The Captain's Blog

How To Come Up With A Great Boat Name

February 1, 2021 by Michael Kiel

What’s in a great boat name? To many, a boat name isn’t just some random label. It tells a story and gives the vessel a personality. A boat’s name can also say a lot about the owner. So, coming up with a name for your boat should be easy, right? Maybe for some, but for others, it can be a little more challenging. Here are some tips to help you come up with a memorable boat name:

Be Original

How many times have you seen a boat with the name “Seas the Day” or “Serenity?” Step up your game and come up with a boat name that is original and fits you. If you do a search on this Coast Guard site and you see more than ten boats with the same name in the results, it is safe to say that boat name is not original. Try thinking outside the box.

Add Humor

Adding some humor to your boat name is another route to take. Don’t take it so seriously. You could even use a clever pun (but maybe avoid the cliches). Just have fun with it!

boat name don't panic humor

Add Some Flair

Give your boat the personality it deserves with a custom LED back-lit name. Illuminated Yachts is a company that fabricates and installs illuminated boat names that stand out. They can assist with the design and mockup of your boat name or use a file that you already have. If you need some inspiration, check out some of their projects here.

illuminated yachts led lightsPhoto Credit: Illuminated Yachts

Make It Relatable

Is your possible boat name understandable to others, or is it an inside joke that only you and your closest buddies get? Think of a vanity license plate. An outsider should not have to think about what it says for 30 minutes to understand it.

boat name white noise

Add Some Graphics

Wooden ships of the past had a plank called an archboard mounted on the stern and were limited to whatever name could be painted on it. Today's fiberglass boats provide more options for creativity. Want to add some flair to your boat name? Many boat name lettering companies have a graphic designer that can assist with that. Below is an example of a boat name that would be a little boring without the added graphics.

boat name lake mode graphics

Incorporate The Manufacturer or Model

Sometimes you can use the boat manufacturer or model to come up with a great boat name. For example, if you have a Sunseeker Predator you could get bold and name it something like “To Catch a Predator.”

Reference Your Job

Your profession can come in handy when it comes to naming your boat. Meteorologist? “Weather or Knot.” Are you in real estate? “Wet Signatures.” No matter what job you have, there is surely a boat name that can tie into it.

weather or not boat name
wet signatures boat name

Incorporate Your Name or a Name

Whether it is your first name or last name, you might want to consider using it to come up with the perfect boat name. Or, consider adding a feminine touch and using the name of an important woman in your life. Besides, vessels have been named after women since the beginning. It is said that if something holds a human trait (for example, a human name), this inspires responsibility to take care of it. And it goes without saying that your vessel is definitely something that should inspire responsibility.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

While you should have fun with naming your boat, there are some things to consider. The first is safety. Think about what your name will sound like over the VHF radio. Is it too long? Is it hard to understand? The person on the other end needs to be able to understand you in order to help you.

Second, keep local law enforcement in mind. Think of how easy it is to spot a bright red sports car. Now, think of a boat name like "Sorry I Party." Just like that bright red sports car, a boat name like that is probably going to attract some unwanted attention. While you want your boat’s name to be remembered, it is not always a bad thing to stay a little under the radar.

Third, make sure the name is something you want to name your vessel. Let’s not forget when the British government agency let the people of the internet decide on the name for their $287 million polar research ship. This research ship went on to be named Boaty McBoatface. Don’t let that happen to you.

Lastly, are you naming a boat that you purchased that already has a name? It is said to be bad luck to change a boat’s name. As stated in our blog post about superstitious boat rules, boats take on a personality once they are named and leave the dock. If you must change your boat’s name, you might want to follow the steps of a renaming ceremony. Silly? Maybe, but you never know. You might just end up in Davy Jones’ Locker.

Do you still need help coming up with a boat name? Let us know in the comments and we’ll see what we can do to help.

Michael Kiel