What's considered an appropriate gift for a boat christening/naming ceremony?
Alcohol of all types, I'm sure. Any unique ideas you've seen or heard of?
All bets are off if you haven't properly DENAMED your vessel. The sea gods need to understand clearly that your vessel is not in their books. If a vessel has two names they get very upset. All items with the previous name have to be removed and buried ashore so as to remove all doubt. Know that they welcome new vessels that are properly presented to their court.
A few days or a week later you can finally, with proper reverence and care, offer your supplications to King Neptune, Poseidon, and the Four Winds for their benevolence and kindness to your poor vessel. A cheap champaigne will just not do. You do not want to offend those worthys with trash. Of course you and your respectful crew be sipping along as the ceremony progresses.
It will take a lot of careful sipping to cover all the bases, so don't be cheap.
The last Naming Ceremony I participated in was in St. Pete on a newly-purchased 44' Morgan. There were serious flaws attending this event. For one, The new name was already painted on the stern which we covered with a sheet to no avail. Secondly, the old nameplate was thrown into the water just off the bow where any and all tattletale sea creatures could see it. Bummer! Thirdly, the denaming and the renaming occurred within minutes of each other before the champaigne lost its chill.
Sure enough we thought we would get by with our gaffes. Peace reigned on our happy vessel all the way to Key West. But your sins will find you out. Leaving Key West and heading to Norfolk found us being hammered by Tropical Storm Barry. So we anchored in Matecumbe Bight for five days.
Did the storm pass? Nope. It was waiting for us. The sea Gods knew the owner was an impatient and antsy 'type A' individual. The owner asked if we should make a run for it anyway. I replied that the Morgan could take it if the crew could. Sure enough, he hung onto the helm for two days while we motored North at five knots. He would not relinquish the helm because of all the slamming and sledgehammering. He felt safest there while his poor wife lost her groceries time and again below decks. He learned his lesson about doing the deed properly. Please, for your own sake and your crew's safety DENAME and NAME properly.
P.S. The owner now has my procedure locked up in his safe but you should be able to Google one.