Naming your Boat

Naming a Boat

Naming your boat is a long-standing nautical tradition; use our tips on how to give your boat a memorable and meaningful name.

It’s all in the name. Or is it?

When it comes to naming your boat, there is a long-standing tradition in the nautical world, one steeped in history and one of great importance dating back centuries. It’s based on superstition and safe passage. The process of naming one’s boat is not to be taken lightly.

Buying a boat is a HUGE event; just ask any boat owner. Now that you have your boat, it needs a name. Boat names vary and many boat owners take great pride and creativity when selecting the perfect name. Boat names can range from quirky and fun, to meaningful or inspirational.

In this blog, we’ll give you tips on finding the best name for your boat, the history of boat naming, and how to celebrate properly.

Ancient Greek ShipAncient Greek Ship

Why Name Your Boat?

To truly appreciate the boat-naming tradition, let’s take a look at its history.

Legend has it that centuries ago, boats were named to ward off fear and superstition. Since boating was one of the primary forms of transportation, many relied on traveling the high seas for exploring and commerce.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all believed that a boat’s moniker should show honor and respect to a god, and in turn, that this particular god would protect the ship and keep all onboard safe and out of harm’s way when traveling on their many voyages.

Christians soon followed suit and named their ships after saints, using the same reasoning as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, that these saints would offer smooth sailing and protection during their voyages.

Why Are Boats Named After Women?

Femaile Mythical CreatureFemaile Mythical Creature

As with most long-standing traditions, there’s more than one story. The same is true for naming boats after a woman.

1. Mythical Creatures

The first theory is that naming ships after gods, like the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, waned in popularity; it was replaced with mythical creatures. Many of these creatures were women, such as fairies and mermaids, which supports this belief in the transition of using female names.

2. Languages

The second story is based on languages. Did you know that several languages assign genders to words? Yes, these words are either feminine or masculine. Olde English happened to be one those languages that followed this protocol of giving feminine or masculine genders to inanimate objects, and it has stuck ever since.

3. Mother Nature

Yet another theory has to do with Mother Nature. Ancient sailors knew and respected the power that Mother Nature had on their voyages. They believed if they named their vessel after a woman, this would make Mother Nature happy, and she would offer safe travels to them.

Whatever theory you believe, naming your boat is a seriously fun part of boating!

How To Name A Boat?

Now comes the really fun part! It’s time to name your boat. The options are limitless. You want to make sure you are taking the right steps. We’ve made this easy for you to start the process.

How To Name Your BoatHow To Name Your Boat

Here are 7 tips to consider when selecting your boat’s name:

1. Get Creative

The options are limitless when you unleash your creativity. Let your imagination run wild, keep a running list of ideas, so you don’t forget. Keep adding to the list.

2. Originality For The Win

Adding to creativity is originality when it comes to naming your boat. You want a moniker that reflects who you are and is timeless. Stay away from kitschy phrases or anything crude. Boat names are like vanity license plates. Others shouldn’t spend hours trying to figure out what they mean.

3. Make Them Laugh

Think “Dad Jokes.” This can be a fun family activity. It should be a relatable name that others understand the humor right away. Puns abound in this part of the naming process.

4. Make It Easy To Say

While this is a fun process, you’ll want a name that easily rolls off the tongue. In case of water emergencies, you want others to understand what you are saying quickly. Long and hard to pronounce names may be entertaining, but people may struggle to understand or repeat the name.

5. What Does The Name Say About You?

Select a name that reveals who you are. The tradition of naming a boat is all about the captain. Remember, the name you select becomes your nautical legacy, one that will be linked with your name-make it a good one!

6. Include Inspiration!

Make sure you’re considering what inspires you-movies, songs, your friends, family, occupation and more. Inspiration can provide a whole list of names to your growing list.

7. Keep It Short & Sweet

Don’t forget you’ll want to fit the name on your boat’s transom, the most traditional spot for the name. You can also display it on the hull if your boat has a smaller transom and outboard engine. It’s best to keep the name to one or two words at the most.

Now that you have these tips, you’re sure to find the right name for your boat. Just dive right in and get started! See what we did here? A perfect example of a pun or Dad joke!

Have fun!

Shop Now!

To celebrate your boat’s new name, you’ll want to adorn her with accessories bearing her namesake as well as protect her from damage.

We have a collection of decorative ring buoys that look as good on your boat as they do on your dock. Personalize them with the boat’s name with our life ring buoy letter kits.

Protect your new investment with our fender collection, trusted by boaters everywhere. Our boat fenders are made with the marine-grade vinyl that stands up to the harsh marine elements. Designed to safeguard your boat from taking on any damage from other boats and docks, we have the right fender for your new boat.