Why are the boats named after ladies?

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Why are the boats named after ladies?

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A quick glance through Lloyds Register of Shipping shows that very few ships are named after ladies. Ships are in general considered to be female and are refered to as “She” Note that at the launching ceremony the words “I name this ship XYZ and may God bless all who sail in her” Sailors have throughout the ages made up stories as to why a ship is female and I note that several of the answers refer to these stories.

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