Celebrating the addition of your new boat to the family with a christening is a popular event. New Aquila owners Rick and Jennifer recently purchased an Aquila 44 and did just this.
No matter the size or type of your boat, what better way to welcome your boat to the family than a christening ceremony? Celebrate with your friends with a tradition that dates back thousands of years and is thought to ensure safe passages for your upcoming adventures on the water. Christening ceremonies can vary throughout the world but here's some simple steps to follow, and of course, don't forget to add your own flavor to your event.
To get started you'll want to invite your family and friends to where you'll be with your boat. Then acquire a pre-scored christening bottle of champagne with containment bag. The pre-scored bottle helps it to break and the bag keeps the pieces of the bottle from going into the water or flying towards people. Overall it's safer for everyone, we don't recommend trying to break a regular bottle. You'll also want a bottle of champagne for actually drinking and toasting. A branch of green leaves will be needed to placed on the boat during the christening and your maiden voyage (if taking one), and any types of leaves will work. So once you've gathered your pre-scored christening bottle, actual bottle(s) of champagne, branch of green leaves and family and friends as well as have your boat ready for the party, it's time to get to the actual ceremony.
The actual christening ceremony consists of saying a few words, toasting to the boat's new name and breaking the pre-scored bottle of against the boat's bow. When breaking the bottle, it is recommended to use a cleat or bow roller to help prevent marring your boat's finish. You can also choose to pour champagne over the bow rather than breaking the bottle. Below is a traditional poem often used during the christening for the toast. Once you've done these steps, you're boat is christened and you can continue to enjoy a great time with friends and family. Many also use this as a time to take a maiden voyage with their guests. Congratulations!
Here is the quick recap the boat christening ceremony:
1. Gather your friends around your boat, and give everyone a class of champagne.
2. Say a few words - welcome your guests, thank everyone for joining, share the name of your boat...
3. Read the traditional christening ceremony poem with toasts included.
4. Lay a branch of green leaves on the deck.
5. Break your pre-scored champagne bottle with containment bag.
6. Give one more toast and continue to enjoy time and drinks with your family and friends.
Traditional Poem for Toasting:
"For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them "she." To them we toast, and ask to celebrate Seas the Day.
TOAST: "TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO [NAME OF BOAT]
"The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this ship be given the strength to carry on. The keels are strong and she keeps out the pressures of the sea."
TOAST: "TO THE SEA...TO THE SAILORS OF OLD...TO THE SEA!" Drink….
"Today we come to name this lady [name of boat]
and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for [names of the crew]
. We ask the sailors of old and the mood of God that is the sea to accept [name of boat]
as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. "
TOAST: "TO THE SEA...TO THE SAILORS BEFORE US...TO [NAME OF BOAT]