Naming a boat

Naming or re-naming a boat is an exciting experience, and necessary process for vessel owners to go through.  Deciding on the name for a vessel is often influenced by tradition, and superstitions which can make the process of finding a suitable name stressful for the owner. Consulting a professional consultancy firm or experienced yacht broker is advised when making important decisions regarding your vessel.

How to name a boat

Renaming a boat is considered by many within the maritime industry to be very bad luck and unless the boats name is unsuitable then it is advised to simply keep the boat’s name the same. However, vessel owners are perfectly within their rights to change the name of their boat, and this is particularly so where the vessel is a used boat with a name that is unsuitable for the new vessel owner.

Where the new vessel owner decides the change the original name of the boat it is essential that the original name is removed from every part of the boat in which it is found, this includes the boat itself, life jackets and even pictures on board the vessel of the boat with its previous title. This is a superstitious theory but is honor all the same. It is deemed highly inappropriate in the boating world to have more than one name associated with one vessel.

It is traditionally thought that a boat will take on the name of a female, however this is not applicable to those who have no female loved ones or who feel a unique name is more appropriate for their boat. Not all boat names are named after female persons; in fact, many names are completely the opposite and will typically have a story behind it. An example of an unrelated boat name is ‘At Last’, which was chosen by the vessel owner due to the length of time he waited to purchase his dream yacht.

It is imperative to choose a name that you are completely happy with and not one that is to impress others when reading it, as the name of your boat should stay with the boat for its entire lifetime, and the process to change the name can be lengthy.

Boat owners can search for names in the NOAA fisheries Vessel Documentation database to establish if the name they have selected is already in use, or to establish how popular the name is.

There are two methods of fixing your selected boat name to the vessel itself and this can be achieved by painting the name onto the boat or using computer fabricated vinyl boat lettering.

Once a new name is chosen for the boat, it is necessary to christen the vessel with its new name with a ceremony involving the pouring, or smashing, of a bottle of wine or champagne over the boat.