Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationBoats & Boating · 1 decade ago

Anyone know about superstitions around changing a boat's name? particularly re putting silver under the mast?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The "official" ceremony for renaming a vessel can be found here:

    Although PROBABLY just a superstition, the ceremony is always fun and a great activity for all in the marina.

    The tradition/superstition of putting coins under the mast:

    ‘Stepping the mast’ is the process of placing a ship's mast upright and in place on the ship. Before the mast is lowered into place, coins are placed beneath it. Nautical tradition holds that coins beneath the mast ensure the safe passage of sailors' souls into the afterlife. The custom of placing coins under the step of the mast when a ship is being built had its origin with the ancient Romans. It was a custom then to place coins in the mouth of a dead person in the belief this would enable him to pay Charon to ferry him across the River Styx. The old superstition has survived and coins are still placed under the mast today so that if the ship met with mishap at sea, safe passage for the crew is ensured.

    Evidence that the custom has survived was in a Spanish wreck found off England which had a coin dated 1618 under its mast.

    When the USS NEW ORLEANS was built (she was launched in 1933), officers placed a total of 33 coins under her foremast and mainmast.The coins were pennies, nickels and dimes, all “heads up.”

    Source(s): Patti and I (and Grace, ship's cat) have logged over 13,000 cruising miles aboard "Ever After" our Aloha27 yacht. (Yes, we performed the renaming ceremony in 1999.) ...And there is a $1 coin (1999) under our mast, "heads-up". (Better safe than sorry!) LOL
  • 1 decade ago

    The Superstition Of Renaming A Boat Goes Back To When

    The Boats Name & Registration Were Carved In The Wooden Structure, To Rename The Boat You Would Have To Remove The Old Name By Planing It Down, Hence Making The Wood Thinner & Weaker, This Is Why It Is Bad Luck! Mine Was Made Out Of Vinyl But I Still Didnt Change It!

  • 1 decade ago

    I renamed my small dinghy a year and a bit ago and have had no problems whatsoever... I heard something about superstition but didn't pay it much thought, but talking to boats is a good thing. They like the attention, trust me. And I have had my boat get restless in little to no wind, she's that kind of one.

    I also try to keep her colour co-ordinated, this seems to combat the effects of the aging sail but I do also use a different coloured sail to her main hull colour.

    RE: Audio God's post

    There is a 10 cent New Zealand coin in my boat's buoyancy tank. It has to have been there since I got her (seeing as I didn't put it in), and I have no inclination to taking it out.

    Source(s): One boat renaming and two years sailing her. And my friend's boat once reacted oddly to being sold.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    don't know about the silver bit under the mast but i have been around boats since I was 8. Always heard it was bad luck to change a boats name hence we have never done this but guess maybe it's disrespecting the person who named her in the first place.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Phil W
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I have heard that changing the name of a boat can cause problems. I heard about a guy (from a reliable source) that did just that and had nothing but problems until the day that he sold it. The new owner changed the name back to the original name and never had any problem with the boat. Go figure.

    Source(s): Owner of the 25' Larson "Vanessa Gale"
  • Dave M
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    search the net or forget superstition.

    Have changed the names of many boats to suit my tastes...I have always performed work and repairs on them and given them love and respect. And I talk to them. They seem to enjoy their new names as we have never had any problems.

  • 1 decade ago

    I know one tradition is to burn all records and anything with the old name.

  • 1 decade ago

    just give it up, superstitions are terrible & just keep you from living your life :)

    Source(s): my brain! duh :)
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.