Christening a Boat - What to Do for Your New Vessel

By Matt Claiborne

How to Christen a Boat

Register the Boat for Renaming

You’ll want to make sure your Coast Guard documentation and state registration papers reflect the desired name. 

File Paperwork

If you bought your boat through a broker, they will help you file the appropriate paperwork. If you purchased a used boat without an agent, you could file all the necessary paperwork yourself.

Prepare the New Name Before Christening

If you’re changing the boat’s name, completely remove the old name. Remove anything on the boat that still bears the old name. Update any electronic registrations and your AIS transponder if you have one.

Replace the Name

Cover up the old name with the new name either with decals or paint before the official boat naming ceremony.

Boat Christening Ceremony

Gather friends and family and ask nautical gods to provide smooth sailing. If the boat had a previous name, thank the gods for keeping the boat safe and request that the gods give the new name the same excellent protection.

Champagne Time!

Usually, owners break a champagne bottle over the boat’s bow. Then, owners ask the gods to accept this gift.