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Renaming Ceremony


When we bought our 1922 Lindsey launch in the fall of 2011, she sported the name 1922 La Tache for the favorite wine of the previous owners, Bill & Wendi Young. Gary’s a beer guy. We liked the 1922, but the La Tâche didn’t work for us. We called her the Lindsey before we even put her in the water the first time. And within a week of acquiring her, Gary announced he wanted to call her Lindsey Lynn, mostly because I was the one who pushed for the boat. We have five motorboats and this is the first one that has my name on it. I was thrilled.

Because the water was so low in 2012, we had to pull our wooden boats early on July 31st. Since they were up and out of the water, Gary decided that it would be a good time to sand down the transom…all ready for her new name.

We hired Mark Stewart of Stewart signs to paint the name on the transom. Always fascinating to watch a craftsman at his trade. As he worked I asked Mark about his profession. I was delighted to hear that it was high school art teacher, local artist Michael Ringer, who had inspired Mark to become sign painter. Mark started painting signs while he was still in high school.

This is not the first time we have renamed a boat. The first was when we acquired our 1967 ChrisCraft Cavalier. She sported the name Seneca Sun as she had been a charter on Seneca Lake. We renamed her Say What as a cheeky companion name to our first classic boat, Say When.

Boaters are rife with superstitions, especially concerning the naming and renaming of boats. And we’d renamed Say What without any bad luck, so…gulp. Wait a minute. We did have some bad luck with Say What. In the spring of 2011 the marina cracked the skeg while lifting her from the water. She spent the entire season out of the water waiting for repair.

Hmmmm. Perhaps we should have had a renaming ceremony. Not wanting to bring any bad luck on our new acquisition I searched the Internet for renaming ceremonies. They weren’t hard to find. There were tons of different ceremonies to choose from: unnaming ceremonies, naming ceremonies, re-naming ceremonies, etc. Some were four pages long! But in the end I was able to condense our re-naming ceremony to one paragraph.

“Today we come to re-name this boat Lindsey Lynn. We ask the river and the winds of the river to accept Lindsey Lynn as her name, to help her through her passages and allow her to return to Rum Rock with her crew and passengers safe.”

We decided that instead of the customary bottle of champagne, we would pour rum over her bow. After all, she proudly sports Rum Rock, Grenell Island on her transom. Short, sweet and another excuse to toast with rum.

To the wind! To the river! To Lindsey Lynn!

After the ceremony, we posed for pictures. Then Gary and I took a short cruise around Hub Island, where Lindsey Lynn was built by Lindsey Boat Company in their first year of operation, 1922. Lindsey Lynn’s gold leaf, engine-turned letters gleaming in the evening sun!

(As always would love to hear the stories behind the name of your boat. Also would love to hear about other boat re-naming ceremonies.)

By Lynn McElfresh, Grenell Island

Once again we  thank Lynn and Gary McElfresh for their special story.  Lynn is a regular contributor to TI Life, writing stories dealing with her favorite Grenell Island and island life. Recently she presented several articles about Grenell for its 100th Birthday where one of those stories Who Was Sam Grenell? (December 2011)  led to the Grenell descendants discovering Lynn and her island history.     See all of Lynn’s 50+ articles here.

Editor’s note:  Message to the McElfresh family:  Gary McElfresh was introduced in Lynn’s first article and has carried on ever since  – usually ending up with his moving pianos, tackling plumbing projects plus a whole manner of island projects.  This is a team effort, with Lynn supplying the writing talents and Gary supplying the man hours!  In this, my fifth year as editor of TI Life – I want you to know you make my task a real pleasure.

Editor:  Be sure to see Lynn’s matching story in this issue,  We didn’t need another boat… the “Glimpse”
Posted in: Places, People, Sports
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