The Real Meaning

What's in a boat name?

Published in the September 2011 Issue Published online: Sep 03, 2011 Feature Jan Clark
Viewed 232 time(s)

Why are boats named after women? Is it because we are cherished, worshipped, idolized and beautiful in the eyes of the owner? Because we're unforgettable, fun-loving, irresistible, sleek and stunning? Of course these are the reasons most normally name their boats after a woman.

Perhaps long ago they were named in honor of women to remind those pirates, sailors and fishermen that they did have a woman in their life already and this also let them not forget their names after being gone for months at a time.

Maybe like the female species, a boat can be very cooperative, run very smoothly until one day unexpectedly she becomes defiant, refuses to start up, become cold and cantankerous with a flaring temper one would choose to avoid.

Every boat owner should know if you want your "sweetie" to run well, you have to keep her happy, sweet talk her, update, upgrade, maintain and sometimes it requires extra special attention. Some women, I mean vessels, are more high-maintenance than others.

One strong word of advice about naming your boat in honor of your spouse or girlfriend is to not name your yacht, houseboat, sailboat, motorboat or even rowboat if the boat is old, ugly, in disrepair, neglected and undesirable. If you do this then you may be changing your weekend outings on weekends to being a full-time occupant on your boat and renaming it The Dog House. Please do not name your dinghy without consideration, either. I have seen one and it was named MY MOTHER. Sure hope that mother never sees that name; it might not float with her.

Having walked many piers I have seen all kinds of names, some applicable, some tongue in cheek and some leave me saying, "What were you thinking?" One of my favorites was at Lake Belton outside Waco, Texas. It was appropriately named The Office and it was owned by an attorney firm. This was probably named by a workaholic or so he wanted others to think. I can imagine him calling his wife and telling her he'll be at the office late and the meeting might last all weekend.

Another favorite is named The Merry Yacht. When you say it real fast it's the Marriott. I love names with double meaning or boats with sentimental names. Recently a young family purchased a boat and moved onto our dock. They have three children so they named it All Hands On Deck and have their handprints by their name.

If you are in a dilemma as to what to name your pride and joy, whether it's brand new or just needs a new name to fit your personality, here are some suggestions:

AQUAHOLIC
AWOL
Big Boy Toy
Bob N Around
Buoy O Buoy
Eat, Drink & Re-Marry
Here Fishee Fishee
Hooked
Hydrotherapy
I O NIT
Just Add Money
Knotty Girl
Knot A Yachta
Knot Paid IV
Knot Working
Liquid Asset
LOTTAWATTA
Mental Pause
Nacho Boat
Nauti Buoy
Need 4 Speed
Pier Pressure
POCO LOCO
Reel Busy
Reel Trouble
Ship Faced
The Other Woman
Tide The Knot
Toadly Wasted
Tortuga
Viagua
Water We Wading 4

Whatever you name your "baby" it will be a reflection of you, your interests, your hobbies and your choice. Some boat owners have the naming or re-naming ceremony on the dock with the appropriate friends and family members along with the appropriate bubbly beverage. Personally, the first time I saw all the food, drinks and crowd I thought someone was getting married rather than a boat being christened. To a point I guess we are married to our boats. We are committed, we vow to take care of them. We choose them with great care and find one which meets our needs. Depending on your budget you may want to marry, I mean purchase, a low-maintenance vessel or you may prefer a fixer-upper. Actually, some folks probably take more time, research and consideration in their nautical preferences than choosing a partner for life. But, back to the subject, just have fun.

What's Your Name?

We want to know the name of your houseboat.

Send an email to blk@houseboatmagazine.com and let us know what you decided to call your boat and why.

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