Many thousands of years ago, sailors and boat owners named their boats after gods. This was a time of superstition and many believed that by honoring the gods in this way, they would remain safe as they transversed dangerous seas.
At the time the technology wasn’t as advanced as today. Now sailors have access to boats that use marine batteries.
Many of these names were of goddesses and as the times went by, people started to change over from goddess names and started to call their boats female names. Perhaps this was because females are associated with calm, nurturing as well as beauty and they wanted to portray these features in the boats.
The ancient Romans and the Greeks brought about the tradition of naming a boat and celebrating with wine and parties right before or after the boat was launched. In other societies, it was taken so seriously that sacrifices were made which could have either been animal or even human.
This is how to name a boat.
And there was also the best time to name the boat which often was during high tide or when there was a full moon.
Now, these traditions have been replaced by champagne and a woman is now often given the role of naming a boat. She will become the godmother or the sponsor.
Many people still believe to this day that it is bad luck to rename or change the name of a boat. It is not unusual to see all the supporting documents change from the logbook to all the other associating papers. Only then can the boat be renamed.
Any items that were on the boat such as oars, lifebuoys, boat covers and dinghy could only be used if the name of the boat had been completely erased. Also, you had to wait a whole day to name the boat followed by what was going to be a party intended to erase any memory and traces of the old name.
It sounded quite a bit superstitious especially to modern sailors but this is what people did at the time to ensure that any misfortune does not follow the sailors when out at sea.
How a boat is named today
You can name your boat any name that you like and it can even be as long as you like. There are no laws or regulations that govern how you are going to name the boat. However, there are a few common sense factors to keep in mind.
Many people will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars buying a boat but come short when providing it with the best name. While many will choose a name that has significance to them, it’s important to ensure that the name is easy to pronounce. Keep this in mind when thinking about how to name a boat.
Think of a situation where you need to call in help through the VHF marine radio. You want the coastguard to easily understand and identify your boat in order to launch a successful rescue. Having a complicated name could antagonize the rescue crew and cost precious time. And in any rescue situation, time is a very important factor.
Most people will go for a name that has a significant meaning in their lives such as their mother’s name, their girlfriend’s name. Others may opt to give their boat a name that reminds them of how they got it such as a lottery name or the stock market.
For others, it’s all about being clever and using nautically spelled letters such as the fayafly. Others will use clever names such as legasea or nautiboy. However as we mentioned above, it’s important to never complicate the names. Using names such as fahrfrum Wurkenare is simply too complicated though quite clever.
If you have a good idea for what you would like to call your boat, then go right ahead. You may even want to add a numeral after the name.
Names to avoid
While you can pretty much name our boat anything that you like. There are names that you probably want to steer away from. However, you will probably agree that it’s not the best thing to name your boat after the Titanic or Lusitania. And you definitely wouldn’t want to name your boat bottoms up because that is just inviting bad luck.
Always ensure you are using a great pair of boat shoes to minimize risks of falling and injuring yourself.
Also, if you want to name your boat after your wife, make sure she is okay with it. Sometimes she may not be willing to offer her name and this could be bad luck. Also calling your boat” the other woman” could head you straight in a divorce case if your wife gets the wrong idea.
It’s important that you consider whether the name you intend to use is going to be offensive or even rude. This is especially the case when children are involved and they have to use the boat. Make sure that the name is decent to use.
Also, avoid names that are similar for other boats in the harbor as this can end up causing a lot of confusion especially in a rescue attempt as the coast guards try to identify your particular boat.
When choosing a name consider how it will sound like when calling through the VHF. It should be simple for the coast guard to hear and remember. Avoid sarcastic names such as Get Reel, and some names such as Knott Now may simply not sound the best way. They may even come off as rude.
Make sure that your boat ahs the best VHF marine antenna for the best signals.
People you meet in the sea as you are using your boat will remember you by the name of your boat. Ask yourself if you would be okay with people referring to you as the Istan Oyster. Also, some names may sound nice and cleverly put together but you want to also consider how it would sound in another context. The last name you want to call your boat is the passing wind.
Registering the name of your boat
Since you can choose any name that you want for your boat, there are really no regulations and rules as far as naming a boat is concerned. However, while you are not obligated to register the name of your boat, you can choose to do so.
If you reside in the UK and you want to register your boat name, you can do this with the UK ship register. This will require you to provide a list of names since every boat needs to have a unique name. you can search through the internet and generate a list of potential names.
Check out all types of boats in one place.
You can also find out more about registering the name of your boat in your region. You can also get your inspiration from your family, your friends, any hobbies you might have, a movie or even one of your favorite songs.
You could even use your personal catchphrase as a name for your boat. For example, you may like to say, “look here” and use this as the name of your boat. If you like saying, “let me see” whenever you are asked a question, you could turn this into ‘let me sea’ as the name of the boat. This is how to name a boat.
Where to put your boat name
Getting a cool name for your boat is one thing but you will also need to place it at the right location. The best areas on the boat are the transom as well as the sides. However, don’t shy away from adding the name to the trailer on the life rigs.
There are professional companies that will paint the name on the boat. However, there is also the option of ordering vinyl letters and then applying the name onto the boat yourself.
If you are a DIY enthusiast, however, there are some things that you will need to make note of. Always observe the coast guard boating safety checklist for all boats.
one is that you will need to pick a large area that is also open on the transom of your boat. Ensure that you do not completely fill out the space.
Leave out a few inches on the outside of the name. This will ensure that the name is much more easily readable. It will also be easier to apply.
Secondly, avoid waxing the boat prior to adding the letters. The adhesive will not stick to the wax.
It’s better if you were putting on the name with the boat out of the water. It will ensure you do not make any mistakes when lettering.
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Giving your boat a name is a tradition that spans back thousands of years. You want to make sure that the name is easy to read and gives away your personality. Don’t be afraid to add a bit of fun when choosing a boat name.
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- How to name your boat, blog.esurance.com