sailing about the world

Appeasing the Gods – Renaming Our Sailboat

Sailors are a seriously superstitious bunch.  Good luck, bad luck, omens, traditions, ceremony’s…according to nautical folklore, we shouldn’t even think about sailing if we haven’t pleased the Gods first.

We are not superstitious people but we must have been warned a hundred times, “do not to re-name your boat but if you must, go through the proper re-naming ceremony”.  To be honest, we took a quick look at the google searches for “sailboat renaming ceremony” and had very little desire to go through the painstakingly detailed instructions on how to first de-name then re-christen a boat.

But champagne was one of the instructions…and we’re not ones to deny the excuse to drink champagne, so onward we go.

It was difficult to get a clear answer on exactly what needs to be done for a proper boat renaming ceremony.  We found all kinds of conflicting info on what should or shouldn’t be done and which gods should be appeased.  Greek or Roman?  In the end we merged a lot of the info we found online, put our own spin on it and decided it would please us, our vessel, our guests and hopefully the appropriate gods.

While anchored out at Rodriguez Key we decided our sailboat renaming ceremony needed to be complete before we traveled any further, after all we’ve been sailing in “sin” for several weeks now (with the new name on the boat).  We invited our South African friends to join us on board for the occasion.

If you followed our Sailing Schooled episodes then you’ll remember our friend Terry.  He and his wife have just moved here from South Africa and seeing that our boat is made in South Africa…it all seemed perfectly appropriate.

A big thanks to Terry (South African Sultan, Sir Grimbeek) and Yolande (Captain Sam Quint) for joining in on the fun and gifting Curiosity with the Marvelous South African wine.  It really did come from South Africa and from Terry and Yolande’s house, talk about synergy: South African boat, friends and wine…this has to please the gods.

sailing with jason and nikki

Appeasing The Gods

We choose to go through with the re-naming ceremony not out of fear or superstition but rather to honor a tradition.  However, we’ve talked with plenty of people who firmly believe in the bad luck associated with not properly performing the ceremony.

What do you think, are we good or should we pour out a little more champagne?  Have you ever re-named a boat or perhaps have a superstitious sailing story to share…make sure to tell us about it in the comments below.  Everyone loves a good story.

More on why we chose the name Curiosity here: The Long & Exhausting Journey of Buying A Cruising Sailboat

s/v curiosity

Ahh, feels good to have her official.

renaming sailboat ceremony

Yolande wins the un-official award for best costume.

Molasses Reef & White Bank Dry Rocks

Molasses Reef was a great dive/snorkeling site with plenty of mooring balls, but stays very busy especially on the weekend.  We spent a couple of hours here and then made our way over to White Bank Dry Rocks.  There were three mooring balls here and we had the whole place to ourselves.  It’s not as big but it’s equally as impressive.  We did see a giant shark here but the camera wasn’t as quick as the subject, bummer.

sailing curiosity

Spotting a reef shark at molasses reef.

sailing curiosity

Exploring a small cave at white banks dry rocks.

Jason must give off some serious water vibes...this suckerfish thought he found himself a new shark to latch onto.

Jason must give off some serious water vibes…this sucker-fish thought he found himself a new shark to latch onto.

jason wynn free diving

Jason practicing his conch hunting skills for the Bahamas.

Nautical Folklore

Being our un-superstitious selves, we can’t help but ask the question, “what spurred on this nautical folklore?”  Here is what our interwebs digging found (paraphrasing of course):

Turns out the sailor’s re-naming fear wasn’t misplaced in the beginning. They were just trying to avoid the tax man!  Most larger ships for a long time were commercial or military.  The commercial boats were of course out to make a profit, which means the higher ups wanted their cut.  This is where taxes, fees and assessments come in.

Changing the name on a vessel was a clear indicator that a large transaction had happened, which would send the tax authorities snooping around.  So, it was considered bad luck to bring attention to the change of ownership.  By keeping the original vessel name it might appear that all affairs and documents were in order.

full moon sailing

A full moon rising to complete our christening and celebration of s/v Curiosity.

Cameras used to film this video:

Adventure Gear Used

Sailing Report

gone with the wynns mapIf you click on the map it will take you to our map page where you can view, scroll, zoom and click.

Weather: Mid 90’s
Wind: 4-5 knots
Anchorage: Rodriguez Key
Nautical Miles Sailed: 13 (to the Reefs and back)
Date: September 17, 2016

Renaming Ceremony we used as our guide:

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (45)

  • Très grand poste. Je me suis tout simplement tombé sur votre weblog et voulu
    Pour dire que j’ai vraiment apprécié le surf sur vos articles de blog.
    Après tout, je m’inscris sur votre flux et je suis
    En espérant que vous écrivez encore une fois très bientôt!

  • Martin Currie

    Love your new boat name. Similar to mine…Swell Curiosity… Swell .. Nautical … Curiosity … My last name is Currie. Cheers!

  • Deborah Kerr

    Cheers & God Bless on all of your curious adventures!! I think Nikki should’ve had long red braided hair like Pippi – I loved Pippi too! When I was young, I thought she was crazy, weird, but now I admire her!! This ceremony was too fun… thank you for including all of us!!

  • Joanie

    Congrats on your new name. May the Gods be in your favor always.

  • Nancy Fernandez

    Awww man you guys are just so much fun!!! Thanks for sharing another great video. Congratulations and safe voyages to you both, Curiosity and the kitties!

  • Jerry D Wells

    Arrrr! Twas a nice N proper ceremony, though I wonder where the Rum was? Now’s hear me young tad poles, Ifin you’s should drift south below the equator, You will and shall pay homage to King Neptune and answer up to Davy Jones for transgressions of wandering about at the mercy of the winds of the sea. On this day should it come, seek guidance from a trusty Shellback of Davy Jones’s Navy! Fair Winds and Following Seas.

  • Suzy B

    Hello, I was thinking to myself, Man they do everything perfectly. Look into every detail and explore all options. I was thinking what a rough start to your sailing life with all the extreme weather. I feel very strongly after watching the ceremony that you have done a fantastic job of appeasing the God’s and hopefully smooth sailing ahead!! My husband and I literately can’t wait till your weekly posts. We are better researchers as a result of watching. We have learned so much over the years. I admire how you care for your things. Keep up the fantastic job!! We Love you!!

  • Andrea Clerkin

    I raise my glass to Curiosity! Best wishes to you both. Congratulations on the christening of your beautiful sail boat.

  • Tim Smith

    Fair winds and following seas Curiosity. Congratulations and thank you for keeping tradition alive. We will be on Eleuthera the week of March 5th to celebrate my 60th, if you are in the neighborhood of Ten Bay Beach stop in and say high. I lived there for 3 years in my late teens and will be showing the wife all my old haunts. Would love to say hello to the cats.

  • Nathan Swart

    Helloooo Wynns!
    I haven’t seen what’s happening in your exciting life in a while so this was a fun vid to watch an be a part of the ceremony and all, Jason looking dapper ?? Nikki still the boss behind the wheel sailing backwards and all.
    The tourism in SA and in Cape Town is booming and we are expecting a summer for the books.
    Josh and I started a tourism company so we’ll definitely have some fun if you make it out this way one day!
    Hope the boat life is still treating you well!
    Sending lots of South African love

  • Dennis

    So Glad to see you carry on the tradition. Excellent ceremony. Good luck in the Bahamas !!

  • Pamela Mederos-Streetz


  • mary

    That was a fun video! Superstitious or not, I am glad you went with it and performed the entire ceremony. You need lots of love from the “gods” as you venture into new waters. Safe travels.

    Are you South African friends taking the trip across the ocean with you two?

    I can’t wait to visit! The water looks incredible.

  • Marilyn Dennison

    Are you registering it outside the US? Most of them I see in Dania Beach are registered outside the US for tax purposes.

  • Another nice job on the video. Very interesting – never heard of a renaming ceremony.

  • We just did a renaming ceremony on my little 17′ runabout this summer… but I am certain I didn’t know about the ‘no women’ policy, as I am one, and I am the Captain! Loved your ceremony (and ours)! Sending more wishes for happy and safe travels!

  • Jill Moody

    Congratulations! Wishing you both, and Curiosity, many many wonderful experiences. Stay safe. Cheers!!!

  • Chris C.

    Congratz on rename and Congratz on 100k subs on da youtube

  • ROFL – What a wonderful ceremony. Surely, the Gods were more than pleased.

    I love the history behind superstitions. Often there is a very logical reason for them. However, the boat renaming ceremony has to be the greatest superstition of them all, and you did it well.

    Fair winds

  • I learned to sail on the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan. We had a renaming ceremony for my friends boat. Five women were on board, all wearing grass skirts. One of my favorite memories of life in NYC, sailing by the Statue of Liberty, toasting King Neptune while standing on deck wearing a hula skirt. 😉

  • Suzie

    Were you in any way affected by all the storms: staying put, changing course?

  • Very cool Darlings! May Neptune guide and protect you! xox

  • Sounds like you’ve enjoy the water so much. I do love snorkeling too. Beautiful photos.

  • Lee

    Now you need the Shellback cruise, but on that boat I would not try to get the Blue Nose. Maybe International Dateline also? I spent many years traveling the oceans of this Earth. I didn’t have youtube back then to document the fun like you two are doing. I enjoyed celebrating the Navy customs when traveling. As I always said, you don’t have to be in the Navy to enjoy the fun and to have more fun. It is nice to know the Coast Guard and Navy are there when you need them.

    Not promoting any company, but found this as a reference for a nice certificate for Shellback. There are a lot more traditions out there for your to enjoy and more certificates to get.

    Have fun, take care and be safe.

  • BoxinTheCompass

    Enjoy and be safe! Glad you poured some grog over the rail to appease those lost at sea!

  • Ray and Jeanie Jordan

    We met many moons ago when you guys were in the RV mood, have enjoyed watching and sharing your travels over the years. As you know we are as crazy as you two and have ventured out side the box more than your average Bears. We will offer our driveway once again or the Penthouse (upstairs) should you find your way back to Inverness. Don’t see a way to fit “Curiosity” in the driveway, but with global warming, who knows. Like Kurt Russell said in “Captain Ron”, “If it’s gonna happen Captain, it’s gonna happen out there !”. Just a hint from an old sea captain (CT 54′ ketch), when pulling up the hook (anchor), leave it hang just under the water a foot or so as you get underway and the passing water will wash it clean. Saving DC power as well… “Live every day like it’s you last, and one day you will be right” ! Happy sailing

  • Red

    One of the fellows well known for his denaming/renaming ceremony (wrote a book) was John Vigor. He was born in England, but spent many years living in Durban (South Africa). Wouldn’t be surprised if some of Bluewater’s list didn’t come from his ceremony; you may have yet another S.A. connection. Another superstition besides the no females, was no yellow aboard. Haven’t followed that one either. But we have always followed the “no starting a long trip on a Friday” superstition. Have enjoyed following your boating progress. Glad you followed your dream. And you are getting your exposure – the beautiful days, as well as the dragging, hurricane preparation, etc.!

  • John Schretlen

    Great video. Thanks for including your family & other friends (us) in the ceremony.

    You two will be fun to watch if you do the “Salute the Compass” next New Years Day. Never heard of that ‘celebration’? It involves toasting the points of the compass – sail north, toast. Sail south, toast. Sail east, toast. And so on until you run out of points or toasts.

    (I’ve done it with the Silva Bay Yacht Club on a family boat.)

  • Laura

    When you get that conch in the Bahamas, my hubby and chef (professional) Greg, used to make the most awesome “conch fritters” when he lived in the Keys…. Man we gotta get over there somehow. YUM. Being northern Californites that we are, we sub in Abalone… but man, YUM.

    Love the weather, glad you guys are really getting to the fun part.

  • Brian

    Another great video. A very appropriate name indeed. Love the hat Nikki.

  • Scotty

    On my Airstream I just put the name of ” BOSCO” on the back and drove away. But I did have a beer that night.

  • John wino

    Don’t for get to change your asi on radio, with new name, and uscoast guard to with new name. It’s a must and law to…good luck on your next sailing south..

  • I’m definitely no expert but I just had to ask if other boats sail from a dry port? 😉

  • Pam

    Quite a ceremony. Funny how it basically came down to taxes and not superstition. But a fun thing to do for sure.

  • John Puccetti

    Bad news women were not allowed on sailing ships of old.


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