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How To Name A Boat

how to name a boat

Boat naming has been a longstanding tradition dating back thousands of years, with sailors often naming their vessels after deities and saints.

Choosing the right name for your boat is essential as it can reveal your personality, passions, and life experiences. This guide is designed for first-time boat owners who are looking for inspiration and guidance on how to properly name their boat.

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Steps for Naming Your Boat

Follow these key steps when deciding on a name for your boat:

  1. Keep it short – Boat names should be 1-3 words max and easily fit on the transom. This makes it readable at a glance and easy to say over marine radio when hailing other boats. Stick to 33 characters or less.
  2. Make it meaningful – Choose a name that has personal significance to you, ties to your lifestyle and hobbies, or evokes the unique personality of your boat. Make it meaningful!
  3. Get creative – Play on words, nautical puns, and pop culture references make for clever and memorable boat names. Have fun with it!
  4. Avoid bad luck – Don’t reuse a name from a previous boat or use profanity. Some sailors believe it’s bad luck to rename a boat without performing a special “purging ceremony” beforehand.
  5. Match your boat – Make sure the name suits the size, type, age and personality of your vessel. For example, a bold powerful name for a big motorboat.
  6. Research availability – Thoroughly search marine databases to ensure no other boat shares your desired name. This avoids confusion over radio.
  7. Make it official – Prominently display the name on your boat’s hull and file it on all documentation, registration, insurance papers, etc.

Popular Types of Boat Names

TypeExamples
Female namesAquaholic, Serenity, Bella Donna
Lifestyle/hobbiesHappy Hooker, Codfather, Out of Patience
Pop cultureMargaritaville, Key of C, Black Pearl
PunsKnot Guilty, Dock and Awe, Anchors Away
TraditionalPoseidon, Sea Eagle, Blue Horizon

How to Christen Your Boat

Traditionally, a christening ceremony is held by boat owners to bring good luck and fortune to a newly named boat before its maiden voyage. Here’s how to properly christen your recreational boat or yacht:

  • Gather friends, family, and anyone special at the boat’s dock or marina slip. Break out champagne!
  • Make a toast to the boat, with mention of its new name. Share memories and hopes.
  • Place a green branch on the boat to symbolize safe return from future voyages.
  • Officially name the boat out loud and pour drink over the bow. Smash a bottle if you dare!
  • Take the newly christened boat out for a quick spin around the harbor – its maiden voyage!

Is it Bad Luck to Rename a Boat?

According to traditional maritime superstition amongst sailors, renaming a boat without first seeking permission from the gods of the sea (Poseidon, Neptune) brings terrible misfortune and bad luck.

To safely rename a boat without angering the sea gods, first perform a “purging ceremony.” This involves completely removing all physical evidence of the boat’s old name and asking for the gods’ forgiveness. Refrain from mentioning the new name until the purging is complete.

After the purging ceremony, you can officially christen the boat with its brand new name. Also avoid reusing names from your other boats in the past. While boat name traditions are mostly based on maritime lore and myths, it never hurts to stay on the good side of the sea gods!

Key Takeaways: How to Name Your Boat

  • Keep boat names short – 1-3 words max with 33 characters or less
  • Pick a meaningful, clever name that suits your boat
  • Thoroughly research names to avoid duplicates
  • Prominently display the new name on the hull
  • Traditionally christen the newly named boat
  • Take extreme care when renaming boats to avoid back luck

Use these boat naming tips when choosing the perfect name for your vessel. Pick a name that reflects your style and personality while following maritime traditions. Your boat’s name is your identity out on the open water!

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Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.


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