Monday, August 11, 2008

Renaming A Boat

Wry former South African John Vigor writes many little boating books filled with practical minutiae because he is one of those sailors who actually has a practical wisdom about frippery and formidability alike, having sailed pretty much every boat everywhere. Which you get to do when you charm or embarrass a few editors with your writing skill, sailing prowess, and personal backstory.
Arm an enthusiast with a few statistics and a fetching yarn or two, and you've made a sailor of any ilk very happy. Vigor's books appeal to the daysailer and armchair mariner crowd, and can lead to some heated post-regatta palaver over the vodka-tonics among the madras-short and yachting-cap crowd at The Club. One remarkable and oft-quoted almanac of his is The Practical Mariner's Book of Knowledge, which I excerpt here. I also direct you to a more thorough source for Vigor's Interdenominational Boat Denaming Ceremony and the subsequent Christening, from the magazine 48ยบ North.
Why should I feel concerned about renaming a boat? No, I haven't gone off and purchased a sea-bound debt bucket.
I just happened to hear about the re-monickering of the training ship for the nearby nautical training school, The Massachusetts Maritime Academy ("MMA" or "Mass Maritime"). Yep, through an act of Congress, in order to pay tribute to a famous Massachusetts family. U.S. Representative Bill Delahunt is shuffling papers around in order to change the name of T.S. Enterprise to T.S. The Kennedy.
Even though I am not one of those who feel that superstition and esoteric trivia will make up for crappy sailorship, I think this may be a time when engaging in ritual may be called for.

from The Practical Mariner's Book of Knowledge: 420 Sea-Tested Rules of Thumb for Almost Every Boating Situation by John Vigor. International Marine division of McGraw-Hill (1994). I think I know, howbeit, where to get the champagne.

1 comment:

karie said...

I am not so sure about the "superstition" happening here. But, I have my own. So, I will leave some room. And I DO believe in creative ritual. So, in the end, I think this "Vigor" stuff makes some kind of odd sense.

Maybe, just getting a new boat would be easier, though. Not so much of the "wasting of good champagne" ?