If you know about sailing, then you probably know one of the most important rules: Renaming your boat is bad luck. Its not something to be done lightly. Since the beginning of time, sailors have sworn that the unluckiest ships of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names.
So, is there a way to change a name and not incur the wrath of those deities that rule the elements? Here’s hoping!
According to legend every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea. The first thing to do is purge the old name from Poseidon’s Ledger of the Deep. The old name should be cast out to sea followed by select words and an offering of champagne.
Immediately following purging is the renaming ceremony. This includes a bit more words spoken to the gods of wind and seas and another offering of champagne is made (to all of them!). Of course, any champagne remaining will be the beginnings of a suitable celebration in honor of the occasion.
So we did our best to follow suit in this tradition. The first task was to remove the old name from the transom (or back / stern of the boat). I thought that this project would take maybe an hour or two tops…but then I remembered, I’m on a boat.
In true boat project fashion, it took about 4-5 hours to remove the old name. There were two different types of vinyl materials used in the old boat graphics, and the primary one came off pretty easily. But the secondary color adhered much differently and no matter how much heat gun action or goo gone was applied the adhesive would not budge. So we had to use old fashioned elbow grease to scrape away all the old adhesive in the hot sun for about 4 hours. OH well. It was nice to be outside all day for a change as most of the boat projects have been below decks.
Soon the letters were cleaned off and we were in business. I had the new vinyl graphics all prepared and ready to go. I had to line them up which was a bit challenging with the swim ladder in the way. I used masking tape to set their general location and tweaked them until they were level. Soon thereafter, Bosco was born! Our hailing port is Boulder, Colorado which seems really funny since any oceans are few and far between out there. But its totally appropriate since we still technically reside in Colorado and that is where we lived with Bosco.
Our renaming ceremony was an intimate affair with the whole crew of S/V Bosco, including our furry companion, Pocket. Pocket is our boat “dog” since we don’t have room for a real one. Pocket is also the name of our dinghy. We all consumed a bit of fancy German champagne (Thank you Shearins!). You can’t be stingy with the gods, so we gave the fairest shares to them. Hopefully we will have good luck on those waters to come.
A Little About Bosco
Bosco was a mixed breed Aussie Shepherd, German Shepherd and Malamute. I (Jill) adopted him from a shelter in Champaign, IL 2 weeks before college graduation. I saw him in the cage and fell in love with his adorable smile. As we were leaving, the admin said that he was not going to be there much longer because the shelter was at max-capacity. Due to his old age (just about 9 years old at the time), he was not an ideal candidate for adoption and would be put down.
Well that was that. He was mine a week later and then became ours once we moved to Boulder, CO. We had him for another 9 years before he passed away at the ripe age of 17. He was our best buddy and we were (and still are) heartbroken when he passed.
When we started sailing, we decided that every boat we have will be named after him. Even though he isn’t with us physically, his spirit lives on in our boat and in our hearts and now we will never forget. Viva la Bosco!