Thursday, June 19, 2014

Naming Your Boat

I am a long time reader, but first time emailer.  We are in the process of choosing a name for our new boat and I was curious if you've ever thought of compiling a list of TDP/preppy boat names.  Some are certainly better than others and I was interested in your thoughts.  

Thank you and keep up the great work.

Best wishes.

Boat names can be anything, and many use the transom to express their sense of humor, to present aspirations, funding sources, milestones, or, such as if you are lobstering, to honor a person in your life.

One more classic approach is to name your boat after a vessel in which one of your ancestors was passenger, owner/investor, or captain (ARBELLA, GODSPEED, WARWICK, ENDEAVOUR).  Another approach may be to name the boat after an attribute, ethos, or mission held to especially high esteem by your family, either throughout generations or of the moment (DEFIANCE, RESOLUTE, ENDEAVOR). Humor, if used, should be dry.

Others may have additional ideas for either boat names or approaches, and here are some names as thought starters.


  1. Back in the days, when my Dad and I were young boys, one was supposed to have seven letters in a boat name; one for each of the seven seas... And one was always to put a silver dollar, or such, under the mast step, for good luck...

  2. There were two boats in Manchester Harbor that belonged to the same owner. Both were painted light gray. One was a Concordia and the other was a lobster hull power boat. The first was named Crocodile and the other, Crocodile Tears. I still think that’s clever.

    There was also a beautiful motor sailor moored nearby named Cousin Elizabeth. The origin of the name: the owner’s elderly cousin left him money in her will to pay for the boat.

    But my favorite, moored next to us, was a dark blue Concordia, Serene, which was aptly named given how gracious the entire family was. Even when gathered together in the stern after a sail, the family spoke softly so as not to disturb the quiet of the evening.


  3. Some of the boats are really beautiful, but all are really loved!

  4. I wanted to name my Bermuda sloop the Atocha, but since it was best known for being a shipwreck, I was overruled by my in-laws and we named her after their only grandaughter, so now I'm sailing the Sea Cricket.

  5. We named ours the Cheshire Cat; partly because we lived in Cheshire for a few years, and partly because there are children's librarians in the family.

  6. I remember a boat named "Yankee Girl," but that was back in the 1970s. Wonder what ever happened to her? She was on the Great Lakes. It's a great name.

    Squaw would be considered politically incorrect, one would think.

  7. My father named his sailboat "Greensleeves" after the 16th-century English ballad. He liked the song and as she was white with green trim the name was appropriate.

    "Courage" to me seems appropriate as sailors/boaters need that attribute when navigating the unpredictable waters off the NE coast.

  8. MGC, I know Crocodile! Gorgeous!

    Our boat is called Patron - PATsy & RONnie.

    My favorite belonged to my Dad's boat mechanic - Ruthless - named after his divorce from.......Ruth!

  9. Our old boat is "Suum cuique", which is not only a rather appealing statement in its own right but also my great-grandfather's regimental motto, which, I believe, is why my grandfather gave this name to the boat.

  10. We had several successive boats called "Cordelia" after the good daughter in Lear. We never suffixed a numeral to the name. I used to race on a boat called "Passport"- always rather liked that one, too.

  11. My Grandfather named his first boat "Pagoo" after the Holling C. Holling childrens book about a hermit crab trying to find a larger shell. I think it's quite clever when you consider how most boat owners secretly (or not so secretly) dream of owning a larger boat.

    The Pagoo II has been moored on the John's Bay in South Bristol for 20 years now. :)


  12. Love the photo of that gorgeous
    Bermuda 40 yawl. My good friend named his Cape Dory ketch "Tanqueray",after the boat's "official" gin.


  13. I was in a vineyard vines store yesterday at the mall looking for a classic T-shirt for my niece. I didn't find anything. But I did have a laugh at the boat shaped checkout counter.

    The name on the back side of the boat?

    "Vineyard Vines,
    Plano, TX"

  14. Edith Hamilton is a good source of inspiration, e.g. Atlantis, Poseidon, Athena, Thalia, Aphrodite, Zeus etc.

  15. Always name your boat after your wife. That way she won't mind when you spend money on it.

  16. Ours was named 'Icy Eye' by her first owner, in the 1960s. I've always wanted to know the story behind the name, but we haven't been able to track him down to ask. We got her from the second owner, who didn't know how the name came about. Perhaps the way the original owner's wife looked at him when he announced the purchase?

  17. Our boat growing up was Reverie. If I ever own a sailboat it will be called Vandal Wind.

  18. I can't believe I'm coming out of lurk-dom (barely) to post this, but this is my favorite question to ask at dinner parties! Such amazing stories come from the answers and I always feel I learn so much about the person. I don't actually have an answer for it, either!

    I always ask one of two questions, what would you name your boat or what would you name your racehorse?

    For the record, I would name my racehorse Gladdy McBean. For no good reason.

  19. The voice of practicality here:

    How clearly and easily the name transmits across the VHF is a very important consideration in naming a boat.

    Two syllables is best, like a dog's name.

    We made sure our kids could pronounce ours too.

    happy sailing