TIL: You can buy bottles of fake bubbly for boat christenings that are designed to break


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/29/til-you-can-buy-bottles-of-fa.html


This immediately came to mind:

  1. One does NOT want to piss off Neptune with the cheap shit.

  2. One hopes this happens only once in a boat’s life [maybe twice if there’s been a restoration]: changing the name of a vessel is an invitation to bad, bad luck.


The two happiest days in a boat owners life are the day they bought the boat, and the day they sell the boat.


Oh no, so close! We live inland, so we christened our boat at the reservoir where it lives. It’s city property, and they won’t allow glass bottles. This wouldn’t have helped. :crying_cat_face: We ended up pouring the champagne in to plastic cups off of the property, and then splashing it on to the boats. We toasted with the rest, which was a better use of the bubbly :slight_smile: I doubt the bow of the racing shell (crew boat) would have survived the impact anyway.


My thought EXACTLY. You think Neptune’s gonna let that go? You are not just tempting fate, you are calling it out if you use fake champagne.


When a play calls for smashing a bottle on stage they generally use candy glass - melted sugar poured into a plaster or silicone mould of a bottle.

If you want it full of liquid I guess you have to fill it just before you smash it, so the bottle doesn’t dissolve in its contents…


As I’m sure this guy found out.

But, as always in matters of religion, there’s a workaround.

When I bought a boat with a name I couldn’t live with, I gathered the family together and performed this ceremony. Yes, I was careful to use decent champagne and to pour a generous portion for Neptune. Apart from the eye-rolling on my daughter’s part, it all went well.



Pookie Smails needed one of those bottles


ETA: Does Neptune hold dominion over the Great Lakes? Asking for a friend…


In the original Duck Tales episode “The Uncrashable Hindentanic”, Scrooge McDuck pauses mid-swing during a ship (or rather dirigible) christening:

Scrooge McDuck: Is this cheap champagne?
Ducksworth: The cheapest, sir.





Sugar glass has largely been replaced by synthetic resins - ironically it’s a bit too fragile for handling. As you point out, sugar glass is soluble whereas some resins are waterproof - though probably less delicious.


My theatre knowledge is definitely out of date.

I was thinking, w.r.t. the sugar glass, that it would be something you wouldn’t even need to worry about cleaning up - whatever doesn’t fall in the water and dissolve within hours, would only last a couple of rains.




This is the stuff that’s used for most theater and film productions when they need breakaway glass. Looks just like glass, soluble, and breaks in nice chunks.

As seen here:


I was glad to learn they include netting to contain the broken glass. While it’s unlikely anyone will get hurt by broken glass at the bottom of a marina (unless there’s maintenance that goes on down there I haven’t considered) we don’t need to be dumping more trash in our waterways, especially in the service of silly superstitious rituals


That bottle of fake bubbly costs more than the real stuff people buy for New Years.

I have to admit I’ve sometimes wondered if people still did that ritual for fiberglass hulled boats. It seemed entirely possible that the bottle would be more rigid than the hull.