If you’re wondering how to christen a boat, you’ve come to the right place. There may be a couple of reasons for wanting to christen a boat, like when you buy a new boat, you want to rename your boat, or you bought a second-hand boat that needs to be rechristened with you like her brand new owner.
This article will take you through the step-by-step process of christening a boat as well as walk you through exactly what should be included in the boat christening ceremony. Are you ready to christen your beauty?
Everything You Need to Know About Boat Christening
Christening a boat is an exciting process that celebrates the new ownership of the boat as well as provides you with luck for all your sailing adventures aboard. But what exactly does the christening process contain?
Step by step christening a ship
If you are planning on christening your boat or ship sometime in the near future, then go through this step-by-step process to get the job done.
- Choose a day for your boat christening ceremony
While this may seem like a very easy thing to do, the boating community has many superstitions about the days on which a boat should be christened. If you don’t believe in this, then feel free to book your boat christening on any day you feel is best.
But if you would like to adhere to the superstitions of boating, then the following days should be avoided:
- Fridays – it has been long understood that you should never christen your boat on a Friday. While it was probably due to religious reasons long ago (because Jesus was crucified on a Friday), it is something that has become a tradition. To this day, even the national coast guard refuses to christen their boats on a Friday, preferring instead to wait for the weekend.
- Thursdays – “Thor” is considered to be the god of storms, and many sailors believe that if you christen your boat on a Thursday, you are encouraging storms and thunder on your voyagers in that particular boat.
- The first Monday in April – it is believed that this is the day that Caine killed Abel and Caine was condemned to a life of wandering. If you christen your boat on the first Monday of April it is believed that your fate will be of a similar nature.
- The second Monday in August – It is believed that this was the day that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and if your boat is christened on this day, it could lead your boat to the same fate. Again, it’s best to avoid this even if it is merely superstition.
- The 31st of December – This was the day that Judas hung himself when he realized he had made a huge mistake turning Jesus over to the Romans. For whatever reason, sailors in the past believed that this made it a less than ideal day to christen their boat.
Other than these days, it should be safe to christen your boat at any time, but if you would like your friends and family to be present, just remember to pick a day that they are going to be able to attend.
- Invite your friends and family
Having your friends and family present when you christen your new boat is important as you want them to be able to share in your celebrations. You don’t have to invite a huge crowd of people, but ensure that those that are close to you are present for the special day – especially those that will likely be journeying with you on your boat.
Plan your boat outfit for the day, and head to the docks where you can show off your boat to your loved ones on the day of the christening.
- Hand out drinks
Hand our drinks to your friends and family so that everyone has something in their hands. These can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, but remember to have soft drinks present for those who don’t drink alcohol or for the little ones.
- Make a toast
Make a toast to your boat, it’s tradition to make a speech, read a poem, or say a prayer at the christening of a new boat. Below we will get into the nitty-gritty of what can be said during these speeches. When the speech is done, you can ask your friends and family to raise a glass for your new boat.
Boat christening ceremony
At a boat christening ceremony, there is generally a formal or semi-formal speech that is made to wish your boat (and those aboard) safe travels. These are some ideas for what can be said at your boat christening ceremony.
Boat christening ceremony script
This is a simple and commonly used boat christening script for those who would like to keep their speech, short, sweet, and simple:
“Today, we come to name this lady (Name of Your Vessel) and send her to sea to be cared for and to care for (Names of the Crew). We ask the sailors of old and the mood of God that is the sea to accept (Name of Your Vessel) as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely”.
It’s a great boat christening prayer for both those that are religious and those that aren’t.
Boat christening poem
This is a great example of an Irish blessing poem that can be used when christening a boat:
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.
Here is another Irish blessing if the first one was not to your liking:
May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you,
those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.
May you have warm words on a cool evening,
a full moon on a dark night,
and a smooth road all the way to your door.
Here is a navigators blessing:
May you see the way wherever the journey takes you,
sailing safely over rough water
and weathering the waves’ dips and crests.
May you find treasure in Earth’s infinite variety,
beauty and surprise.
May you hear the ocean’s music in every shell you hold to your ear.
May your boat fill with insight, laughter, generosity and love
as you discover new landscapes and explore the wide expanse of memory.
And a poetic sailing poem:
I borrowed a poem from the sky,
And music from a bird,
I stole a chime out of the wind,
And from the clouds a word.
I borrowed a song from the waves,
A prayer from the silver rain,
I took the whispers of angels,
To fill the jib and the main.
As each little thing was added,
It really could not fail,
With God’s help I put in my mind,
A wonderful relaxing sail!
Final Thoughts on Christening a Boat
Christening a boat is an exciting experience that not only gives your boat a name but gives your friends and family a great first memory of your boat. Use one of the speeches, poems, or prayers provided, or come up with your own speech to welcome your boat to the water.
Christen the boat before setting sail and you’re setting yourself and your fellow crew members up for success. Before setting sail, be sure to tick off all the items in your boat trip checklist before heading out on open waters.