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This post was translated from French by Google Translate. If you see any errors, please let me know!

Macoui is not always a long calm river …

The macoui is a long imaginary snake which, specific to each boat, is materialized by its wake …

Macoui you say?

According to the tradition in force especially in the South of France, it is advisable to cut the macoui if you want to rename a boat, to prevent the new macoui (invoked by the new name) from competing with the old one. Not cutting the macoui when renaming a boat is deemed to bring bad luck – Wikipedia

Little reminder

For very personal reasons, among others because of my serious sailing accident in the summer of 2020, but also for practical reasons, which I also explain in this little article entitled Caribou D. -> VIKINGR I have decided to change the name of my magnificent Alberg 30 which was initially Caribou D. for VIKINGR.

Before cutting everything … the macoui!

Even if we mention Neptune, the god of the sea among the Romans, from whom you must avoid incurring anger when you want to change the name of your boat, I thought he might be just as careful. to beware of Njörd, who in Norse mythology is the god of the sea and the winds! So when in doubt, beware of both!

To cut the macoui, you therefore need a few important elements:

  • Intending to change the name of your boat
  • Have a friend who owns a boat, who will come and cut our wake
  • A good bottle of rum that will be used to get Neptune drunk but also Njörd in my case, the macoui himself and why not his friend while he’s at it!
  • A noisy foghorn at will, to scare away the macoui
  • Being a little, if not quite superstitious …
Le macoui, c'est le sillage d'un bateau.

What could be better than having a friend who owns a boat of the same brand as yours to cut your macoui?

Have two …!

Oh yes!

I had the chance to accompany and be accompanied by two Alberg sailboat captains in this fabulous story of the Macoui Cup! Two identical boats, Alberg 29 named Set Free and Golden Aura! They are more modern boats than mine, which is an Alberg 30. But all three of them are wonderful boats, very seaworthy and classic in appearance.

Alberg 25 Set Free et Golden Aura

Let’s cut the macoui!

Three boats, 6 crew members

To cut the knot, we were a nice little squadron of three boats, with three captains and six crew members. I chose to do it in the Sorel Islands, on my return from Quebec at the end of the 2021 season. It is a magnificent place to stay there for a few days at anchor and of course, that is probably the reason for which I chose it to cut the macoui of the VIKINGR.

The crews were made up of myself, solo captain of the VIKINGR, then Denis-F, captain of the Set Free and his sailor (hahaha!) René. On the Golden Aura we found Michel the captain, his lovely wife Éliane (thank you for the photos and videos!) And Michel’s son, SAMuel!

With all these beautiful people, we just couldn’t miss our shot!

Before starting, a radio call to the Coast Guard of Canada

Obviously, since we were going to be using the foghorn, I decided to advise the Canadian Coast Guard in advance in order to avoid any confusion or unnecessary displacement of the latter. Amused and probably also a little surprised, the officer who answered my call was however pleased with our foresight. As long as we do, let’s do it right!

Small anecdote: a moving ship made its horns work just before we started. In order, presumably, to notify a boat that it did not understand its intentions. Three big warning shots. Let’s say it sets the mood!

So, I took out the bottle of rum that I had kept since the start of the season in the hold of the VIKINGR and I took the opportunity to pour a good swig in the stern. Already, Neptune and Njörd must have felt the effects!

Then we stood one behind the other at an angle of about 45 degrees. The VIKINGR in the lead obviously, at a speed of 2 knots, followed by Set Free which itself was followed by Golden Aura. Three passages each, with the foghorn at each passage and a glass of rum … for the gods!

First passage

Set Free, skilfully piloted by its captain, approaches the port side very close to my transom. Concentrated on my own piloting, I didn’t immediately notice that the crew started doing tribal dances and fields! It’s effective! As soon as the bow of the Set Free is just behind the VIKINGR, I activate the foghorn!

Golden Aura closely follows Set Free. Being of a more cautious nature, the captain leaves himself a little leeway. It still passes behind the VIKINGR and I activate the horn again. As soon as they have passed, I take this opportunity to let the gods pour another drink.

Second pass

Set Free approaches once again very close to my transom, but this time from starboard. Dances and tribal fields are even more intense! It’s doubly effective and very impressive! Once again, as soon as the bow of the Set Free is just behind the VIKINGR, I activate the foghorn!

Golden Aura this time comes closer, no doubt emboldened by the tribal fields of Set Free. It sails well under the wave of the VIKINGR and approaches quickly on my starboard side. And for him too, as soon as he passes, I activate my foghorn and I pour another good drink to the gods.

Third and last pass

Set Free, approaching at full speed. It is only a few feet from the VIKINGR. The crew is wild !! I can see their determination to cut the macoui! The dances and the tribal fields are even more intense than the second passage. I make the foghorn reason and pour another drink to the gods.

Golden Aura is also coming like an arrow! Cleverly, he too sits very close to the bow. And for him too, as soon as he passes, I activate my foghorn and I pour one more drink to the gods.

The macoui is no more!

The macoui is gone … and with it, my bottle of rum!

Set Free and Golden Aura have been successful in their work. The macoui is gone …!

To thank him, it is customary to leave the bottle of rum to the captain who cut the macoui. However, this must be done at sea, keeping the same pace we had during the operation. But before giving the bottle, I had to offer Neptune and Njord one last intervention in our favor. On the starboard side, pour them three shots of rum.

And finally, still on the starboard side, give the captains the bottle with the remaining rum. The story doesn’t say if there were many left, but it looks like it was delicious!

And a friendship was born

It is not cutting the macoui that really matters, but with who we cut it! Thanks to the squadron !!

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May Odin be with you!

Photos and videos during the cut of the macoui by Eliane Gaudreau
You can download this article in PDF format to print it and consult it later.
Louis Houde

Author Louis Houde

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VIKINGR Chronicles