Do you want to go onboard?
Check Bullet Icon Receive job offers
Check Bullet Icon Apply to various jobs
Check Bullet Icon Get job updates

colored pattern divider


colored pattern divider
Subscribe to our Newsletter
colored pattern divider



Common Superstitions of Seafarers

Most superstitions are derived from what is observed and believed to be alternative. Even in an age where information flows across space without barriers, the aspect of adherence to an age-old belief goes on to show that we are tuned to be attracted to that which is mysterious. The purpose of these superstitions of course is to load the dice in your favour by warding off the bad stuff and encouraging the good – and while modern seafarers enjoy some astonishing technical aids to make things easier, safer and more reliable, both the number and the persistence of marine superstitions suggests that seafarers continue to hold a healthy fear of the unique challenges posed by the sea.


Let us look some of these common superstitions of seafarers:


Having a woman onboard is bad luck: One of the most common superstitions at sea is that women on board are known to bring bad luck. A woman on ship was known to anger the sea. Probably the reason behind this must be the belief that women are not as strong. Another reason for the same could be that a ship full of men with very few women on board was sure to serve as a distraction for the men.

Ceremonial ship naming: Ship naming is a ceremony that happens after a vessel has been built, passed the necessary sea trials and is ready to set sail. The tradition of christening a ship for good luck and safe voyages goes back a long time. 

No bananas on board: The basis for this belief can be attributed to two main reasons. Bananas were the main fruit over many cultures and a very popular fruit. Nearly every vessel that was lost in voyage had bananas on board. This could be one of the reasons. The other reason that could be attributed was that vessels carrying bananas traveled very fast. It was imperative for these vessels to reach their destination before the bananas rotted. Meaning, there's no fish or very less fish being caught.

Ghost on ship: Every boater has also heard stories of ghosts and paranormal activities haunting ships, especially after an unfortunate event has occurred on board. Many believe that spirits of those who have lost their lives on ships remain there for a long time.

Breaking a wine bottle against the hull at the launch: Breaking a bottle of wine against the hull of the ship seems wasting of some tasteful wine, but the truth is it is often done to ward off bad luck. A person who refuse to drink a toast at the launch is not considered lucky.

Unlucky Friday: This belief is said to have emerged from the fact that Christ was crucified on a Friday and hence a ship beginning a voyage on that very day would be a bad omen. Friday is considered to be an unlucky day to start a seafaring venture and means that the voyage would be ultimately unsuccessful.

Black cats, swallows and dolphins bring luck: While the color black is associated with death, a black cat on board is considered to bring good luck. Dolphins sailing along the vessel are also considered to bring good luck.


Click here to view the latest seafare jobs.


Suggested -Articles

10 Ways for Seafarers to Keep Fit and Healthy While Onboard

What Smart Seafarers Should Do Before Boarding a Ship

Ship and Boat: What is the Difference?

Why You Should be Grateful of Seafarers

comments powered by Disqus