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Necker Belle

What's in a name?

In last week's blog I mentioned that Necker Belle was formally known as Lady Barbaretta.

Well, it's only been a few months since her name changed, and whilst we've all adapted to this fresh new name, there's still quite a process required in the renaming the yacht.

As you're probably aware, sailors are a superstitious lot. There's a rule to just about everything, from what foot you're to step on board with to what way you should pass a flag.

So it's no surprise that there are a few superstitions involved in naming a yacht. Firstly, you shouldn't name her after an engaged woman as the sea will get angry, nor should you name her after your wife or daughter.

There is a belief that you shouldn't change the name of a boat, as the Sea God Neptune apparently keeps a record of every vessel in his waters and doesn't like change!

Neptune, God of the Sea
Neptune, God of the Sea

However, if for example your yacht's name is say 'Doomed to Destruction' and you're quite uncomfortable with taking her to sea, there is a way you can appease the rigid Neptune. The answer: a name changing ceremony.

Firstly, we must remove all traces of the name (in our case) Lady Barbaretta; not only from the yacht itself, but also from the lifebuoys and transom, as well as from any logbooks, charts or papers it features in.

Then we must thank Neptune and Aeolus (he's the keeper of the winds) for the protection they've provided us so far;

Then, kindly request that Neptune strike the name Lady Barbaretta from his Ledger of the Deep;

Then request that the Gods give Necker Belle their blessing; and

Finally, it's necessary to sacrifice some alcohol to appease the Gods.

Ideally, have Queen Elizabeth II on hand to break a bottle of expensive champagne over the bow.

And that should be it.