Alice Gale is launched

09 Sep

We have successfully launched Alice Gale with a Christening held on Sept 8th at the Back Bay Marina in Newport Beach.   A number of good friends and relatives were on hand to celebrate the launching with us.

The ceremony of christening new ships began in the distant past, and we know that Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all held ceremonies to ask the gods to protect sailors. Maritime superstition held that a ship that wasn’t properly christened would be considered unlucky. Sailors have long believed a coin under the mast brings luck. This ritual is believed to have started with the Romans. The mast has been stepped with a new 2011 dollar coin. Christening a new ship with wine or holy water has obvious religious overtones, but the practice pre-dates Christianity. By the 1800s the christenings of ships began to follow a familiar pattern. A “christening fluid” would be poured against the bow of the ship, though it was not necessarily wine or champagne. The practice of breaking a bottle of wine over a ship’s bow was introduced by the British navy in the late 17th century as a cost saving measure! Previously the ships were baptized with a “standing cup” of precious metal, which was then promptly thrown overboard. The rapid production of ships during the height of the British Empire put an end to that. The christening of ships became great public events, with large crowds assembled to witness the ceremony. And it became standard for champagne, as the most elite of wines, to be used for the christening. The tradition also developed that a female would do the honors and be named the sponsor of the ship. I have asked Gail to do the honors of christening our boat.

Viewing Alice Gale

My adoring crowd

“For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” I name this vessel “Alice Gale”, May the Gods bless her and all who sail in her. “To them we toast, and ask to celebrate “Alice Gale.”


“The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this vessel be given the strength to carry on. The keel is strong and she keeps out the pressures of the sea.


“Today we come to name this lady “Alice Gale”, and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for the Richards family and friends. We ask the sailors of old and the mood of God that is the sea to accept “Alice Gale” as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. ”


In the name of all who will sail aboard her in the years to come, we invoke Neptune, the ancient god of the sea, and Eolus, the god of the wind, to favor us with their blessings today. That she may always find shelter from tempest and storm and enjoy safe passage to all ports she visits. May she be blessed with fair winds, calm seas and good fortune to all who sail upon her. May the gods protect her and all the sailors who enjoy this beautiful boat named Alice Gale.

Champagne was poured over the bow to appease King Neptune and everybody raised their champagne and shouted, “TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO Alice Gale.”

Gail Christening Alice Gale

Christening Alice Gale

Alice Gale

Preparing to raise the main

Raising the main

Ready to take her out

View of the sails

Mast head detail

Detail of the Bowsprit

Mast partner detail

Gail and Stan Richards


Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


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5 responses to “Alice Gale is launched

  1. Anonymous

    September 12, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Hi Stan,

    you did a wonderful job, i hope you going to enjoy sailing her as much as you did on the bild.
    I’m looking forward to see some sailing pictures!

    Cheers from Belgium.


  2. Dave in New Jersey

    September 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Good sir, the Alice Gale is a treasure! Congratulations on a job extremely well done and kudos for introducing her to the seas in such grand fashion! Please do chronicle her voyages with the same high standard as her gestation. Fair winds…

  3. Anonymous

    September 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Hi Stan

    Lovely job the designers son has is own boatyard and i doubt that he could turn out a Ebihen 15 of such quality,
    have loved the blog and i don’t doubt you will have many years of enjoyment from your efforts well done

    Mike Bolton Wales

  4. Anonymous

    September 9, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Hey Stan,

    Fabulous job on the fine little ship. Some pictures under sail would be nice as well.
    Enjoyed the thread and watching a quality job in process.
    Mark in Moutainville, NY

    • twsg2009

      September 9, 2011 at 7:55 am

      Thanks Mark, I plan to continue to blog my sailing experiences with Alice Gale.


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