Renaming Your Tollycraft
Before you start designing the new name, remember that renaming your Tolly can bring bad luck. The unluckiest ships of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names.
So, you’ve found your perfect Tolly with everything you want. Except for the name. Whether it’s personal to the previous owners or you can’t imagine saying it three times every, single, time you use your radio, it’s time to rename your Tollycraft.
Before you start designing the new name, remember that renaming your Tolly can bring bad luck. Sailors have sworn it since the dawn of time. The unluckiest ships of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names.
But with a little preparation and completing a renaming ceremony, you CAN rename your Tollycraft without invoking the wrath of the gods.
Avoiding Poseidon’s Wrath
According to legend, every vessel is recorded by name in the ‘Ledger of the Deep’ and known personally to Poseidon (Neptune) the god of the sea. To rename your Tollycraft without consulting Poseidon is to invoke his wrath. In order to successfully change a boat’s name, a traditional ceremony appeases the gods of the seas.
- Purge the old name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory. This will involve wiping out every trace of the Tolly’s old name.
- Recite a short ceremony to remove the Tolly’s name from Poseidon’s records.
- Finally, appease the gods of the winds with another short ceremony. This will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas wherever you and your Tolly cruise.
Step 1: Purge the Old Name
Completely remove any trace of the Tolly’s current identity. This is an essential and involved process beginning with the thorough removal or obliteration of every trace of the boat’s current identity.
Some common places you may find your Tolly’s old name:
- Logbooks, engine and maintenance records
- Life rings
- Glasses and other items in the galley
- Emails, photos and files on your phone or a computer that may be brought on board
- Contracts, old registration and insurance documents
- Key chains
- Other décor such as pillows, blankets, mats
In purging your boat, it is acceptable to use White-Out or something similar to expunge your Tolly’s old name, However, it may be easier to simply remove the offending items from your Tolly and start afresh.
Once you are certain you have removed every reference to your Tolly’s old name, make a metal tag with the old name written on it in water-soluble ink (also known as an ingot).
Do not under any circumstances carry aboard any item bearing your Tolly’s new name until the renaming ceremony is complete. If you need to install the new name before the ceremony, ensure it remains completely covered until the ceremony is complete
Step 2: Boat Denaming Ceremony
Before beginning the Denaming Ceremony, purchase a bottle of reasonably good Champagne. Plain old sparkling wine won’t cut it. Since this is an auspicious occasion, it is a good time to invite your friends to witness and to party.
Begin by invoking the name of the rule of the deep as follows:
“Oh, Mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans. To whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage. We implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection the name ________________________________ (old name) which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom.”
“As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name to be corrupted through your powers and forever be purged from the sea.”
(At this point, the prepared metal tag is dropped from the bow of the boat into the sea.)
“In grateful acknowledgment of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your and your court.”
(Pour at least half of the bottle of Champagne into the sea from East to West. Share the remainder among your guests.)
Step 3: Boat Renaming Ceremony
It is usual to conduct the renaming ceremony immediately following the purging ceremony. It may however be done any time after the purging ceremony. For this portion of the proceedings, you will need more Champagne to appease a few more gods.
Begin the renaming by again calling Poseidon as follows:
“Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel hereafter and for all time known as _____________________ (new name), guarding her with your mighty arm and trident and ensuring her of safe and rapid passage throughout her journeys within your realm.”
“In appreciation of your munificence, dispensation and in honor of your greatness, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.”
(Pour one bottle of Champagne, less one glass for each the captain and the first mate, into the sea from West to East.)
The next step in the renaming ceremony is to appease the gods of the winds.
This will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas. The four winds are brothers, so it is permissible to invoke them all at the same time as long you address each by name.
Begin in this manner:
“Oh mighty rulers of the winds, through whose power our frail vessels traverse the wild and faceless deep, we implore you to grant this worthy vessel ________________________ (new name) the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.”
[Facing north, pour a generous libation of Champagne into a Champagne flute and fling it to the North while intoning:]
“Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your frigid breath.”
[Facing west, pour the same amount of Champagne into the flute and fling it to the West while intoning:]
“Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.”
[Facing east, pour the same amount of Champagne into the flute and fling it to the East while intoning:]
“Great Eurus, exalted ruler of the East Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath.”
[Facing south, pour the same amount of Champagne into the flute and fling it to the South while intoning:]
“Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your scalding breath.”
The Tolly Renaming Ceremony is Complete!
Congrats! Your Tolly has a new name. And any remaining champagne is the beginning of a suitable celebration in honor of the occasion.
Now you may bring aboard items bearing the new name of your Tolly. And don’t forget to update the club with your new name. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the new name.