B is for Boat Names

B is for Boat Names . . .

This week’s letter assignment is the letter B.

I’ve always enjoyed looking for boat names~ humorous, serious, clever, pun-intending, or nautical-inspired~ and wonder about the inspiration for the names chosen.

A couple of Jimmy Buffett song-boat-names to put you in boating spirit. . .


I thought I’d include a little of the lore & superstition regarding boat names along with photos of boats we’ve spied on the lake. . .

The act of naming a vessel, according to maritime historian James Clary, author of “Superstitions of the Sea: A Digest of Beliefs, Custom and Mystery,” dates back to 2680 B.C., with the Egyptian ship “Praise of the Two Lands,” a name thought to signify the unity between the north and south Nile.

Naming a sea vessel is an important tradition before the inaugural launch of the ship. There seems to be conflicting beliefs about naming a boat after a woman. Some superstitions say it is thought to bring bad luck. Despite this, the majority of vessels are named after important female figures, either historical or personal, with the names often including important women in the captain’s life. There is wisdom in not naming your boat after your wife, since apparently there as much or more ceremony in changing a boat’s name, as there is in changing wives :-)

 One well-known belief is that changing names on a boat is thought to bring bad luck. If you must change the name of your boat there is a comprehensive ceremony to follow since according to legend, each and every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea. If you wish to change the name of your boat, the first thing to do is to purge its name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory. Guidelines to follow can be found here.

Some believe there is a stigma attached to names beginning with the letters “S” or “O” and boats with 13-letter names, also naming a boat with a word that ends in “A”.

According to Commander Bob, avoid tempting fate and perform the christening ceremony below before taking your vessel out for her maiden voyage. A proper christening ensures good fortune to the boat and her crew throughout the life of the vessel. If, after being properly christened, a vessel does have a run of bad luck, it will be because her christening ceremony was poorly performed, rather than due to her Captain’s incompetence. . . The Titanic was never christened and thus the boat was doomed from the beginning.

First invite everyone to the christening who is important to the boat. Since this is an auspicious occasion, it is a good time to invite your friends to witness and join the festivities. Distribute champagne to all attendees. Then, recite the following:

“For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” To them we toast, and ask to celebrate (the name of your boat).” Then everybody raises their champagne glasses and shouts “TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO_________ (the name of your boat).”

At this point, everyone takes a sip.

Then follow with: “The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this ship be given the strength to carry on. The keel is strong and she keeps out the pressures of the sea.” Again the glasses are raised, and the assemblage shouts, “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO THE SEA!”


Everyone takes another sip.

Continue: “Today we come to name this lady_____________ (name of your boat), and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for the __________ (name of your family) family. We ask the sailors of old and the mood of God that is the sea to accept ________________ (your boat’s name) as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. ” Again, with the raising of the glasses, “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS BEFORE US…TO_________(the name of your boat).”


A last, long sip by all.

Now pour champagne over the bow to appease King Neptune, and lay a branch of green leaves on the deck to ensure safe returns. (This is when you break the bottle across the bow.)

Once the ceremony has been completed, you may bring aboard any and all items bearing the new name of your vessel. If you must apply the new name before the ceremony, be sure the name is not revealed before the ceremony is finished. It may be covered with bunting or some other suitable material.

Have another bottle on hand to continue sipping :-)


If you’re stumped on what to name your boat, you can always go this way~

I’m joining A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday

and Watery Wednesday–prepare to get your eyes wet :-)

   Be sure to visit Jenny Matlock’s Aphabe-Thursday for more Alphabet Fun.

  29 comments for “B is for Boat Names

  1. September 28, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Fine looking vessels indeed.

  2. September 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I like to read/check out boats names too when I go to the marina.

  3. September 28, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Wish I could have one day in paradise lol. Great shots.

    My water Wednesday post

  4. September 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I have always been a boat name watcher. What a great post! One of my favorites was, “Un-deductabelle…

  5. September 28, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Love to browse boat names too – great post about all the lore behind the naming of a vessel. Stop by our neck of NC!

  6. September 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    I’ve always had fun walking the docks in a marina just to read the names of the boats. What is the name of your boat? Ours was Hyacinths for the Soul. ;-)

  7. September 29, 2010 at 1:31 am

    what funny and interesting names! you did an excellent job! Wet Spot made me laugh!:p

  8. September 29, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Cool looking boats, loved all the names. What a great post!

  9. September 29, 2010 at 5:23 am

    This is one clever post I must say….I think I’d like the “Wright” Attitude best of all.

    My Wednesday Photo Link

    I do hope you stop by for a visit if time allows!! Have a wonderful wednesday!

  10. September 29, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Those are all great! =) Love the names & they’re very creative!

  11. September 29, 2010 at 10:31 am

    What a great collection you have. Very creative – thanks for the laugh!

  12. bj
    September 29, 2010 at 10:41 am

    O, I really enjoyed your boat post..just as cute as can be..
    xo bj

  13. September 29, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Hubby was in the Coast Guard so I have always loved to read the different, and original, names on boats. Such fun.

  14. September 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Very cool pictures. I love seeing the names on boats.

  15. September 29, 2010 at 11:50 am

    oh that was great fun! i think i loved miss used the most, it totally cracks me up! what a treat you have so much to draw from, camera in hand, waves beneath your feet, you have the good life!

    enjoy the dentist…

  16. September 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Well, I had no idea. Thanks for the information. I just wish I could have a boat to name! I would name it the Nina…..that’s me….no wait…that ends in “a”. Ok….so maybe I don’t have a clue what I would name it but I would like the opportunity…haha.

  17. jo
    September 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    What a cute take on the B theme … love some of those names … they are a hoot!

  18. September 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    That’s awesome series of boat names…So many wonderful looking boats!

  19. September 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    That was some interesting facts and I enjoyed the different boat names. I would love to live on the boat with the slid off the back.

  20. September 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    What a great collection of pictures and facts. I learned a lot. I grew up in Palm Beach, Florida, and as a little girl my favorite thing to do was do with my daddy to see the yachts. They were beautiful…all the gorgeous wood. I never thought about how interesting the names could be, but now I will always look. I really enjoyed your post this week.
    Genie @ buttonsforbaga

  21. September 29, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    What an interesting and informative post. Some of those names are just too funny!

  22. JDaniel4's Mom
    September 30, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I didn’t realize there was so much to do to name or rename a boat. I love the variety of names.

  23. September 30, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I had a boat when I lived in Florida and enjoyed it so much! I also love boat names and the creativity that goes into them. It shows how important they are to their owners because of how much thought they put into the name..

  24. September 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    What a fascinating post. It is good to meet you I am calling by from Italy on my first Wordless Wednesday blog hopping around the other entrants and enjoying exploring all these wonderful blogs.

  25. September 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Hi friends of mine named their boat Ruthless . The wife was called Ruth and she never went aboard hence the name

  26. September 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I love love love that ceremonial blessing. I wish I’d been christened with all this pomp and circumstance. Your boat photos are fabulous. You got a great crop of names going on out on the lake.

  27. September 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Wow. What a fun and interesting post. I started laughing at Aft R All! So many of those names are so creative.

    And I never knew any of that about christening a boat. It’s neat to know these facts…my son has a boat and I suspect it was never properly christened at all.

    Thanks for this great link to Alphabe-Thursday.

    Your posts are always amazing.


  28. September 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks. This was really interesting! I never knew there was so much ceremony around naming and christening a boat. I like it.


  29. October 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    there were at least a couple of Buffet – esque boats in there!!!

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