upon an ingot to be dropped into the waters so that it could be washed away. It also required a liberal donation of champagne into the water in each compass direction.
Next step- invoke the Gods of the Four winds and request they provide enough power to get us to our destinations but not so much that we would be in danger. This also involved generous donations of champagne in the four compass directions.
Lastly- toasting the sailing vessel Liberty and her long, safe future on the seas. 🙂