Naming a boat.

The process of naming a boat is not one to be taken lightly, and there are some rules, although scan any harbor and you'll find that many are blissfully unaware of what's in a name, although many others are just blantantly ridiculous.  Here's a fine example:

steady pumping

The naming of CALIX was a many months long thinking cap process.  Really, it was, and I couldn't be happier with the result.  Here's how it all started; I'd decided to buy a boat and live on it and charter it at some point and I wanted to have a name that somehow reflected something I enjoyed, be it music, wine, food, etc.  Oh, but wait, first the rules, and curiously enough it seems many rules are "unwritten" so I'm writing here as many as I can find that I've heard before and feel are legitimate.

1) if you are going to use a name, it should be feminine, as boats have always been considered female

2) don't rename a boat, but it you must, you better have a ceremony*

3) don't name the boat after your wife, but you can name it after a daughter or mother, you can imagine why...

4) don't name a second boat with the same name, at least add II

5) don't name the boat after what you do as a profession, but instead after a passion

6) try not to pick a name that's impossible to pronounce or spell

7) avoid the names like Titanic or Poseidon

8) ending a name with the letter "a" is supposedly bad luck

9) don't name a boat something like "Money Pit", it will most assuredly become one

10) don't name a boat starting with "o" that's supposedly bad luck as well


Now for the * explanation.  Sailors are a superstitious bunch.  Our angst revolves around Neptune/Poseidon (Roman/Greek) and their final say on ships making passage in their world of water.  CALIX had had an horrendous name and it absolutely had to go (it was a weird combination of the previous owner's kid's names) and I won't repeat it here.   Thus began the work of removal.  And I mean removing everything that ever had the old name.   Any log books, key floats, oars, lifejackets, the transom name, charts, EVERYTHING.   All had to go, that old name must be as if it never existed.  Then you are supposed to have a little ceremony and thank the gods (the god of wind also - Aeolus) that the boat traveled safely, ask them to remove the old name from their records and that you will be renaming the boat, then break the champagne bottle over the bow.  Make sure to not bring anything aboard the boat with the new name until after this part of the ceremony.  Once you've done all this, you can do the christening ceremony with the new name, that's easier and and a lot more fun. My favorite part is the breaking of the champagne bottle, again.  Yes, I really did do that and gave Neptune a rather large share.

I did not do separate ceremonies but I hadn't yet put the new name on the boat.  I still get a little freaked when I think about removing the old name, I would absolutely hate to discover something I missed, even 4 years later.  I would be breaking more champagne bottles(!).

calix name

So, after all that, how did I ever come up with CALIX?  Well, I love wine, obvoiusly, champagne too.  I wasn't going to name it after a wine, or a winery, but perhaps after the kind of glass you put wine in seemed to be a promising idea.  I was on to something!  The name had to be feminine and that lead me to "chalice", that sounded pretty good, a start.  Then a suggestion was made to make it Latin.  OK, so what is chalice in Latin?  CALIX!  Perfect and even better because it was short and would fit on the transom instead of along the side which I did not want.  The best part?  CALIX not only means wine goblet, and also a cuplike blossom according to the definitions but either way, she is a holder, a holder of her crew.  Clearly I had fun with name and the logo is a cross-section of the boat, which.... kinda looks like an old fashioned champagne glass!

Here's to CALIX, she's held me fast for nearly 4 years.  Thank you Neptune.