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
#4 Dream Weaver
#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.
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.