You can tell the weather has been horrible - both this blog and intheboatshed.net have been watching the telly. Gavin links to a very splendid Channel 4 series that I missed, called Classic Ships, available to watch on 4oD. This episode focuses on pleasure craft, including the Thames skiffs and slipper boats that my grandparents used to have when I was a kid.
iPlayer, which has the big advantage that you can fast forward over the stuff about the lovelorn vet and the visiting bishop.
The local Methodist minister blessed the boat with a lovely Celtic benediction, and even spoke it in Dutch, one of the world's least pronouncable languages.
There was a thoughtful discussion of whether a religious ceremony is necessary in these secular times. I think it is purely because every community, including rowing clubs, needs ritual at certain points and a religious service fits the bill whether you believe in it or not. As the scientist Lord May said on Desert Island Discs when asked why he goes to church despite being an atheist: "I believe in following the rituals of my tribe."