How to Name a Boat

How to Name a Boat

June 13, 2023
How to Name a Boat

Buying a boat is exciting for myriad reasons. You can almost imagine the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. Choosing a name for your boat can be an intriguing prospect, but finding one that stands out can be challenging with so many clever boat names out there. Once you’ve purchased a new boat, naming her is the final step to making her uniquely yours. 

With some simple ideas, you can learn how to name your boat, choosing a name that reflects who you are and makes people smile. 

Why Do We Name Boats?

Naming your boat is a rite of passage for many boat owners. Although identification is a primary reason we name boats today, naming a boat has more significance than that. Great boat names tell people something about your passions, character and experiences. 

People name boats for sentimental, traditional and personal reasons. It can also help with simple communication, making it easy for people to find you and communicate over the radio. Whatever your reasons for naming your boat, it’s a tradition few boating enthusiasts can live without. In fact, it’s challenging to find a boat without a name. 

Boat Naming Traditions and Superstitions

Sailors have had names for boats for thousands of years. They started naming their boats out of superstition, hoping the deities and saints that served as namesakes would provide safe passage and good fortune on their travels. Traditionally, boats were named after women, and the naming ceremony took place before a ship’s inaugural launch. 

While there’s more freedom nowadays in what you can name your boat, many avid sailors still conduct a naming ceremony in keeping with age-old customs. There are also superstitions that many present-day boaters abide by, including staying away from unlucky names in case they bring bad fortune. Whether you’re superstitious or not, it might be best not to tempt fate and stay away from naming your boat after a vessel that met misfortune, like the Titanic. 

Tips and Tricks for Naming a Boat

Knowing where to start is helpful if you’re looking for boat names. With the following tips and tricks, choosing the perfect name for your boat could be easier than you think:

  • Start short and sweet: Think pithy and memorable so it’s easy for friends and family to understand and fits on the transom. People should be able to recognize the name over VHF radio. 
  • Be unique: If you do it right, you’ll only name your boat once, so use your imagination and try to come up with something no one else has thought of before. The last thing you want is to sail into a marina and see another boat with the same name as yours. 
  • Keep it family-friendly: Keep your boat name clean and classy, whether considering family boat names or going for a more mature feel. 
  • Play on words: Puns and cliches are a great way to give your boat some personality and earn originality points among your fellow boaters. 
  • Make it about you: Your boat name should reflect your personality, passions or hobbies. For example, ‘Alibi’ could be a fun way to add character to your boat if you’re a lawyer. 
  • Consider the location: Having a great boat name is one thing, but you must also consider where to put it. Think about colors and fonts that match your boat, and have a clear vision of the finished product. You can hire professionals to complete the layout or complete the project yourself. 
  • Think about tradition: Although no rule states you should stick with tradition, you could use it as inspiration. Sailors used to name boats after women they loved. You could consider a loved one’s name if it resonates with you. 
  • Remember the boat: Boat names should reflect your personality but should also work with the boat. Consider the type of boat you have in mind and try and use it to inspire the name. 
  • Have a theme: A nautical theme is an obvious and fitting choice, especially if you want to name your boat after songs, movies or artworks. 
  • Entertain: If people smile when they hear your boat name on the radio or catch sight of your transom, you’ve brought some fun and positivity to fellow boaters.
Choosing a Name for Your Boat

Choosing a Name for Your Boat

With the above tips and tricks to guide you, you can start narrowing down potential names for your boat. Remember, your boat name embodies you, your personality, your sense of humor and your love for being out on the water. Take your time coming up with the perfect name. Some boaters believe in various superstitions about renaming a boat, like the need to perform a renaming ceremony to avoid bad luck. Choosing the right name the first time is more than convenient. 

Consider the following questions to help you get even closer to a great boat name:

  • How big is your boat or yacht?
  • What type of boat do you own? While most leisure boats don’t use prefixes, adding one could be fun and meaningful. Prefixes illustrate your propulsion system — SS stands for steamship, for example — so make sure you use the right one if you use it at all. 
  • How would you describe your boat’s personality? You may have noticed she has some quirks already. 
  • What emotional response do you want from your boat name? Do you want people to laugh? Would you like to convey romance? Maybe you’re looking for a name with an adventurous overtone.
  • What are some of your favorite things? Do you have a favorite movie, song or animal? 
  • Can you tie your boat name to your hobbies or profession?

Write some of your top choices down or say them aloud. Do you get a good feeling about one of the names? There’s a good chance you’ve found a name for your boat. 

How to Create a Memorable Boat Naming Ceremony

Boat naming ceremonies are optional but date back to ancient Greek times and traditionally evoke protection for sailors. Present-day boat naming ceremonies are more of a celebration. Organizing a get-together is an excellent way to honor old maritime traditions and celebrate your new boat. 

You’ll need some friends and family, a bottle of something, like Champagne, to break on your boat and a branch of greens to represent your safe return to shore. Keep your wine in a bag to prevent the glass from littering the deck. Prepare the boat for a short maiden voyage at the end of the ceremony. 

When your friends and family are gathered, read a short poem and say some words about the boast. Make a toast to many safe and happy voyages and break the bottle of wine over the bow. Invite your guests aboard and set out on your new adventure. 

Find the Perfect Boat for You With Formula Boats

Just as your boat’s name should reflect your personality, so should your boat itself. From powerful day boats with exciting performance like the Sun Sport to spacious luxury yachts, Formula Boats has something for everyone. You can even build the perfect boat, customizing every feature to reflect your unique personality. Whatever you’re looking for, Formula Boats can help you find the boat of your dreams. 

Formula Boats combine fine-tuned design, authentic craftsmanship and superior performance, so you can make more memories every time you’re out on the water. Browse our quality selection of boats or find a dealer near you and start your new adventure today. 

Find the Perfect Boat for You With Formula Boats
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