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kpdii 08-03-2008 11:40 PM

Naming an old boat without a name
We bought a 77 Capital Yacht-Newport 28 today. As I was crawling all over it, I realized I didn't see a name anywhere. I asked the owner about that, and he said that when they got the boat 6 years ago it didn't have one, and all that time, they never decided on one.

I can't believe in 31 years the she was never named, so somewhere someone must have started a rename by removing the original and never replaced it. How does the superstition go in this case? Does whomever left her unnamed bear the brunt of the bad mojo? What should I do to keep it from coming to us?


sailingdog 08-04-2008 12:24 AM

Name her, use good libations and generously... :)

Gary1 08-04-2008 08:32 AM

Hawkeye25 08-04-2008 08:34 AM

Perhaps I have a different vision of some things than other people, either because I have been out here too long, or because there are too many 'real' issues to be concerned about to waste time worrying about silly-ass superstitions.

Here are the criteria I, in my limited intellect and absence of starry-eyed romanticism, find important:

1. A name IS important as it allows others to hail you without the ridiculous, "Ah, sailboat with no name! Um, unnamed vessel! You're dingy has broken loose. Ah, well, nevermind then." And other such discouraging radio transmissions. So, you need a name.

2. The name of a vessel, any vessel, is for ready identification. It is not to promote your favorite political opinion, illustrate your need for feminine attention, declare your masculine prowess, or lack thereof, make a dirty joke, or impress us all with your wit, profound intelligence, or superior ivy league education. No one gives a crap. It is for ready identification and ease of use.

Ease of use is readily illustrated by this short story: A friend of mine named his 40' sailboat 'Zubenelgenubi'. Isn't that beautiful? It's Arabic and is the name of the last star or the navigation list. It means 'Southern Claw' and refers to the Scorpion Constellation. It's such a damn shame the guy trying to hail him to warn him he was flying at Devils Back Ridge near the entrance to Boston Harbor, couldn't even begin to pronounce the name, and excited screaming over the radio failed to alert my buddy that it was HE who was in danger. $13,000 in damages, but a really clever name. Too bad it didn't work.

3. There are some boats that have a long and fondly admired history, and I do agree that nautical nostalgia begs that such vessels not be subjected to renaming after transfer of ownership. To maintain the boats' identity opens the door to many pleasant dock conversations and the meeting of many new friends. It's usually a good thing to keep such names.

Other than that, pick out a sweet, short name that's easy on the eyes and transom, and clear and distinct over the radio. It's a name, not a declaration or indictment, just a name. And there is no bad luck, voodoo curse, crossways mojo, or Davy Jones attachment to it. If there were, half the boats I've seen should have sunk, burst into flame, or spontaneously turned pink with shame. And you just don't see a lot of that.

kpdii 08-04-2008 08:49 AM

Thanks for the tip about the name, especially with a clear one.

Gary1 08-04-2008 03:37 PM


Best be careful, laddie...Davy Jones will send the Kelpies after you!


okawbow 08-04-2008 04:32 PM

I had the same problem with my first sailboat. One day, I looked out the window, and saw a little hawk, a Kestrel, grab a small bird off a limb. He flew over to my sailboat, and proceded to tear apart his dinner, and eat it while perched the mast. After seeing that, I had to name the boat........Blood & Guts?.........just kidding...Kestrel.

poopdeckpappy 08-04-2008 06:23 PM

My last boat was 37 yrs old and never had a name, I bought it from the second son of the original owner, the boat was handed down from dad to 1st son to 2nd son.

My wife and I gave it new life, then sent her on her way, last I saw it still didn't have a name on it

philsboat 08-04-2008 06:29 PM

It's bad luck to be superstitious

beej67 08-04-2008 06:31 PM

Make sure you sacrifice a goat.

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