How to Prepare a Champagne Bottle for a Ship Launching

Written by rivka ray Google
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How to Prepare a Champagne Bottle for a Ship Launching
Simple preparation can make the difference between a smash and a thud against the ship. (Elizabeth Hachem/Lifesize/Getty Images)

When launching a ship, the last thing you want is for the bottle you are christening it with to remain unbroken upon impact. The tradition goes that a bottle is smashed against the hull of a new ship in an offering to the sea gods in exchange for safe voyages. Whether you believe in the tradition or not, it can be embarrassing to be left with a whole bottle. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prepare a bottle of champagne for the auspicious occasion to encourage easy breaking.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Marker
  • Diamond-tipped glass cutter
  • Wire

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  1. 1

    Determine which part of the bottle will strike the ship and mark the spot on the bottle with a marker. Mimic the swinging motion that will be used to get a good idea of the point of impact if you are unfamiliar with christening with bottles.

  2. 2

    Score the champagne bottle at the mark you made using a diamond-tipped glass cutter. A score in the glass will weaken the bottle, making it more likely to shatter when hitting the ship.

  3. 3

    Securely wrap a wire around the neck of the champagne bottle; this will be used to swing the bottle. The wire has no elasticity, and will therefore absorb none of the energy of the bottle's impact on the ship. This will concentrate the full force of the impact on the bottle.

  4. 4

    Shake the bottle vigorously just before the ship launch to create as many bubbles as possible inside. The bubbles within the glass create pressure, making it easier to break the glass of the bottle.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose a cheaper champagne because it will have more bubbles than an expensive variety. The extra bubbles result in a more-pressurised bottle that it easier to break.
  • Do not leave the champagne bottle unattended after all of your preparations, as it might break by accident.

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