Sometimes you have to do something totally for its symbolic value. Humans seem to have an in-built need for symbolism.
I don't know if it is a marine tradition (boy, there are a lot of these), but it certainly generated warm feelings when Scott torched his old bowsprit.
This came about like this. s/v Ghost had a rotten bowsprit, and Scott decided (inspired by moi) to build a new one. And like when I did ours, this was a long, drawn-out project. At the end, there is a great feeling of relief.
And what better way to celebrate that then to invite some friends to the little sand beach on the outside of the breakwater - it only shows at high tide, so timing is important! - to a ceremonial burning of the bowsprit. In case you are wondering, yes, that orange bucket is full of ice and beer... necessary ingredients for a ceremony of this solemnity.
I wonder if John Vigor has words useful for this ceremony?