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Boat Names: Is It Really That Important?

Boat NamesA boat is not just a boat to a "true-blue cruiser". It's our home, our life, our "escape pod" and we feel very attached to every part of that boat, including the name. So when we name the boat, it should be done with careful consideration, selecting a name that is significant to the owner. Traditionally boats were typically given female names after goddesses or mythical figures, but that tradition has changed. Modern pleasure vessels are named virtually anything from the rather unfortunate monikers like "Breakin' Wind" or "Blow Me" to the utterly ridiculous like "Fartbutt" (those are real registered boat names!). Others are just plain lame like "Sea U Soon" or "Autopsea". Funny, maybe. But what if you need to call the Coast Guard saying: "Ya Sister's Ass", "Ya Sister's Ass", "Ya Sister's Ass" (again, a real registered boat name) ? Hmm...

Picture from thechive.com

Do understand that the name will project to the world who we are. So be sure that it is distinctive, short, appropriate, easy to spell and pronounce and most of all makes you feel happy. Before you name your boat, say the name three times (as in calling on the VHF radio) and decide if it sounds like you will be easily understood in an emergency, not made fun of and does not sound obnoxious...not to say that you should not have fun with naming your boat but do be a little prudent! When you name your boat, it’s usually a time of dreaming and fantasizing for you and your imagination can run wild but remember, the name will be a representation of you. Also consider that you will be known by your boat name by other cruisers and imagine being known as Stephen & Estelle, the"Aqua Farts" or the " Shameless Hookers" for the rest of your cruising life!

Sailor superstition also dictates that if you change your boat's name, that you should go through an elaborate ceremony to get rid of the old name and officially introduce your new name to King Neptune and ask for good fortune for the vessel and crew. So if you are going to change the name and if you are a little superstitious, follow the denaming ceremony as described by John Vigor.  

Stephen an I named our boats for the things that were significant to us at the time. We wanted the names to be easily pronounced and recognizable, has some connection to the sea or a place we visited and could be a conversation piece...nothing quite like swilling a good dark rum while telling your boat name story! There was "Royal Salute", "Mithril", "Siyaya" and currently "Zuri". Follow the link for pictures and descriptions of the names.

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