Christening a boat can be viewed as superstitious or just an excuse to get your friends over to have a good time. Regardless of your views on superstition, it should be as much fun as possible, especially if you’re christening a new Crownline. In this post, we’ll go over some of the best practices and offer suggestions on how to give your boat the ceremony it deserves.
Christening your boat has a been a tradition among seafarers for thousands of years. It’s essentially an invitation for the sea gods to bless your boat. Of course, this requires a little bit of a sacrifice. Luckily, the sea gods enjoy wine and champagne, so really all you need is a bottle of wine, champagne or cider, a bag to catch the glass in, a few leaves, some of your closest friends, your boat and your dock or slip at a harbor, and a blessing for your boat.
This tradition has been around for almost as long as boating itself and used to last for hours. Most of those hours were spent drinking with the crew, but there was a long ceremony during which the captain would deliver an eloquent speech about the new vessel. Today, things are a little more streamlined. Now, the captain just says a few words about the boat before the group raises a toast to the honor of the boat (and its new name if it has one), the captain then breaks the bottle of champagne against the bow and pours it over the bow. He then drapes the leaves over the bow (this represents a safe return to land) before the group sets off on the boat’s maiden voyage. As a note of safety and concern, you should now use special made christening bottles when breaking them against the boat. These catch all the glass, are easier to break and are completely safe for the environment. Plus, you get to save to the real champagne or wine for drinking!
In the old days, the christening of a boat was actually just a renaming ceremony. It was considered bad luck to use a boat’s name under an old captain. These days, it doesn’t necessarily have to be anything related to the name of your boat. You certainly don’t have to name your boat, but why not? It’s a fun thing to do and it typically makes individuals like their boat more than they did already. If the boat was previously owned and had a different name you need to remove the old name. If you want to ceremoniously remove the old name and apply the new one, this could be a fun thing to do at the ceremony. Just make sure you have the right tools. No one wants to watch someone scratch at their new boat.
As far as the actually speech or toast goes, it’s totally up to you. Say something funny or personal about the boat and why it is special to you. If you aren’t feeling creative, then feel free to borrow one of these Irish classics. The Irish typically had the best toasts and blessings.
“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand. “
“There are good ships,
And there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships,
And may they always be.”
In conclusion, the christening ceremony is something that you can put your personal spin on or play by the books. A lot of people choose not to do them these days, but where’s the fun in that? Getting a new boat should always be a great time. Make sure to enjoy it as much as you can and invite the people you care about most. Christening a boat is better with the ones you love.