When we purchased the boat, it had no name or hailing port associated with it. After some online digging and record locating, we found that it was last named “Ben’s Play Pen,” out of St. Charles, Missouri. We were able to get in touch with a couple of the previous owners, who were very helpful and more than happy to send us information and old files they had on the boat.
As we filled out the paperwork to renew the Coast Guard registration, we pondered what we should rename our new home. We liked a few of the pithy nautical sayings found on most boats, but wanted something a little more original.
We could name it puurfect purchase, impulse buy, pet perks, Wiff estate, debt collector, boaty mcboat face, the litter box, or “litter box” in French (moms idea). Personally, I think the litter box would still make a great name given we have cats onboard and the shape of our boat is a little boxy.
Coast Guard Official
But together we chose Wiffersnapper, which incorporates our nick name “Wiff” into the saying which people describe us, young whipper snappers. Submitting it to the Coast Guard, it became official on paper. However, any salty sailor knows that renaming a boat involves a few more superstitious steps in order to properly change the vessel’s identity.
We learned that you can’t just slap on a new sticker and call it good. After some research we weighed our options for christening the boat… we could, A.) take the boat offshore until land was out of sight, B.) Dance on the bow of the boat with a live chicken on our head, C.) Have a virgin pee on the bow, or D.) Pour a bottle of wine over the bow.
Since our boat could barely make it off the dock without engine problems, option A was out… options B and C were the most exciting, but also the most challenging logistics wise. So, we opted for the bottle of wine. Lame, I know.
Days went by and we kept pushing off the boat naming ceremony because we were so busy getting settled into our new routine and finishing up projects from the renovation. Finally, one evening after work we decided to put the sticker on and invite our friends Bobby and Christina over for the christening.
We uncorked a nice bottle of Malbec they had gotten us as a “house warming” gift, and gathered on the bow. Using the flash light on Christina’s iPhone, I announced, “I hearby christen thee Wiffersnapper!” Not knowing what else to say I added, “May she always float,” and like any good Catholic would do, poured the wine over the bow with the sign of the cross.
We cheered and poured a glass of wine for each of us with the remaining bottle. At the clang of our glasses, Bobby and Will downed the wine as if we were taking shots. 🙄 Meanwhile, Christina clicked her tongue at the bitterness of the wine, and I gave it my usual “not bad” evaluation.
Quick! Get the hose! We just poured red wine all over the white bow of our boat! And that concluded our boat naming ceremony.