Choosing the Perfect Moniker

Can you guess the profession of these boat owners based on their boat’s name? Fender Bender, Luna Sea, Fire Escape. Fender Bender belongs to the owner of an auto body shop, Luna Sea is owned by a psychiatrist and Fire Escape belongs to, you guessed it, a fireman. These names are not only unique, but as you can see, have special meaning to their owners.

If you have struggled to come up with a name for your boat then you are not alone. What things should you consider when naming your vessel? Certainly you could name your boat something that directly or indirectly relates to your profession as was demonstrated in the previous examples. Is there a special women in your life? Women’s names have always been popular boat names. Betty Ann, Rebecca and Miss Susan are some of the ones I have lettered for their owners. Just make sure the woman in your life will be a permanent fixture unless you don’t mind the hassle of renaming the boat down the road. One of my customers named her boat Mama Mia in memory of her mother. Mama Mia was the pet name bestowed on her mother by the children because she loved the movie bearing the name so much. Since it was money from her mother’s estate that paid for the boat, the daughter thought it only right to name the watercraft after her.

Just make sure the woman in your life will be a permanent fixture unless you don’t mind the hassle of renaming the boat down the road

Another practice is to coin a name that has a nautical spin on it. Sea Saw, Nauti-Girl and Seas the Day are common examples. A similar theme is the sport of fishing itself. Finicky, Cod Father and Holy Mackerel are prime examples. Some are even able to pay homage to both their profession and the love of fishing with a creative name. Click Bait could belong to a web designer and Knot on Call to someone in the medical profession.

Some names should probably be avoided. A boat named Drunk All Day or 3 Sheets in the Wind may draw unwanted attention from the Coast Guard. Also, try to avoid cliches. In the ’80s, sailboats named My Only Vice done in hot pink and teal to emulate Miami Vice, the popular TV series could be found in every marina. Think twice before choosing names with risqué double entendres like Wet Dream, Bow Movement and Wasted Seamen. Ask yourself if the possible negative responses to the name is worth the occassional smile it brings to an admirer. Very long names can also be problematic both when using it over the radio and for the sign painter that has to fit it on the back of the boat. A Wave From It All might be a cute play on words but with so many letters and spaces the phrase could be too long to get ample height to make it legible from a distance. There are many names that while acceptable are so popular that they are overused. High Maintenance, Black Pearl and Serenity come to mind.

While I have lettered literally hundreds of boats over the years I have never owned my own boat. Even so, I have tried unsuccessfully to come up with a unique boat name for myself; just in case. I wanted a name that indirectly referenced my profession of sign painting. I suppose if the boat had a red hull and was fast I could name it Red Rocket. Any ideas? What special name did you come up with for your boat and why?

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