Name That Boat

The main tourism in the British Virgin Islands is all about the sailing. Famous for   practically year-round ideal trade winds, these tranquil waters are one of the top destinations in the world for seamen and seawomen to get their sail on. Living on my little rock in the middle of all the action, I am surrounded by boats every day of the year.

bvi boats sandy cay

Watching the boats come in and out of the Sound each day, I can’t help but take notice of their names. Few are intriguing, some are memorable, most are generic, and many incite collective groans in their wake. Call me petty, but I’d like to see a bit more creativity out there. I’d enjoy spotting more names that make me want to know the story behind them. Or, at the very least, less that make me want to roll my eyes and yawn.

While the appeal of a boat’s name is highly subjective and there’s no formula for what makes a winner, there are definitely a few categories of names I consider worse than others. The following is a list of boat genres that I’d personally like to see less of. Ones, I think we all can agree, we can do without.

NAUTICAL PUNS

friendship boat

Perhaps these types of boat names were considered wildly clever back in the advent of puns. Maybe the first time people ever saw a boat named Knot So Fast  it was a laugh riot. Maybe. But now, if I can borrow a phrase from 1997, “they are played out, yo”.

If I’ve seen them once, I’ve seen them dozens of times. Such is their popularity that when I spot these pun-tabulous handles, they often have Roman numerals after them: FriendShip VII – meaning that they are the 7th+ person to register their boat in that country under that name. If that’s not a sign to branch out, I don’t know what is.

These types of names are notorious eye roll instigators. I feel almost as though my intelligence is being insulted. Please, oh please – don’t spell it out for us. Choose something – anything – else.

Examples include:

Oaseas

It’s Aboat Time

Seabattical

Keel n’ Time

Vitamin Sea

seasthemoment

Seas the Moment

and, eye roll if you please,

To Sea Oar Knot To Sea

REFERENCES TO THE COST OF THE BOAT

money boat

We all get it – boats cost a lot of money to buy and a continuous stream of money to maintain. Money that you could be spending elsewhere. But you’re not, because you have a boat. Hilarious, isn’t it?! Hardy har har.

Nobody likes hanging around a whiner who’s constantly reminding them of how much all this fun is costing them. Don’t be that whiner; no one will want to play with you, even if you do have a boat.

Oh, and FYI, this also includes using dollar signs in place of your “s”s.

Examples include:

Her Shoe Money

The Money Pit

B.O.A.T = Bring Out Another Thousand

Price-Sea (double infraction)

useless boat name

Usele$$

College Fund

Acrewed Interest (double infraction)

WOMEN’S NAMES

women's name boat

While I realize this was a customary practice in the Days of Yore, I’d like to think that we have evolved beyond naming our inanimate possessions after the women in our lives. Let it be known that this misguided “honor” is one I never wish to have bestowed upon me. The last thing I need is to give people a reason to say things like, “I’d love to take you out for a ride on Chrissann“; “Chrissann sprung a leak”; “Chrissann sank”; “Chrissann’s portholes are covered in rust”; “Chrissann is so filthy, it’s going to take us days to clean her before we can take her out”.

Plus, I can only imagine the conversational spotlight-stealing that this would lead to, always having to clarify who/what you’re referring to – do you mean human Chrissann or boat Chrissann? The injustice of it all would no doubt drive me to violence.

My deepest condolences go out to the women with boats named after them. Though it must be noted that the vast majority I see cruising around with women’s monikers invariably tend to be yachts. In which case, I don’t actually feel all that badly for their namesakes riding around in them. Even still, there is so much potential for something more exciting.

Examples include:

Martha Ann

Lady Allison

Barbara 

yacht sofia

Sofia

Miss Louise

You get the idea. Blah de-blah blah blah. We can do better, people.

GRAPHIC DOUBLE ENTENDRES

master baiter

This category of boat names is by far the worst offender. I generally don’t find it difficult to refrain from having sexual thoughts about perfect strangers, but these boat names all but force me to it. Here’s some average-looking person, reading a book on the bow of their anchored boat. Nothing to see here….then….BAM!..there it is – Master Baiter. No matter how much mental focus you devote to stopping it, it’s now all you can picture and it makes you want to puke all over that person and their boat, which you now assume you’d never want to see under a black light.

For whatever reason, people who own catamarans (boats with two hulls), or “cats” for short, are the most likely to christen their boats in this genre. That fine line between “cat” and “pussy” proves too tempting for them – they usually can’t resist crossing it.

If the judgmental disgust of your fellow human beings is not enough to deter you, consider this: one day your boat may be in peril and you may need to radio for help on the ever-public VHF. Suddenly, your urgent plea is corrupted with ridiculousness as you’re forced to scream, “Mayday, mayday, this is Dixie Normous. I repeat, this is Dixie Normous and we’re sinking!” Save yourself the embarrassment and speed the response time from your Coast Guard rescue team by not causing them an inevitable delay whilst they make fun of you mercilessly.

Examples include:

Camel Toe

wet pussy boat name

Wet Pussy

Wet Dream

Wet Spot

Blow Me

Nauti Intentions

Really and truly – let’s not overthink this. If you find that you’re trying to be funny, it’s a sure sign that you’re trying too hard. Just pick something that means something to you. Make it short, make it sweet, make it quirky, make it weird. Above all, just make it unique. And please – don’t make it FriendShip XXVI.

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Chrissann Nickel

About Chrissann Nickel

Chrissann’s home rock in the British Virgin Islands, against all logic, feels bigger to her than it actually is. Though after spending five years on a teensy one acre island, the current 13-mile long rock she’s residing on now IS ginormous, at least by comparison. As with everything in the Caribbean, it’s all about perspective.

Once upon a time she used to care about things like matching her purse to her pumps, but these days, she’s a card-carrying member of the Barefoot Nation. She is utterly enchanted with vinyasa yoga, especially when practiced on somewhat precarious, deliciously Instagram-able surfaces (she's @WomanOnARock) such as paddleboards, boats, cliffs, or even the occasional willing friend’s body. She vehemently believes that toucans are the best animals ever (period.) and there is no convincing her otherwise (though imperious roadside goats come in as a close second).

As the Editor in Chief of this site, she spends a lot of her time working from home all by her lonesome writing, editing, and cultivating content designed to make her fellow islanders laugh. Besides her writerly pursuits, she moonlights as a yoga instructor, and attributes at least a smidge of her insanity to the amount of time she spends talking to drunk people. If you’re somehow still reading this and feel inclined to find out more about this “Chrissann” of which we speak, you can also take a gander at her eponymous personal website, www.chrissannnickel.com

CURRENT ROCK OF RESIDENCE: Virgin Gorda, BVI

ISLAND GIRL SINCE: 2006

ORIGINALLY HAILS FROM: California

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6 thoughts on “Name That Boat

  1. Have owned 3 yellow colored boats over the years here….
    First yellow boat
    T.D.B.
    That Damn Boat
    Second yellow boat
    Yellow Boat
    Third yellow boat
    T.F.B.
    That Fucking Boat

  2. As a liveaboard I loved this post! Thanks for the chuckle. Our first liveaboard boat was a 46ft motor sailer that looked like a pirate galleon and was called “Lady Denise” .. I kept having images of a big fat woman that I knew and it didn’t sit well .. I broke the tradition and mind set that renaming a boat is bad luck and called her “Highlander” after my Scottish ancestry .. it suits her so well and she still holds that name through numerous other owners. The little sailboat I live on now was named Alibi when I bought her .. and that works for me! I have always thought the exact same thing .. if you have to send out a pan pan or mayday .. wouldn’t you want a one word name that people can understand and not some foolish-trying-to-be-clever-dumbass name that no-one understands!? …but there you go… not all people who own boats should … but that’s another story! 🙂

  3. We had a friend who stored his fishing boat for a couple of weeks during low season at our house.
    He wanted to so some limited work on it, and one of the things was to have the name painted on the boat.

    Something was lost in the translation, and when we looked at the finished job the painter proudly completed it read, “The Flailing Fish.
    The name was supposed to be “The Flying Fish”

    Sorry, but we howled with laugher.

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