First disclaimer: I am not changing the name of Big Bird, the name fits too well…
Second Disclaimer: I am not going to do much research here, this is just common sense.
It has always been considered to be bad luck to change a boats name, and I am guessing that if you looked back in the history of boats, there was a propensity to disaster after the boats changed names, but lets look a little closer at this.
Why did they change the name? Usually if an owner has a boat they are not going to change the name of the boat while they own it, the boats name is going to signify a new owner or operator of the boat.
This brings up the question:
Why did the previous owner sell it? Was the boat already on its last legs and it was easier to find a sucker to buy it than to scrap it, or does the new owner/operator have any idea what they are doing.
If it is a new boat with a new operator, does the crew have any idea what they are doing, do they know all of the quirks of this new boat, can they read the weather just by listening to the hull and the rigging? I am going to guess not.
Is the new operator/owner familiar with the area that they are sailing the boat into? Do they know all of the hazards, what the weather is likely to do, where the hidden rocks, good places to find shelter, quirks of harbor entrances, etc. are?
Does the new owner really have to earn a buck off this boat to recover their investment and is as a result willing to take unreasonable chances with the boat in order to get their return on investment.
And this is how people die.