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!
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
Had the same problem, what to name ''er .... I was taught to sit at the helm and the boat''ll tell you ''er name. This may take some time so there is no rush. My problem was, when the name came to me the wife had already made up a name, turned out to be a fashion magazine.
What''s your problem. I have noticed that occasionally you let loose on this board. People have questions. If you disagree with the answers thats what the board is for. State your viewpoint. If all you want to do is be a jerk then stay out!!
And BTW by calling you "buddy" I was not assuming that you are a male. The only assumption I made is that you are not a lady.
"This also violates MY (MY caps!!!) rule "... I sure as heck don''t like the sound of THAT... are YOUR rules ALL-important?
By the way, the names "Queen Mary", "Queen Elizabeth", "United States", "Isle de France"... are all good names which "violate" YOUR rule and survived... now "Titanic", which FITS YOUR "rule", on the other hand.....!!!!!!
In MY humble (but never wrong) opinion, naming a boat should NOT be based on the pessimistic principal of having to call for help... boats are about being SELF-COMPITENT!!!
Jeez Folks, This is an easy thread. Nothing all that controversial here.
Denr''s advice that the best names for a boats are typically single word names and easy to understand words is very classic advice that goes back at least to Herreshoff (which also preceeds yachts calling over a radio for advice). The use of a single word and a clearly understandable name is important not just for rescue but for any less dramatic kind of radio communications be it rescue (either as the rescuer or the rescuee), contacting a marina or other sailing vessel (i.e. shipping in a confined channel or any other kind of communications. It has little or nothing to do with pessimism or lack of self reliance. On the other hand, it is not a rule that I have stuck with having owned boats called Midnight Express, Havn, Miss B. Havn, and Rugosa.
On the other hand, even if Denr did not find Jafeica amusing, at least some of us may have found it cute. I also normally think of the word ''buddy'' as meaning friend and not having a gender preference. Chill pal!
Lastly, Fmclean there is no need to shout (words in all caps on the net means the word is shouted). That said, I suspect that all of us would agree with you that, ''naming a boat should not be based on the pessimistic principal of having to call for help" and that a part of boats is being self- competent. Its is still easier to comunicate self- competent sailor to self- competent sailor with a simple to understand single word names.
Thanks for you comment JeffH.
I think Denr had good advise, but for some reason he lost it. (I think he has his boat on a mooring in Milwaukee and we have been having a weed problem in our harbor, esp. bad in the mooring area. Its hard for some of the people on moorings to get their boats out--maybe we should cut him/her/it some slack).
Jafeica was not a suggestion for a name, I just thought it was funny. BTW, the name was on a motor boat. Kind of typical of a motor boater.
I do apologize... I didn''t mean to SHOUT... I''m just a rotten typerist and editor... kinda like a lot of other people who don''t intend to offend, but aren''t totally typing-perfect. Again, sorry to offend, and thank you for your (I''m sure) well-intentioned advice.
But I still stick to my belief (boat-name-wise)... as I sincerely hope others will stick to theirs.
That''s SAILING (SHOUTED!!!).