Sailing Folk Belief

Main Piece

“If someone flips a boat in the first week of June, they have bad luck for the rest of the sailing season”


The informant is a 19-year-old female who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and attends the University of Southern California. The informant however resided in Minnesota for a large part of her life where she was a sailing instructor at City of Minneapolis: Parks and Recreations Sailing School. The sailing season starts in the first week of June and whichever instructor is the first person to tip a sailboat is believed to have bad luck for the rest of the season, which lasts until the first week of September.


The informant is one of my college roommates, who I asked to relate any folk beliefs or legends she had for the purpose of a project.

My Thoughts:

I think that this appears to be an occupational magic superstition, where doing something, in this case flipping your boat, produces bad luck for a period of time. In sailing, or anything pertaining to boats, I think it’s typical to have superstitions that warn of danger or bring bad luck to the sailors considering the somewhat dangerous nature of its activity. Being an occupational superstition, this belief likely also functions as a way to bind the community closer together by having certain beliefs that they all adhere to that outsiders might not know.