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What Is The Ideal Boat Name?

How to name a boat

Bringing home a new boat is similar to adopting a pet, mostly due to the fact that you and anyone else involved are almost guaranteed to disagree about what to name it. You will need to name it as part of USCG registration requirements. There are some easy do's and don'ts in this article that should make the entire process at least a little bit smoother for you.

Whatever you decide to name your boat, it needs to live up to that name. A boat that isn't in ship-shape (quite literally) is hardly worth a name at all. Keep your vessel looking amazing with Better Boat's boat deck teak brightener and pair it with our hybrid ceramic sealant spray for a shine that simply can't be beat.

There is a lot that needs to be considered when deciding on a boat name.

Ideal Boat Name malaria

Avoid Names That Sound Like Emergencies

You should absolutely never name a boat after reserved radio words. Over and Out, Mayday, Say Again aren't going to make you friends on the water. Additionally, avoid wordplay or homonyms that sound like actual emergencies. "Mate's Day", "Hit It!", "Knot Working", "Synching Feeling" are all absolutely horrible names for any watercraft.

Boat Names Should Be Easily Understood

If you tell people the name of your boat and they say "what?" that's a bad sign. Names that are commonly used words might not be the most glamorous but at least it will be understood the first time it's spoken the majority of the time. It isn't an ego-driven concern either, as with all boating emergencies seconds can make all the difference in keeping yourself afloat and staying alive.

Ideal Boat Name inlet

You Will Need To Spell It. Many, Many Times.

Going along with the previous thought, after someone say "what?" you'll be cornered into spelling the name of your vessel phonetically. Long boat names paired with a port of origin that's difficult to spell is a nightmare in the making. If you're sailing the "Western Aleutian" from a port of registry in Pascagoula, Mississippi? In an emergency your boat will end up on the ocean floor before you're close to finished.

Let Your Personality Shine Through!

You'll want a name that adds personality both to the vessel and the captain. For instance, a tiny boat named Poseidon or Cthulu might cue a few chuckles, though I am a fan of the irony. Same story for a luxury yacht named the Piccolo or Nuthatch. If you do happen to see a giant ship named Piccolo, you can easily assume that the owner is a musician of sorts with a decent sense of humor about himself.

Ideal Boat Name map finger

Pun Boat Names Are Considered Cheesy.

I've seen a lot of them in my time, but they usually just garner sidelong glances from other sailors. This is a watercraft that you are entrusting your life to, so it's probably not a good idea to turn it into a joke. A dash of irony is nice, a pun is a bridge too far. "Knot Too Bad", "Seas The Day", "Reel Life" are good for a chuckle, but do you really want to look at it every day?

I've got a million of these, in case you feel the need for more cringe.

  • Aboat Time
  • Tug Life
  • Seaductress
  • Pier Pressure
  • Usain Boat
  • Fishizzle
  • Yeah Buoy

"For Sail" is probably my favorite pun, but still not great.

Choose An Epic Name

For the same reason you shouldn't cop out on a boat name with a pun, you should definitely choose a name that can inspire some shock and awe. It's this watercraft that will carry you out of the harbor and towards supreme victory or abject failure. That might seem a bit over-dramatic, but I assure you it isn't at all.

Here are some amazing boat names:

  • Dawn Treader
  • White Lightning
  • Dreadnaught
  • Staghound
  • Stargazer
  • Lord of the Isles
  • The Nautilus

Plenty of those epic names are lifted right from literature, but being a bit of a copy cat shouldn't deter you. There's a reason these ships are famous, and they bring grand adventure to mind.

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Crafting An Original Boat Name

Choose An Adjective/Emotion

Names are shorter without one of these throw in, but it can certainly add a bit of flavor if you feel the need. Drunken is a favorite adjective of mine, but everyone and their mother has seen a ship named the Drunken Sailor. How about the Drunken Monkey? Now we're talking. It has a touch of humor if you're imagining a drunken monkey, but it can also call to mind a very effective martial arts style!

From Mythology

From creatures to various gods and goddesses, names from mythology can convey a lot of power in a very short time. My very first boat was named Charis. Pulled straight from Greek mythology, Charis was one of the Charites. They were goddesses of wisdom, beauty, creativity, nature, and fertility.

Charis is also the wife of Hephaestus in Homer's "The Iliad". A lot of folks don't understand the depth of the name, and that's alright too. It's easy to understand and very simple to spell. As a matter of fact, there have actually been two Charis. I will likely use the name for any boat I end up owning.

From the Animal Kingdom

Almost as equally mesmerizing as the legends of old are the exciting beasts we can find all around us today. If you fear coming off as pretentious, a boat name from the animal kingdom might fit you like a glove. A dinghy named the Stingray has a nice ring to it!

If your boat has a hibernation season you might call it Little Bear or Giant Sloth. Be sure to keep your boat safe from the cruelties of weather with a polyester boat cover paired with our boat cover support poles to prevent water from pooling on the cover.