I just read an interesting short story of how Hawaiians went about making dug out canoes in days gone by. It mostly deals with selecting the right tree and involves searching for the right tree, sacrifice before the tree is cut down, (the usual pigs, fish, and sometimes humans) a ceremony when the tree is cut down, endless watching for omens, (noise from the tree as it is cut, birds flying overhead, etc.) and the following blessing of a priest: "Grant a canoe which shall be swift as a fish, to sail in stormy seas, when the storm tosses on all sides." More ceremony when the half finished log is pulled to the beach, then more when the outrigger is placed. Causes me to wonder if we ever had a patron saint of canoes or if canoes ever got blessed. As with all these things, I believe it is the impact on our sub-conscious that is most important, causing us to be more alert to danger or misuse. see: "Hawaiian Legends' by William Westervelt.