YOU PROBABLY WON’T BE burying bodies at sea with any great frequency, but if the situation should arise it’s good to know that there’s a little book that tells you how to go about it — starting with the important business of determining if the body is actually dead, or just asleep.
That book is called How to Rename Your Boat: And 19 Other Useful Ceremonies, Superstitions, Prayers, Rituals and Curses (Paradise Cay).
But it’s not all about doom and gloom. There’s lot of funny stuff here, too, and hilarious cartoons by Tom Payne, one of America’s best yachting illustrators. For instance, how many sailing books do you know that include formalized curses against people who anchor too close to you, or leave you rocking in their big wakes? And did you know that the Golden Rivet ritual has been amended for use on sailboats? Every red-blooded sailorman needs to know how that works.
My famous denaming ceremony is here, too. It’s the one you need to perform before you can safely change the name of your boat. I have tested it personally and it really works.
This book also contains my Black Box Theory, which explains why some boats weather storms at sea better than others, and how you can improve your chances of surviving catastrophes at sea.
Although it has its lighter moments, this is really a book about safety on the water. Better keep a copy on board. You never know when you’ll need a burial ceremony. Or a good laugh.
Ø Here’s a review by Norman Desrosiers, on Amazon.com:
“A wonderful book for boat owners. It gives some great information and wonderful anecdotes. I have used the naming on a few boats already. It helped to keep me honest and out of trouble.”
My name may have buoyancy enough to float upon the sea of time.
— Gladstone, Eton Miscellany
Excited at the prospect of running his tractor on vegetable-based diesel fuel, a farmer in Alabama is now reported to be working on a top-priority scheme to make corn from coal.
(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)