Your favorite sailing superstitions - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 41 Old 12-27-2011 Thread Starter
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OcarinaII, I'm not new to sailing. I never bothered with superstitions because we don't live in the 17th century. The "renaming a sailboat" has many historic backing. The one I stated was in a Good Old Boat magazine article.

Even the absolutely ridiculous superstitions like stepping on a sailboat with your right foot, or not speaking to a red head or no women aboard has some histroic story behind it.

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post #12 of 41 Old 12-27-2011
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Interesting thread. It amazes me how superstitions get accepted and are so wide spread. I think there are enough of us on Sailnet to start and spread our own superstition. How about this one:

It's bad luck to see a sailor ashore and not offer to buy him a drink.

or maybe:

It's bad luck for women on a boat to wear anything but a smile.

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post #13 of 41 Old 12-27-2011
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post #14 of 41 Old 12-27-2011
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[QUOTE=patrscoe;810785]I hope all had a Merry Christmas.

My personal disclaimer: I am not a superstitious person or promote anything similar... I am a realist but I find the history of some sailing superstitions interesting.

While reading a novel a few months ago and I ran across a nautical superstition that I never heard before.
Whistling. Apparently you should not whistle on a sailboat as it will whistle up a storm.
I recently just seen this again on Distant Shores. They had no wind for a few days and they resorted to whistling. Yes, the next day a small storm came in.

I read that the "changing the name" on a boat was originally based on the history of old wooden sailboat ships. The name of the ship was on the keel. Whenever you changed the name, you had to shave the old name off, thus making your keel thinner and lighter. More you do this, the more unstable the sailboat would be.

Another silly superstition you will read in old sailing books is that you should never leave for a voyage on a Friday and in fact Sunday is the best day to leave.
I leave when I have the time off from the office or if I am not taking our kids to a hockey game or a school event., etc...

What are your favorite sailing superstitions and any history behind it?[/QUOTE]


Great post. I am semi-superstitious and here are some of my on-board rituals/superstitions:

1. Always toss a tot overboard in thanks after a safe passage "the old man".

2. Never begin a passage on a Friday

3. Penny under the mast step

4. Observe christening ceremony and never change a boat's name without the proper ceremony

5. Always refer to a boat by her name

I'll post more when I remember them.
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post #15 of 41 Old 12-27-2011
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It's bad luck not to believe all this stuff.
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post #16 of 41 Old 12-27-2011 Thread Starter
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Minnewaska: for some reason, I think you're right. I was about to write a funny mock up story of a sailor's day following most of the sailing related supertitions and post it, and then it occurred to me, what if psychologically, it created bad luck. Mocking the sailing supertitions old... that would not be good.

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post #17 of 41 Old 12-27-2011
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[QUOTE=Rick486;810868]Always toss a tot overboard in thanks after a safe passage "the old man"./QUOTE]

So up to what age would be considered a 'tot'? I know a few teenagers that could stand to be thrown overboard.

Here's a couple more:

"Never say good luck or allow someone to say good luck to you unanswered.
If someone says “good luck” to you, it is most assuredly a bad omen and sure to bring about bad luck. The only way this can be countered is by drawing blood. A swift punch in the nose is usually sufficient to reverse this curse."

"Flowers are unlucky onboard a ship. They could later be used to make a funeral wreath for the dead therefore, becoming a symbol that someone could die on the voyage."

"Cutting your hair or nails at sea is bad luck. These were used as offerings to Proserpina, and Neptune will become jealous if these offerings are made while in his kingdom."
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post #18 of 41 Old 12-27-2011
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I have some of my own perhaps...

I don't let anyone swear at the ship.
I would not change the name either. I did not chose it, but I will not change it. Not now.
That lovely ship took me right across the North Atlantic to Scotland, and at 34 years old, she's getting on a bit now.
So I just treat her well, and be kind to her, so I never talk about owning another boat when aboard. Somehow that one doesn't feel right. No, not that one.
.

Last edited by Rockter; 12-27-2011 at 04:59 PM.
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post #19 of 41 Old 12-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
It's bad luck not to believe all this stuff.
Every time I've left for a passage on Friday, Something went wrong. I don't do it anymore. I've left at midnight Sat. morning to avoid it. Banana's came from a stupid Jimmy Buffet song, and I curse him for it. When we were becalmed on a Tall ship I was on, we would bake a cake and throw it over board for Neptune.
Never bring a black suitcase on board. I don't no why. I saw a girl whistle up a squall once, I told her not to. My Grandfather changed the name on my boat before he gave it to me, I've sunk it twice, been de-masted, Knocked down twice, Hove to for 4 day's in the storm of the century 40 miles south of key west, I ended up out at the fort. Lost my engine 15 years ago, still don't have one. Had the Boat seazed by a boat yard, Hurricane Wilma knocked it of it's stands in the boat yard and it landed on the rebuilt Yanmar that was under it on a palette. Just to name a few! As a merchant marine on a tug boat, we leave on friday's, but we're not sailing, Maybe thats the catch?

Last edited by Capt.aaron; 12-27-2011 at 05:37 PM.
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post #20 of 41 Old 12-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imiloa View Post
When coiling lines wrap the coils only in a clockwise direction. Counter clockwise is bad luck. Place a coin under the mast step for good luck. Always step on board with your right foot first. Interesting link here... Sailing Superstitions - a Light-hearted Look | TheYachtMarket
Don't coil counter clock wise because of the Lay of the Line, You'll get kinks.
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