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Thread: Coin In Mast Step???????????

  1. #1
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    Default Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Yesterday we found a 1964 Kennnedy half dollar in Black Spirit's mast step. Is there a reason it was placed there?
    I'm just enjoying my ride on the trip around the sun.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Quote Originally Posted by Claudia View Post
    Yesterday we found a 1964 Kennnedy half dollar in Black Spirit's mast step. Is there a reason it was placed there?
    Of COURSE! You tempt the wrath of Odin without a coin in the mast step... I'd NEVER step a mast without one!

    (it's an old sailing tradition, Claudia)
    "Opinions you like, presented to you and others who share your opinions, from someone whose opinion you already know"
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    What year is Black Spirit ? It is appropriate to have a coin of the same vintage under the mast step.

    Reasons vary but one of the most common is to pay the ferryman's fair on the river Styx.

    Other less macabre reasons are so you will always have some currency in time of need. Or simply good luck.
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Thank you Norman. This project is one big learning experience for me so I may ask questions that seem a bit silly to others.
    I'm just enjoying my ride on the trip around the sun.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Joe...1964.
    I'm just enjoying my ride on the trip around the sun.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    nothing silly about it...consider that many lurkers read this stuff and will learn from the answers
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    copper (and silver(?)) are lucky fungicides



  8. #8
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    why would I want my fun gicided?
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Have I mentioned lately just how much I love my wife.
    (she just bought me 2 more boat books)
    "The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place." -Arthur Ransome

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    why would I want my fun gicided?
    in classic swmbo wiseness ..

    ' if there is a fungus amongus
    there will be no penis betweenus '



  11. #11
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I first learned about the coin under the mast in Robin Lee Graham's book "Dove". While attempting to reach Pago Pago, Dove was demasted. Under jury-rig Graham was able to reach Western Samoa. When he stepped the mast, he forgot to put in a coin. Later, when he was hours out of Cocos Islands Dove was demasted for the second time of the voyage during a brief storm. Graham sailed under jury rig 2,300 miles to reach Port Louis Harbor, Mauritius. This time, he was very sure to put a coin under the mast.

    Stupid, Superstitious? Maybe. But let's not be tempting Neptune too much. The coin should go back in. :-)
    "I'm built for comfort, ain't built for speed." - Willie Dixon

    "I refuse to grow up, as I believe that it’s not mandatory." - Chuck "Paladin" Phillips

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    If you use a silver or gold coin you could qualify your boat as an investment these days.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I heard that it should be a silver coin, and that it was an offering to protect the mast. My boat's previous owner told me that when I unstep my mast, I'll find one there.
    "I want a boat that drinks 6, eats 4, and sleeps 2." -Ernest K. Gann

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    A 1964 Kennedy four bit piece was the last US coin minted that contained 90 percent silver. Later versions went to 40 percent and then down to cupronickel. Worth about $12 today. Put it back where it was. It'll be worth more the next time you pull the stick!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    you can actually see a slight band of copper on the edge of a 'silver' dime



  16. #16
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I've got two 1937 Canadian dimes ready for rigging Laura Ellen. Seemed appropriate since 1937 was the year Laura Ellen was launched and the first year that the Bluenose appeared on the dime.
    Allan of the Grove - S/V Laura Ellen, 1937 Gaff Schooner
    http://aylard.ca http://bluenosejr.com
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????




  18. #18
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    How it all got started, and why you still need one there
    Sailors have long believed a coin under the mast brings luck. This ritual is believed to have started with the Romans, whose custom it was to place a coin in the mouth of a dead person to pay Charon, the boatman who ferried the souls of the dead across the River Styx to Hades. Hades in those days was simply the home of the dead, not the specific domain of Satan in the modern colloquial sense.Of course, there may be some of you who are convinced that you are headed for hell anyway, no matter what happens. So you might want to forgo the coin-placing ritual and spend the money instead on wild women, liquor, poker, new gear for the boat, and other sinful pleasures. What’s to lose?More cautious boaters will realize that placing a coin under the mast is another way to earn points for the black box in which your boat’s luck is stored. It’s a cheap price to pay.Skeptics should note that even the U.S. Navy takes this ritual seriously. Officers of the USS New Orleans, launched in 1933, placed 33 coins—pennies, nickels, and dimes—under her foremast and mainmast. All were carefully placed heads up. And the destroyer USS Higgins, commissioned in April 1999, had 11 coins specially selected for her mast stepping, some of them very rare and going back to Roman times.But you don’t need to use rare or expensive coins. In fact, in the days of wooden ships, when even skilled artisans earned comparatively little, it was regarded as imprudent to use gold. Besides, there wasn’t much point in paying Charon more than he could find change for. Rather, select a coin that means something to you, one that was minted in the year the boat was launched perhaps, or one from the year you were born.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    The devil comes aboard in a black box...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I remember reading that when sailing ships were broken up at the end of their lives, the worker were hover around when the masts were pulled to snatch the coins. One ship, Scots built, was being broken up. When the main mast was pulled, the worker found a note. "IOU Sandy McPherson" and no coin

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Claudia,

    Fail to retep the mast without a suitable coin at you peril. There have been times when I've had to grub a coin or two when stepping Sjogin's mast but she always has at least one. Old tradition and good karma.

    Can't wait to see you re-step BS's mast.

    Russ
    Hove to off Swan Point......

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    BS???
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I think it is amazing that after like 10 years with the mast removed, the coin remained in the step. We will give a bright polish before it goes back in and the mast is restepped. Even when we do a test rigging in the back yard, the coin will be placed.
    "The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place." -Arthur Ransome

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    may I suggest you stop refering to your boat yard as a back yard?
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    The devil comes aboard in a black box...
    No, she comes aboard in a SBD,stilettos,a bottle and she is looking for moi! :-)
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Quote Originally Posted by davidagage View Post
    I think it is amazing that after like 10 years with the mast removed, the coin remained in the step. We will give a bright polish before it goes back in and the mast is restepped. Even when we do a test rigging in the back yard, the coin will be placed.
    You might want to add a 2007 coin to go along with the original.
    Sort of a booster shot.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    My wife gave me silver and gold replicas from the Atocha for our main and mizzen. I also found many old coins from around the world with sea art or ships. Most are readily available by internet at reasonable prices (not EBAY). A series of the British half penny has a very nice tall ship and can be found for about a dollar. Even at 200% face value its OK. Others are Greek 50 Drocma and a few other coins, Portugal - several coins, Thai 1 baht, British caribbean territories - Eastern group, Bahamas 25 cent. My favorite is the Norway 20 Kroner 1999 and 2008 with the Sea Stallion Viking long boat. Canada was also supposed to mint a commemorative 5 dollar coin with the boat but that apparently never happened. A few links below on the topic.

    http://www.vikingtoday.com/ships/den...lendalough.htm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yhwX...eature=related

    http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Longship

    http://www.answers.com/topic/coin-under-mast

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    If you do not put a coin under the mast when you step it the boat will sink and you will die. It's common knowledge, really.

    This message brought to you by the National Coin Production and Circulation Council.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    If I've got my timeline right, this was back before the strawberries were ripening. Continued congrats you two Hope things are bestus ever!

    Doug

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    No wonder I had such interesting adventures on my previous boats. No coins!

    Or maybe it had more to do with the fact that hobie cats and bathtubs arent really suited to these waters. And that I had those boats before I got any real sailing experience.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I step my mast every single time I take my peapod sailing. I'd pretty much have to epoxy a coin to the base of the step to keep from losing it.

    But if that's what I've got to do ...
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    That will drive some later owner insane. About as cruel as glueing a quarter to the sidewalk.

    As such, I highly recommend doing so.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I would not shine or polish the coin up. Just keep it the way it was when placed there, and add another one or two....

    .
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...


    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    In my youth I worked for a number of sailboat dealers rigging and commisioning new boats. Most of the time, when the masts were stepped the owners were not present. I was always certain to slip a shiny quarter of the current year on the step at the proper time. On one occasion, I had just finished tightening the rigging on a new Columbia 50 and was waiting for the owner so we could take the boat out for a little sail to fine tune the rigging. As he stepped on deck he reached in his pocket and pulled out a gold coin that was minted on the year of HIS birth and told me that we had to pull the stick and put a coin under it for luck and we couldn't leave the dock without it.

    I explained that his gold coin was the wrong vintage for this purpose and suggested that he put it back in the vault because there was already a proper coin where it belonged. I drove home that evening with a pocket full of Andy Jacksons and a great new sailing buddy and employer.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I'd pretty much have to epoxy a coin to the base of the step to keep from losing it.
    The last little sailboat I built, I did exactly that. There's a 2002 Sacagawea dollar encapsulated in epoxy at the bottom of the hole where the mast goes. The mast comes in and out (with one hand) every time one I go sailing, so it needed something to keep it in place.

    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    When I built my house I put a few coins into the concrete foundations.
    The beach beckons.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I'm still looking for mine? Anyone have a 1951 silver dollar they want to part with?

    Rob

    http://concordia9-amphora.blogspot.com/

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I used a Thai Gold coin on Tana Mari.....gotta lotta funny looks from some of the yard crew until it was explained why. I had a complete set of the Kings Birthday commemmorative set from that time....gave the rest of the set to the grandcritters for their college kitty.....with a replacement coin.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
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  39. #39
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Quote Originally Posted by Raka025 View Post
    I'm still looking for mine? Anyone have a 1951 silver dollar they want to part with?

    Rob

    http://concordia9-amphora.blogspot.com/
    I'll look in my sack of coins I have in my father's safe next time I get in there....
    Never trust a man with a clean workshop.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    There aren't any US 1951 silver dollars, just Franklin half-dollars. There are Canadian silver dollars from that year. Look here.

    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    When I built Atavistic I nailed a very old silver Liberty half-dollar to the fordeck by the mast so I could kiss it each time I went out. Used a half-buck 'cause it was only 16'.


    Oh--SH*T! i forgot to tell the new owner that! That's why the planks took up! He hasn't been kissing the coin!
    Ed Maurer
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  42. #42
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    What do you do if you have a deck-stepped mast?
    1947 Nordic Folkboat "Nina"

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Quote Originally Posted by BarnacleGrim View Post
    What do you do if you have a deck-stepped mast?
    On the deck under the mast.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    In the Lu Ban Jing it tells you how to bless (and curse) the house you are building.

    One way to bless it, is to place coins where the roof meets the walls.

    I'd go along with the fungicide thing, but I don't want to upset the gods. So I'll say if the idea is that old and crosses so many cultures, It must be good luck.


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    There are 1951 silver Canadian dimes, too, with Bluenose on the back (the Canadian 1951 silver dollar has a canoe.)

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Quote Originally Posted by htom View Post
    There are 1951 silver Canadian dimes, too, with Bluenose on the back (the Canadian 1951 silver dollar has a canoe.)


    Bluenose on a dime, while a canoe is silver dollar.. doesn't makes sense.. Bluenose is more famous..

    Why Ben Franklin on $100, while George Washington is on a dollar?
    Last edited by boylesboats; 01-09-2009 at 03:21 PM.
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  47. #47
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    I always made sure the coin was heads up. That keeps the mast pointed in the right direction.

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Here are the coins I plan to use.
    The main step is just below the cabin floor. The mizzen steps on deck. Lower right was minted in 1914 to commemorate the first ship through the canal. My uncle ran the place until just a few years before we turned it over. I like the Mexican compass rose bottom row & 2nd from the left.
    P1180003 ex.JPG

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Hmmm - the old man collected coins. I might have to raid the safety deposit box for the Yellowtail launching. Pre-BC Roman perhaps?
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  50. #50
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    Default Re: Coin In Mast Step???????????

    Should a coin be put somewhere on a stinkpot? If so, where?

    Doug

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