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A boat's name should have some meaning to those aboard, and since the first “Zanshin” was originally
called “Boo Tiger”, which I assumed was an obscure Winnie the Pooh reference and was often misheard as
“Blue Tiger” (and was in fact the name of the original owner's dog); I had to choose a new name quickly.
It is said that renaming a boat can bring about bad luck, unless one performs the re-christening with proper ceremony. Choosing a new boat name is a daunting task. The name should be unique, short, simple to pronounce and not have some unknown and derogatory meaning in another tongue. The name cannot already exist for the country of the boat's registry and shouldn't be easily mistaken for another name. After much thought and consideration I decided upon the name Zanshin - having looked at and discarded long lists of evocative or funny boat names (many of which are best not listed here for fear that this site might get placed into the adult category). A factor which is often overlooked is that in radiotelephony the boat name sometimes needs to be spelled out in the NATO/ICAO/ITU phonetic alphabet and “Zanshin” with “Zulu Alpha November Sierra Hotel India November” is a lot shorter than attempting to spell out “The Rose of Gwynedd II”. In a Mayday message you'd probably sink or run out of battery power before you got to the second repetition of spelling that one.
Ever since my junior high school days in Japan I've been practicing, on and off, a Japanese discipline called
Aikido. The term
“Zanshin” is used in Aikido
and other Japanese Budo disciplines with different meanings depending upon the context. The definition that I used upon renaming
the boat describes a state of mind or awareness where one is in balance with, and aware of, one's complete surroundings. While
there are martial aspects to the concept, I find it a fitting name for a boat that I am sailing around the world using just the
power of the wind.
“Zanshin” comprises two Japanese characters, or Kanji, - “残” (zan) and and “心” (shin). These mean “remaining” and “spirit” (or “mind”) respectively