A keel laying ceremony is carried out by the owners of the shipyard and the vessel and is formal recognition that the ship’s construction has begun.
Before we modernised ship building with pre-fabricated sections, the keel laying was the action of placing the first section of timber or steel in the building dock. This served as the backbone of the ship and referred to as the keel.
Sometimes coins are placed under the keel or in the hull for good luck at the keel laying. This is known as a coin ceremony.
It’s not usually a glamorous event as it will be held in a shipyard and for health and safety reasons, guests will be required to wear hard hats.