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debbabcock 08-14-2001 07:13 AM

sailboat names
Hello!! we just purchased a Helson 22 and we would like to name her and we want to find that just right name. any suggestions on where i can find some books or websites with boat names? i am having trouble finding any references. thanks!

Denr 08-14-2001 07:37 AM

sailboat names
I don''t know of any sources for boat names but, I do have a suggestion on a common sense approach to naming a boat. Multiple word names are a no-no in my opinion. The boat name should be a single word and be clearly and easily understood when spoken over the VHF to hail the Coast Guard, Sheriff’s Police, Conservation Department, Harbor masters, general distress calls, Bridge Tenders, you get the point. Many of the names that owners chose when the boat was new to them probably sounded clever at the time, are considered dumb and incomprehensible today. My suggestion is to stick to a one-word name. Cutesy names are dumb, no sugar coating here Jeff! That''s my story and I''m sticking to it.

JohnDrake 08-14-2001 10:07 AM

sailboat names
Many people suggest the name of a star. This may come from celestial navigation or Shakespeare, "First star to the right, straight on ''till morning". Or, the line from the famous poem, "All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to guide her by".

Hmmm Aldebaran comes to mind, Deb ;o).

Best of luck,


PaulOuellette 08-14-2001 02:06 PM

sailboat names
Deb :

Have a look at the Boat US website...ALL KINDS of names are listed there.

Good luck with your search.

Paul Ouellette,
S/V Winpipe (Beneteau 361 #171)
Windsor Ontario.

P/S..I always liked the name "Wind Wagon"

RobHoman 08-14-2001 06:19 PM

sailboat names
For the most part I agree on one word names, for the same reason as the previous poster. It really is a bummer when you are hailing the CG or another boat and no-one can catch the boat name.

If you are looking for something original... think of a word for something that makes you smile... a thing, a place, a child, something. Then if you want to find out how original the name is go to the USCG Documentation site and see if the name has been documented on a boat. Also there is a way you can find out the most commonly (ab)used boat names.... like "Serendipity", Wind Song, and such.

If you try hard enough or even better, take a relaxed approach to it, I''m sure you''ll find a name you like.

JeffH 08-14-2001 07:13 PM

sailboat names
I don''t know a great source book on naming boats and by the time most names appear in print or on a website they are already over used.

When I have to name a boat I try to think of what that boat means to me. I often get an image in my mind and then try to understand how that image applies to the boat and also how I can define that relationship in one word. I am very superstitious about changing the name of a boat and so look at ways of working around the name that is already on the boat. I try to think if an existing name has meaning in my life.

I like names that have some whit or whisdom. For example there used to be a racer- cruiser called ''Typee'' on one side and ''Type A'' on the other.

I like names with a story around them. There is boat that used to sail out of Annapolis that was called ''Aunt Jean''. It turned out that Aunt Jean passed on and left the owner some money that he used to buy the boat. On the boom it said "Where there''s a will...." and on the battle flag was a tombstone and ''R.I.P.'' Aunt Jean was supposedly a cool old girl and would have actually enjoyed all of this.

Many people look to traits of the wind, or desciptions of freedom (I''ve always liked the name ''Galivant'') or the sea. People often look to mythology; Greek, Roman, Norse, or American Indian. Or, to characters from literature, Shakespere (Puck has always been a favorite), and Don Quixote (L.F. Herrreschoff''s boats were usually characters from Don Quixote) being very popular. There are boat names drawn from the Stars or from weather. It is thought to be appropriate name a boat for one''s wife or children (My folkboat was named Diana for my first wife, both long gone and sometimes still missed). Images from the world of ballet used to be pretty common. Images of flowers used to be common (Cotton Blossom, Rose of Shannon or my current boat ''Rugosa'' (a type of rosebush) for example) I am not big on lewd or gag names which seem more popular on power boats but seem to show up on sailboats as well these days. I don''t mind a joke if there is a little bit of whit to it such as the Trawler named ''Quits''. When the retiree owner was asked he''d always say,"I had worked all my life but one day I just decided to buy a trawler and call it ''Quits''"

Fast animals (''Tigress'' for example), sea creatures (''Turtle'',''Snapper'', Porpoise'',''Dorido'')birds (especially seabirds)(''Lark'', ''Hawk'', ''Petrel'' were quite common at one time.) often inspire boat names. Things that suggest speed (''lighting'') or sports or weapon images (''Javelin'' or ''Saber'' or ''Sprint'') for example. You some times see names that reflect some modern technology item (I raced on a boat called ''Fast Forward >>'')

You often see combinations of words (my family''s boats when I was growing up were named ''Windrift''.) Sometimes names comment on the size of the boat like ''Imp'',''Pixie''or ''Titanic''. There are names that suggest friendship with the boat (''Amigo'' was common for a while) Race boats tend to have more Xtreme names (''Phycho Killer'', ''Hot Ruddered Bum'', ''Taxi Dancer'') while names out of nature are more common on cruising boats. Sometimes poetry itself inspires a name, (The name ''Rage'' typically comes from the Dylan Thomas poetic line which reads something like, "Rage, Rage against the long dark night" which means to struggle to be alive and don''t die without a fight. Or "Without Feathers" which is a pun on the Emily Dickinson line to the affect of "Hope is a great feathered thing".) Which of course brings us to human traits, (''Hope'', ''Joy'', ''Rapscallion'', ''Inspiration'', ''Freedom Won'') or heros of sailing (''Slocum'', ''Hornblower'' ''Magellan'' have graced many a transom)

Anyway, if you have any poetry in your soul, that ought to get your juices flowing. What ever you do, don''t rush. Get a feel for the boat and what she means to you and the name will come to you the way the lost name of a seldom thought of childhood friend one day just appears upon your lips.

Good night,

fer@fer 08-18-2001 08:29 PM

sailboat names
I fully agree with Denr.

However you`ve asked for


BonTemps 08-19-2001 10:56 AM

sailboat names
Go to and enter boat names or sail boat names etc and will take you to sites with hundreds of names.

JohnDrake 08-19-2001 05:14 PM

sailboat names
I think you mean

And I still think Aldebaran, name of a star and a play on Deb, the name of one of the owners.

All the best,

John Drake

rbh1515 08-19-2001 07:34 PM

sailboat names
My advise is think of your favorite sailing experience and a good name may follow. Unfortunately this did not quite work for me. My wife gave me this advise when we bought our boat this year. And right away I thought of the name Sucia (some of you know where I''m going with this). Sucia is my favorite island in the San Juans (north of Seattle). It is a gorgeous island and I thought it would make a good name. I decided to research the name before I put it on my boat. These islands were explored by the Spanish. The explorer that named it thought it looked foul and dirty when he saw it, and that is what Sucia means in Spanish. Oh well. We still don''t have a name.
Here is a name I saw recently in our marina I thought was clever:
See if anyone can figure it out. I''ll post the answer in 3 days if no one gets it.

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