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catamaran trivia

Sailing Superstitions: Heed These Warnings At Sea!

Boat christening and sailor superstitionsWe always urge our friends and clients to christen their boats properly and in keeping with tradition - just in case. So, before witnessing yet another boat christening recently of one of our clients, we discussed the superstitions about re-naming and christening a boat with them. That discussion reminded me just how superstitious sailors of old were and how, even today we heed their warnings of bad luck at sea!

While we still have a healthy respect for the power of the sea today, we have a much easier time of it than the ancient mariners. With limited navigational tools and weather forecasting, sailing back then was a dangerous endeavor. Ancient sailors therefor believed in various superstitions to improve their chances of survival at sea. Today, most of these beliefs / superstitions are considered outdated, but many modern sailors continue to observe some of the traditions. 

Nautical Terms: Where Did They Come From?

Nautical phrasesWhen we do sailing schools, we always do a “Do you recognize this nautical phrase?” session. Not only is it a fun back and forth session, but we learn so much from history! These phrases come from our seagoing ancestors from way back when and we still use them everyday but few people know the origins of these phrases.

For instance, the origination of the word "posh" means “port out, starboard home”, referring to the preferred cabins, overlooking the continent, on the way to India. Who knew?

The meaning of some of the more common phrases, like “rocking the boat” or “on an even keel” are easier to figure out but some of them will leave you confounded! Here are some other nautical terms that we use all the time!

Americas Cup Trivia

ac11. The America's Cup is the oldest active trophy in international sport, predating The Ashes and Modern Olympics by decades. It's the hardest trophy in sport to win. Since 1851 just four nations have won: Australia (once), New Zealand and Switzerland (twice) and the USA (28 times).

2. For the first time in 132 years in 1983, the America’s Cup left the New York Yacht Club and ended the Americans winning streak. Dennis Conner, 'Mr. America’s Cup' lost to Australian skipper, John Bertrand, on his radically-designed winged keel that gave the 12-Metre Class boat superior speed under most conditions.

Trivia: A History of "Grog"

GrogFrom the earliest days of sail, men (and sailorgirls) have had need of liquid during voyages. The most readily available were water and beer. Since watermakers hadn't been invented yet, water was taken on board and stored in casks, and topped up on route at ports of call. Beer was also stored in casks and the ration for seamen was a gallon a day. Water would quickly develop algae and turn slimy, and beer would turn sour. So the custom was to drink the beer before it soured and then turn to water. Stale water could be sweetened to make it more palatable, and was often sweetened with beer or wine. As the British Empire grew and longer voyages became more common, the problem of spoilage and shortages increased.

In 1655 Vice-Admiral William Penn arrived in Barbados and captured Jamaica during his campaign for Cromwell in the Indies. Unfortunately Jamaica had few stores of beer or wine. Jamaica did, however, have rum. Penn began the use of rum as a ration in place of beer.

Boat Names: Is It Really That Important?

Boat NamesA boat is not just a boat to a "true-blue cruiser". It's our home, our life, our "escape pod" and we feel very attached to every part of that boat, including the name. So when we name the boat, it should be done with careful consideration, selecting a name that is significant to the owner. Traditionally boats were typically given female names after goddesses or mythical figures, but that tradition has changed. Modern pleasure vessels are named virtually anything from the rather unfortunate monikers like "Breakin' Wind" or "Blow Me" to the utterly ridiculous like "Fartbutt" (those are real registered boat names!). Others are just plain lame like "Sea U Soon" or "Autopsea". Funny, maybe. But what if you need to call the Coast Guard saying: "Ya Sister's Ass", "Ya Sister's Ass", "Ya Sister's Ass" (again, a real registered boat name) ? Hmm...

Picture from thechive.com

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