Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bienvenidos S/V Estrella!!!

Yesterday, we held the official "denaming" and "renaming" ceremonies for our sailboat, now S/V Estrella. We decided Valentine's Day was a better day for such events than Friday the 13th.

It should be noted that Josh and I are each holding a bottle of champagne. The first bottle, from California, was utilized in the denaming of S/V Wind Spirit as she was a California vessel when we purchased her. The second bottle, from Mexico, was for the renaming to S/V Estrella as she is currently residing in Mexico with us. Each bottle was used in the "libation" portion of each ceremony.

The reason for two separate ceremonies (and two separate bottles of champagne) is due to paying respect not only to your sailboat, but the gods of wind and sea. Our friends Heather and Shawn from S/V Om Shanti gave us a copy of How to Rename Your Boat: And 19 Other Useful Ceremonies, Superstitions, Prayers, Rituals, and Curses by John Vigor for Christmas. The first chapter of this wonderful (and very entertaining) book details fully official "denaming" and "renaming" ceremonies. While most of the specifics of each ceremony is up to the owners of the vessel, certain rules must be followed.

For the three part denaming ceremony, first all articles with the previous name on them must be removed from the vessel. This includes paperwork, charts, and logbooks. I also sanded the old name off the stern. Second, a brief speech thanking the sailboat and the gods for good luck thus far is spoken from the bow of the vessel. Third, a libation of champagne is offered and sprayed over the bow. Josh handled the champagne while I gave the speech.

We allowed a two hour break between ceremonies to give our sailboat its necessary period of "namelessness" (per the book's instructions). Not wanting to tempt fate, we spent this time drinking tequila and cold saki with old and new friends (and dog Sophie) who came by to celebrate with us. The "renaming" ceremony was two parts long and consisted of a simple blessing with the new name and a libation with a bottle of champagne on the bow. Somehow, I think Josh and I ended up wearing more champagne than S/V Estrella!


  1. Congrats! We renamed our boat after her purchase and also had fun with renaming ceremony. I'm glad you had friends to enjoy the occasion. Wish I could have been there to share the moment.

    BTW, what does the name Estrella signify for you and Josh?

  2. Congrats, Estrella! Sorry we missed you by a day, but we'll make it up very soon.