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Why Are Bananas Bad Luck On A Fishing Boat?

The reasons bananas are bad luck on boats

The Superstitions Surrounding Bananas On Boats

Are you curious about the superstition surrounding bananas on fishing boats? It’s a long-held belief that bananas bring bad luck to those at sea, and in this article, we will provide you with a list of reasons why bananas are considered bad luck on fishing boats.

See also: The Wackiest Fishing Superstitions Anglers Swear By.

The History Of Bananas Being Bad Luck On Boats

The exact origin of why boaters and fishermen consider Bananas to be Bad Luck is up for debate.  Some have said it dates back to the 1700s when sailors would find shipwrecks surrounded by bananas floating on the surface. 

Others say the reasons might be more practical, such as the attraction of pests that would infest the ship and spread diseases.

Nevertheless, bananas are not very popular among mariners, and there are plenty of reasons why (See Below).

why no bananas on boats

7 Reasons Why Bananas Might Be Bad Luck On Boats:

Here is a list of reasons we have compiled that should explain why you won’t find many bananas on ships or fishing boats:

  1. Superstition: Some sailors believe that bananas could bring tragedy to their voyage by inviting bad weather or running aground, and fishermen believe they scare away fish.
  2. Pest infestation: Bananas were once believed to attract pests, such as weevils, roaches, and spiders.  These insects could not only damage the ship and her other cargo, but they would also spread disease among the crew and potentially be poisonous.  It’s no wonder these crews thought bananas were bad luck!!
  3. Ethylene gas production: As bananas ripen, they produce a gas called ethylene, which can accelerate the ripening of other nearby fruits and vegetables. This can be a problem on a boat, where the confined space and warm temperatures can cause the ethylene gas produced by ripe bananas to build up and destroy other cargo on board.
  4. Limited storage space: On a boat, space is often at a premium. Bringing bananas on board may not be practical due to the limited space available for storage.
  5. Short shelf life: Bananas have a relatively short shelf life compared to other types of fruit, which means that they may not last as long on a voyage. This can be a problem for sailors who rely on fresh food to sustain them on long voyages.
  6. Cultural Reasons:  In some cultures, bananas were seen as a symbol of decay and death, and it was believed that bringing them on board a ship would bring bad luck and possibly even death to the sailors.
  7. Fire: Fires on wooden ships have been a major problem for sailors since the beginning of time. The ethene gases that cause fruits and vegetables to ripen faster can lead to fermentation and the production of alcohol, which is highly flammable and can easily ignite a fire. Without any fire suppression systems or running water, these fires can quickly spread throughout the ship, leaving sailors with no way to put them out.

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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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