Baptism and debaptism

16 September 2015 | | Reading time 3 minutes

Naming his/her boat is an important choice for a new owner. It is to give her a personality, which, very often corresponds to him/her.

As you maybe noticed in the last Lagoon(s) magazine, the marine world’s has lot of superstitions and beliefs. Among them, the boat baptism and, in case of name changing, her debaptism have to respect a ceremonial.

The baptism

All baptism starts by the choice of a godmother. The ceremonial cannot happen without a group of friends. The owner should also invite his/her entourage and make sure to have enough victuals to have a good time.

Once these two stages completed, the ceremonial can begin.
It has to start by a speech which tells about the meeting between the boat and her new owners, her story and the wishes addressed to the boat and her crew.
Then, the godmother must take a bottle of champagne and break it on the boat bow (depending on owner preferences, it is possible to attach it to the bow). The whole bottle has to be discharged.

Finally, the ceremonial encloses over a glass to pay tribute to the seas God and wish good luck to the crew.

The debaptism

In case of debaptism, the ceremonial is completely different.

At the moment of boat purchase, we can choose to rename her. However, according to beliefs, a curse falls down on the boat. In order to not causing wrath of the gods, it is essential “to kill the macoui”, also called “snake”, it is the boat wake.

First of all, the boat must sail with a boat friend.
After few glasses in pleasant company, it is necessary “to get drunk the wake” by pouring owner’s favorite drink on the back of the boat.

Then, on three occasions, the friend boat will cut the wake as closer as possible of the transom. This action will kill the former “macoui”.
The boat is now debaptized. At that time, it’s necessary to rename her while thanking Neptune and pouring few glasses on the starboard side.

It is very important to put off all old name marks, either on the nautical documentations or on the different fenders, dinguy…

The regulations are less complicated concerning the name of a boat. There are only 2 restrictions to respect:
• The name must not make confusion with the distress signal “MAYDAY”.
• It must not to be contrary to morality or public order (verbal abuse, racism, sexism).
Be careful, regulations and administrative formalities can be different according countries. Also, it is necessary to contact the marine affairs of the boat’s origin country.