What’s in a name? If you base your answer on William Shakespeare’s famous quote from Romeo and Juliet, “. . . that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet,” it shouldn’t matter what you name your boat. Yet many of us deliberate for hours, days, sometimes weeks to come up with just the right name. We start off wanting it to be meaningful, or at the very least, relevant, while aiming to be clever, ironic, perhaps even nostalgic. Presumably the truth lies somewhere in between. The plethora of options and opinions may see us compromising with a “That’ll do.”
According to the Boat Owner’s Association of The United States (BoatUS) boat names commonly occur within certain themes — relaxation; a new chapter in life or achievement; fishing (unlikely to be adopted by sailors); embracing the boating life; and music. BoatUS Vice President of Public Affairs Scott Croft says the themes have emerged over 28 years of boat owners’ engagement with the organization’s Boat Graphics service.
“It’s always a challenge to decide on a boat name because the options are endless,” Crofft says, but added that, “certain themes stand the test of time.”
BoatUS has now released its results for this year’s Top 10 Boat Names, and has given some clues as to the boat owners’ possible motivation:
1. Serenity: One of the most common and beloved boat names ever. The owner of this boat may have a high-stress job and is likely looking to the water for a little peace and quiet. Watch out for yoga mats on deck!
2. Island Time: Everything is slower in the islands. Let down your hair, feel the sun on your face and the warm, clear turquoise waters surrounding your feet. You are now experiencing Island Time.
3. Scout: The owner of this boat is an adventurous type. Whether out gunkholing with the family, cruising to far-off locales, or chasing down a secret fishing spot, Scout’s skipper is on a mission.
4. Pura Vida: A way of life in Costa Rica. Up north it translates to living a good life with your family, cherishing simple pleasures, and enjoying a slow, relaxed pace. Moreover, it’s not just for sailboats – speedy motorboat owners love this name equally.
5. Seas the Day: This boat owner is likely completely in charge while boating and intends to get the most out of the boating lifestyle. This boat is also likely to be the last one to return to home port for the night, enjoying every ounce of daylight on the water.
6. Shenanigans: This boat owner is obviously (and likely innocently) up to something, and it may have to do with a big, extended family aboard. Think of Mr. Brady’s kind of boat, if he’d had one, at your local Saturday afternoon anchorage with Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, Cindy, Mrs. Brady and Alice aboard.
7. Black Pearl: Like the fictional ship of Disney movie fame, this vessel may not look like much, but she’s brought her captain home every time and had a lot of fun along the way.
8. Cool Change: Originating in Australia to define the change from a hot summer day to a cool afternoon breeze and thunderstorms ahead. This boat’s owner likely believes in the transformative nature of “cool and bright clear water.”
9. Liberty: Just as with its popular cousin Freedom, a boater who chooses this name is a patriot to his or her core. There’s a fair chance this owner served in the military or has family who does.
10. Knot on Call: A name once chosen by doctors and nurses, Knot on Call now appeals to a wider group of boaters where technology has increased the intrusive reach of the office or added 24-hour job demands.
Does your boat have an unusual name? Send a photo to [email protected] and we’ll compile our own list — Latitude‘s Favorite Boat Names 2020.