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wifeofasailor 06-15-2007 10:39 PM

Retirement ceremony for boats/captains?
Hi -
A friend of mine is planning a retirement party for a co-worker who is an avid sailor. He'd like to use the theme of a retirement ceremony for a ship, or captain, if there is such a thing. Can anyone give me any info. on this type of ceremony?
All I could think of was using the term "old salt" when referring to the retiree, and the phrase "fair winds and following seas" on the cake (or maybe a banner...) Any suggestons would be appreciated, even if they are just retirement party ideas for a guy who loves to sail (and not necessarily "official" nautical retirement ceremony ideas.) Thanks so much - Kris

USCGRET1990 06-15-2007 10:46 PM

Those words on a cake would be a good start. Could put a little model boat on there as well.

camaraderie 06-16-2007 09:53 AM

Get him a battery operated fan and a can of beans to help him put the "wind" in his sails!! (G)

sailaway21 06-16-2007 11:06 AM

Place the body aboard the vessel in question, set afire, and cast off.

Oops, wrong century.

this is only considered appropriate if the vessel is owned by the retiree

JohnRPollard 06-16-2007 11:38 AM


I have attended retirement ceremonies for members of my family that served as naval officers. These are very formal occasions, abiding by long held traditions of the sea, including much drawing and sheathing of swords, being piped aboard and ashore one final time by the botswains whistle, reading of final orders, and other ceremonial customs of the seafaring life.

As a recreational sailor who has not served in the navy, I would frankly be chagrinned if my retirement party mimicked the naval ceremony, because I would be being afforded an honor which I was not due. And if any service members were present, they too might take umbrage. We are also a superstitious lot, and accepting an honor we didn't rate would make most sailors uncomfortable.

There's nothing wrong with a nautical theme, of course. A "Fair Winds" cake, as was mentioned, is a good start. My best suggestion, if your friend is anything like the rest of us, is to thoughtfully acknowledge his avocation with a gift card to a leading purveyor of sailing gear. Sailors ALWAYS need/want more gear, and a gift card gives them an excuse to go out and splurge without feeling guilty about the budget (I hope my family reads this.) Good luck!

hellosailor 06-16-2007 03:22 PM

I follow John's thoughts.

One more: don't get him a real sextant that's been cut up and made into an end lamp or plaque.<G> Decorative ones, fine, but sometimes the real ones get scrapped that way, another embarassment.

Now, OTOH, having someone dress up as King Neptune and doing a "crossing" ceremony, akin to crossing the equator for the first time, might be appreciated.

wifeofasailor 06-22-2007 09:25 AM

Thanks so much for your reply - I love the King Neptune idea. :D I do think I'll encourage stressing a nautical theme, not so much the actual ceremony, so as not to offend any who have served.

sailortjk1 06-22-2007 10:02 AM

I would add a ships bell to your party.

wifeofasailor 06-22-2007 12:50 PM

Thanks for your input - I absolutely don't want to offend anyone - I appreciate your gentle reminder to be sure to respect those who have earned the full ceremony. I think I'll recommend that my friend stick to the "fair winds and following seas" idea, without trying to do his own version of a retirement ceremony. :D Kris

T34C 06-22-2007 02:28 PM

I really don't think anyone would take offense to your proceedings even if you hinted toward the official retirement ceremony.

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