G & D Barrera
Thu, 22 Aug 2002 21:02:31 -0500
Like the name and lettering!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Alm" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 6:01 AM
Subject: [Rhodes22-list] Fandango
On Tuesday, July 20th, My boat partners and I changed the name of our R22,
hull #GBX22138K090 from Amethyst to Fandango. Rummy, kindly update "Da
I have here a fairly lengthy account of our reasons and procedure for the
change. Feel free to delete at this point unless you'd like to know all the
First of all, the name Amethyst was something that we all agreed had to go.
We didn't want our boat to be the name of a rock that sinks. Secondly, I've
been told that amethyst is sometimes used by members of AA to symbolize
their sobriety. Good for them but not appropriate for our boat since we do
a fair amount of "party sailing" and libation is always allowed/encouraged
"What do you do with a drunken sailor
Put him in charge of an Exxon tanker..." Well, nuf said. ;-)
Our previous boat was named Moondance. We really liked that name. It's a
song by Van Morrison that many of you probably know and if you review the
lyrics, it sings about a beautiful fall scene with lots of imagery of
romance, intimacy, dancing in the moonlight and yes, libation. Those themes
seem to suit us well and we considered naming the Rhodes Moondance II but we
decided to go with something more unique. We wanted to stay with the dance
theme and Fandango fits right in. The Fandango is a Spanish dance with
three beats (we have three partners, all of whom have an interest in Latin
music.) One of us, Judi, knows one Fandango song that translates to
something like, "My boat may not be the best looking boat in the harbor but
it has the best motion..." The Fandango is also a fiesta that the towns
people throw to welcome the ships home from the sea. And for me, the
rocker, I don't have to look too hard for a couple references: ZZ Top and
Procol Harum. All of this works for us and most importantly, we all agreed
I did a lot of research on the internet looking for the proper protocol for
changing names. Some say that it's bad luck to change the name but most
agree that it's OK so long as you perform a specific and rather mysterious
ritual. I found a wide variety, most involving the spilling of generous
amounts of, you guessed it, libation. Some were more esoteric, using the
human blood of one's enemies. We ruled that one out...not for shortage of
enemies but I just don't feel like going to jail over a boat name. Another
requires the the urine of a female virgin. Well...thank God we couldn't
find one so that was out.
Finally, we settled on John Vigor's rather popular denaming/renaming
ceremony. Yes, first you have to dename the boat whereas you remove all
traces of the old name and then recognize and thank the powers-that-be for
all the safe passages under the old name, spilling lots of libation. Then
you can christen the boat with the new name and more spillage. I've copied
this ceremony below for you to read.
The name Amethyst was a vinyl decal that came off pretty well with a hair
dryer and a fair amount of patience. It left a glue residue that we took
off with solvent. We used a couple different kinds and found mineral
spirits to work the best. After that, there were still traces of the old
name and we also discovered another previous name, "Just Imagine" that
showed up as well. We took some rubbing compound and went at it with Judi's
random orbital sander with a sponge buffing wheel attachment. The buffing
compound seemed to have a wax content in it and water beaded up on the
freeboard so we used alcohol to dewax.
Then we performed the denaming ceremony with much reverence and pomp. We
stood on the bow, spoke the words and popped the cork on the first bottle of
champagne, most of it spilling on the boat and ourselves with just enough
for a single toast in our glasses.
Now for the new name. We enlisted the help of our list's own Rik Sandberg
to provide us with the new vinyl decal. We worked with him on several
drafts that he most graciously and expeditiously e-mailed to us for our
approval. His work on this was invaluable and also very conveniently done
through e-mail. I told him what we wanted and he sent several examples. I
had him revise a couple times and we finally agreed on the right one. Once
we decided on the one we wanted, I simply let him know and it showed up at
my door in short order.
I'd like to take a moment to let you all know that Rik provided us with
excellent service and care. I highly recommend him for any of you who might
do this in the future. Rik doesn't "hawk his wares" here on the list
because he doesn't want to exploit the list as a marketing tool. He's to be
commended for this but I don't feel any need whatsoever to keep this a
secret. As you will see from the photo that I've attached, he does
excellent work, uses high-tech computer software to produce graphics and if
anyone has a need for his services, I'd encourage you to keep the money in
the "family" and shoot him your work. Well done Rik and thank you!!!
We put the new Fandango graphic on the freeboard and then held our
christening ceremony. We began the ceremony with each of the three of us
offering a song. Judi sang her fandango mentioned above. My wife, Mary Ann
sang a Brazilian (Portuguese) song about the goddess, Yemanja, who is sort
of the Brazilian condemble (Pagan) equivalent of Poseidon. I sang Lyle
Lovitt's "If I Had a Boat."
"If I had a boat, I'd go out on the ocean,
And If I had a pony, I'd ride him on my boat,
And we could all together go out on the ocean,
With me up on my pony on my boat out on the sea."
Sorry, but I don't know the actual lyrics of the other two songs, one in
Spanish and one in Portuguese, but if anyone is interested, I'm sure Judi
and Mary Ann would provide them for you. We then spoke the words, popped
the cork on the second bottle and again spilled most of it leaving a little
to toast with.
So there you have it. Below is John Vigor's rationale and ceremony.
Due to an overwhelming number of requests for copies of John Vigor's
Interdenominational Boat Denaming Ceremony, we are rerunning it again. Now,
take care to save this one!
I once knew a man in Florida who told me he'd owned 24 different yachts and
renamed every single one of them.
"Did it bring you bad luck?" I asked.
"Not that I'm aware of," he said. "You don't believe in those old
superstitions, do you?"
Well, yes. Matter of fact, I do. And I'm not alone. Actually, it's not so
much being superstitious as being v-e-r-y careful. It's an essential part of
Some years ago, when I wanted to change the name of my newly purchased
31-foot sloop from Our Way to Freelance, I searched for a formal "denaming
ceremony" to wipe the slate clean in preparation for the renaming. I read
all the books, but I couldn't find one. What I did learn, though, was that
such a ceremony should consist of five parts: an invocation, an expression
of gratitude, a supplication, a re-dedication and a libation. So I wrote my
own short ceremony. Vigor's inter-denominational denaming ceremony. It
worked perfectly. Freelance carried me and my family many thousands of
deep-sea miles both north and south of the equator, and we enjoyed good luck
all the way. I used the same ceremony recently to change the name of my
newly acquired Santana 22 from Zephyr to Tagati, a Zulu word that means
"magic," or "bewitched." We're hoping she'll sail like a witch when I
finally get her in the water this summer after an extensive refit.
I'll give you the exact wording of Vigor's denaming ceremony, but first you
must remove all physical traces of the boat's old name. Take the old log
book ashore, along with any other papers that bear the old name. Check for
offending books and charts with the name inscribed. Be ruthless. Sand away
the old name from the lifebuoys, transom, top-side, dinghy, and oars. Yes,
sand it away. Painting over is not good enough. You're dealing with gods
here, you understand, not mere dumb mortals. If the old name is carved or
etched, try to remove it or, at the very minimum, fill it with putty and
then paint over. And don't place the new name anywhere on the boat before
the denaming ceremony is carried out. That's just tempting fate.
How you conduct the ceremony depends entirely on you. If you're the
theatrical type, and enjoy appearing in public in your yacht club blazer and
skipper's cap, you can read it with flair on the foredeck before a gathering
of distinguished guests. But if you find this whole business faintly silly
and embarrassing, and only go along with it because you're scared to death
of what might happen if you don't, you can skulk down below and mumble it on
your own. That's perfectly okay. The main thing is that you carry it out.
The words must be spoken.
I compromised by sitting in Tagati's cockpit with the written-out ceremony
folded into a newspaper, so that any passerby would think I was just reading
the news to my wife, sitting opposite. Enough people think I'm nuts already.
Even my wife has doubts. The last part of the ceremony, the libation, must
be performed at the bow, just as it is in a naming ceremony. There are two
things to watch out for here. Don't use cheap-cheap champagne, and don't try
to keep any for yourself. Buy a second bottle if you want some. Use a brew
that's reasonably expensive, based on your ability to pay, and pour the
whole lot on the boat. One of the things the gods of the sea despise most is
meanness, so don't try to do this bit on the cheap.
What sort of time period should elapse between this denaming ceremony and a
new naming ceremony? There's no fixed time. You can do the renaming right
after the denaming, if you want, but I personally would prefer to wait at
least 24 hours to give any lingering demons a chance to clear out. (Scroll
down for the wording of the ceremony.)
Now you can pop the cork, shake the bottle and spray the whole of the
contents on the bow. When that's done, you can quietly go below and enjoy
the other bottle yourself. Incidentally, I had word from a friend last month
that the Florida yachtsman I mentioned earlier had lost his latest boat, a
22-foot trailer-sailer. Sailed her into an overhead power line. Fried her.
She burned to the waterline. Bad luck? Not exactly. He and his crew escaped
unhurt. He was just very careless. He renamed her, as usual, without
bothering to perform Vigor's famous interdenominational denaming ceremony.
And this time, at long last, he got what he deserved.
Vigor's Denaming Ceremony
"In the name of all who have sailed aboard this ship in the past, and in the
name of all who may sail aboard her in the future, we invoke the ancient
gods of the wind and the sea to favor us with their blessing today.
"Mighty Neptune, king of all that moves in or on the waves; and mighty
Aeolus (pronounced EE-oh-lus), guardian of the winds and all that blows
"We offer you our thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel in
the past. We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from
tempest and storm and enjoyed safe passage to port.
"Now, wherefore, we submit this supplication, that the name whereby this
vessel has hitherto been known (_____), be struck and removed from your
"Further, we ask that when she is again presented for blessing with another
name, she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again the selfsame
privileges she previously enjoyed.
"In return for which, we rededicate this vessel to your domain in full
knowledge that she shall be subject as always to the immutable laws of the
gods of the wind and the sea.
"In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a
libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea." CLICK HERE
for Printable Page of Vigor's Denaming Ceremony
After a boat is denamed, you simply need to rename it using the traditional
christening ceremony, preferably with Queen Elizabeth breaking a bottle of
champagne on the bow, and saying the words:
"I name this ship ___________ and may she bring fair winds and good fortune
to all who sail on her."
John Vigor, an Oak Harbor resident, is a boating writer and editor. He is
the author of the following books:
* Danger, Dolphins & Ginger Beer (Simon & Schuster) a sailing adventure
novel for 8 to 12 year-olds.
* The Practical mariner's Book of Knowledge (International Marine)
* The Sailor's Assistant (International marine) For publication in 1999:
* The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat (International Marine)
* 20 Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere (Paradise Cay)
...return to 48° North title page.