How to Name a Boat

13 Jul

Or rather, how not to name your boat.

Every year BoatUS posts the top ten boat names based on orders they receive for decals. Frankly, these names are crap. Here are the 2011 winners. You just know that these lean heavily toward the powerboat market, as they have no common sense anyway, but they give a taste for just how sad a state most boats are in when it comes to their owners naming them.

 

#1 Seas the Day

#2 Nauti Buoy

#3 Aquaholic

#4 Dream Weaver

#5 Pegasus

#6 Serenity Now

#7 Second Wind

#8 Liquid Asset

#9 Miss Behavin'

#10 Blew By You

 

Seas the Day. Number one. Meaning a whole bunch of people slapped stickers on their boats with that name. So lame.

 

I'm writing this in the hopes of helping the folks out there who, for one reason or another, are completely and utterly unoriginal in their boat naming. I walk down the docks and just shake my head sadly at all the idiotic names splayed across hulls.

 

Tips:

 

1. One word only please. Two if you absolutely can't come up with anything. And three only if you are mentally unstable. Here's how I read this.

 

One word name: this boat may actually be going somewhere. The owner realizes that throughout the world he will often need to spell his boat name phonetically over the VHF. Under ten letters is preferable, anything more and you'll be repeating it indefinitely. Mine is bad enough: Bravo, Uniform, Mike, Foxtrot, Uniform, Zulu, Zulu, Lima, Echo.

 

Two word name: this boat may sail from Florida to the Bahamas, or California to Mexico. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Those are worthy destinations. The names just have that vibe of somebody not going any further.

 

Three word name: this boat will never leave the dock.

 

2. If you are a catamaran owner please do everybody a big favor and avoid the use of any of these: Cat, Kat, Two, Dual, Meow, Purr. We get it, it's a catamaran, also known as a cat, and it has two hulls instead of one. Yes, yes, we all know that. You are not being witty in any way shape or form by pointing this out. This would be like naming your baby girl, Gurl.

 

3. Please for the love of all things holy, forgo the word WIND. Yes, you are a sailboat. Yes, the wind propels you. Yes, you are a Wind Dreamer. A Wind Catcher. A Windsong. You are full of hot air.

 

4. Using a sailing term to mean something else is not witty, it is something best left to rappers. Wind Ketcher. Barf. Y Knot. Nauti Buoy. Sail Pending. Barf, barf, and more barf.

 

5. Please avoid the use of your real names. Combo husband and wife names really make me wonder what size skirt it is that that guy wears. And naming a boat after your wife or child is so eighteenth century. Also, it will not get them to like sailing any more than they otherwise would.

 

6. This is the best advice you can be given. Believe me. When choosing a name you must think in terms of what you will become known as. Keeping in mind that when out cruising nobody you meet is going to remember your real names, they will only know you by your boat name.

 

For example, our boat name is Bumfuzzle, and we are therefore known as, “The Bums.” It's perfect really. Nothing could be more fitting. Friends that we shared this tip with decided to name their boat Rockstar so that they could forever be known in anchorages around the globe as, “The Rockstars.” They aren't of course, I don't think they even play an instrument, but who doesn't want to be a rockstar?

 

7. And these days there is one more tip to be had. Pick a name with an open domain, because let's face it, there isn't a cruiser left out there that doesn't blog about themselves. Because we're all just so darn special. And as far as annoying names go, a blog with a domain name of www.s-v-summerwind-sails_around_the_world.blogspot.com, is a definite winner.

 

All right, so that's enough to get you started in the right direction. If you've found your name picked on in the above, take heart, you can always change the name. It's not a child after all.  

Comments

  1. Noah Frazier

    This is indefinitely the most negative and attitude drenched article I’ve ever read. For future reference, rather than exclusively focusing on what to NOT name my boat, offer helpful suggestions and perhaps slip your synical views in as comic relief. Thank you.

  2. Suzanna

    I thought the photo showed the Grand Prize Winner of pathetic names….then read the article and realized that the man who named his own boat Bumfuzzle thinks he’s standing on high ground as he looks out and judges….oh, and Emperor, how do you like your new clothes?

  3. Crisco

    Kind of amusing to read your post. It’s. It’s not hard to see from the previous comments who named their boats before they read your post. lol I’m glad I read it so I don’t make the same mistakes they did.

  4. Spicy

    How to name a boat?-legally, not emotionally! The original post is so far off course, Bumfuzzle says it quite well. Does the name get listed on the registration? Must it be a one and only? These questions are what this is about (or aboat, haha-yuk, might as well say abumfuzzle). So maybe some other straight sailing skipper has an answer with better navigation. Or they are holding out (in a similar silly way) like it’s sweet smellin’ tuna honey hole.

  5. Andy

    I’m sorry if this sounds grouchy, just getting my coffee, but, while I do agree that the list of oft-used play on words names are indeed unoriginal, perhaps those who named their boat Bumfuzzle should not instruct others on how to name a boat. Bumfuzzle. Really? Reminds me of the glass house/throwing stones analogy. FYI: The reasons you have to keep spelling the name of your boat? It’s not a real word, and no matter how many times you repeat it, they presume a VHF receiver malfunction. Just my two cents. All the best.

  6. Kristie

    One thing I would never do is put down someone else boat name, just saying… I guess I will remember if I ever hear Bumfuezzed on the radio needing help. Kristie, s/v Sail Pending.

  7. Romain

    Great article, really funny. Thanks for sharing.
    We are looking forward to naming our boat next winter.

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  9. Bruce

    This is pretty funny; I might have to find your Paypal button! I’m shopping for a boat. I know the make and size, just gotta find the boat. Thinking about names and what fits! Honest, I actually checked the domain name availability on two names. I mean, really, when I leave, I’m gone…my Facebook name changes to the boat, a boat blog goes up, all other websites come down and I become the boat. It needs to be a good name.

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