Help is at hand!

If you want to get boat owners talking, ask them how they arrived at the name they gave their boat. The ancient Egyptians allegedly began the tradition of naming boats centuries ago on the Nile River, and boat owners have been racking their brains ever since for the perfect boat name. In fact, most will confess that they spent far more time thinking about a perfect name for their boat than their children. That makes sense; children don’t go around with their name emblazoned in six-inch letters on their rear ends. And there are some names to avoid . . . .

Picking a Name

Choosing a name for a boat can be a lot more agonising than selecting the boat itself, and some co-owners have been known to raise their voices a notch or two over this issue. Fortunately, there’s a lot of help and name suggestions available, Look at our list on the left.

Once you’ve selected a name, see if it passes the following tests  before you put it on your transom.

The explanation test. How often do you want to explain what the name means? Bizarre Greek gods, in-jokes and Latin phrases (Carpe Diem doesn’t count) usually fail this test.

The brevity test. Imagine repeating your boat name three times, especially if calling “mayday.” or spelling the name phonetically.

The hubris test. If you’re racing, try not to pick names like Winning Wind unless, of course, you have that one-in-a-million boat that actually wins every time.

The “Been There, Done That” test. Avoid the names on our ‘popular’ list. There are hundreds of ‘Serenitys out there

The omen test. Naming your boat the Money Pit one day may mean you need a new engine the next, or after your girlfriend, she may be planning to dump you

The radio test. Lots of words that look good — Slithery, for example — sound pretty funny on channel 16.

And ...once you have chosen it, can you live with it? . . . . . .