We've changed the names of 4 boats, and one we built from scratch, so we didn't have to worry about Neptune's sensibilities on that one at least.
Based on this enormous sample size
, I can say with confidence that changing names doesn't result in maritime disasters. In fact, I believe that not changing the name, under some circumstances, maybe tempting fate.
Some of the old names were just horrible. I won't name them here incase one of the PO's is on this site. OK, here's some hints, one implied something bad was happening with "buoys", another was a strange take on the owner's first name, another was named for a famous boat that sank, and another was a brand name of athletic gear.
Honestly, what choice did I have?
I believe Neptune would have been more upset if I didn't scrape the old names off.
OH, and to the OP, yea, both sides, and make sure it's not a name that you'd be ashamed to say on the radio. And don't crowd source your name or you'll end up with that stupid "boaty Mc-Boat Face". Pick something good...you don't want to embarrass Neptune....you never know what might...