You'd Have to Be Nuts to Ride 'Titanic II' on Its Maiden Voyage
Earlier this week, it was announced that a ship will be launched called the Titanic II. It will whisk wealthy passengers from China to Dubai, unlike the iceberg-laden North Atlantic route. The new ship will have many obvious advancements that make it safer than the original, and I still think you have to be out of your right mind to hop aboard this followup to the most infamous maritime disaster of all time. Let’s start with the good. The Titanic II, unlike its doomed predecessor, features a welded hull (rather than rivets), is wider (rendering below compares it to modern cruise ships), and a full complement of advanced lifeboats. The will most assuredly feature no icebergs…and that hasn’t done a lick to alleviate my apprehensions over stepping aboard this boat. RELATED: Check out this actually real drivable boat!
Why? It’s simple; I’m a sailor, and as a sailor, you respect the sea, and its wishes. Out on the water, you are at the mercy of the tides and the winds, and you do your best to play within their rules (when all else fails there’s a dinky three-cylinder diesel engine to fall back on). The craziest things can go wrong…like, oh an “unsinkable” ship going down. So you don’t mess around with those sort of things.
Call me superstitious. Call me religious. On the water, they both kind of mean the same thing. You don’t tempt fate, you don’t thumb your nose at history, and you have to acknowledge you are at the whim of greater powers out there on the water. I don’t go to church every Sunday, but you can believe if I’m caught in a gale, I’m saying my prayers (I think they call that a Foxhole Catholic). Either way, you have to respect fate in a situation like this, and creating a boat similar to the Titanic and naming it Titanic II is just bad mojo.
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Which brings me to my final point. The typically held maritime rule is that you should never rename a boat. You buy a boat and it’s got a goofy name? Too bad. I contend that it is just as bad luck to name a newly christened boat after one that met an ill fate. If the Titanic weren’t so famous and people weren’t so enamored with the idea of walking down the grand staircase, no one in their right mind would rename a boat after one that met a fate like it. You don’t see anyone suggesting we build the Lusitania II!!!
Why do all these superstitions come up? Because the sea is an inherently dangerous place. We don’t have gills or webbed feet (sorry, Kevin Costner). We have mastered the sea despite the fact we are clearly not meant to live in it. But we are merely travelers on its surface, and the ocean’s power can overwhelm even the most secure vessel. Things go wrong on boats, and any sailor can tell you, when they do, they typically happen all at the same time.
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You don’t mess with a power like that. And you certainly don’t give the middle finger to history by naming a boat after such an infamous vessel. Things didn't work out so great the last time we thumbed our nose at the sea by having the nerve to call a boat “unsinkable.”