Thursday, April 12, 2012

Boat Names

Freedom is a "Family Name." The Capn's  maternal grandfather named his 48ft. 1920's Alden Malabar  Schooner 'Freedom', paid for with his WWI and Mexican War of Bandits stipend. It was the first privately owned yacht named Freedom in the United States. His future boats were all named Freedom. When I first met the Cap'n he was the caretaker of his grandfather's last Freedom, a mahogany hulled, cypress bottomed  36' Custom Chesapeake Bay Deadrise built with Maynard Lowry in 1958.  What a labor of love she was! And so much fun. 

The Capn's Uncle Harry continued his father's Freedom tradition with his many vessels. We received his blessing to carry on and we have done so with pride. Yet, six years and one boat ago, when we decided to purchase a Sabre 45' sailing vessel, we entertained the idea of taking a break from the name Freedom. That is, until our children found out. They were HORRIFIED, AGHAST, and almost SPEECHLESS! "How could we do such a thing?", they implored., "That's what we do, we name our boats Freedom."  Changing our last name might have been more palatable. So Freedom it was, and will be.

It is a good name, actually.  Aside from the family tradition,  it conjures independence and patriotism.  Not a bad combination.

Over the years I have been alternately inspired, entertained and appalled by boat names we have seen. Here are the top boat names in 2011:

  1. Seas the Day
  2. Nauti Buoy
  3. Aquaholic
  4. Dream Weaver
  5. Pegasus
  6. Serenity Now
  7. Second Wind
  8. Liquid Asset
  9. Miss Behavin'
  10. Blew ByYou
(#9 & 10 are my favorites in that list)

In the late '90's a popular name was Wet Dream (really people?) And a crew member reports seeing a muscle boat sporting the name Ejaculation (can middle schoolers own boats?)

Fast forward to the 20teens, and we have seen : Broke and Drunk (okay maybe a take on the defunct country duo Brooks and Dunn, but I'm not going on that boat). Another questionable siting: Phineas J Whoppee. (Huh?)

Fortunately, many boat owners have grown up, given it some thought and selected boat names with sentiment, sophisticated humor, a nod to tradition, and/or a clever mind.  Among my favorites seen on the Chesapeake Bay, the ICW, and beyond:

Water We Doing?
C\:[esc]         (think about it)
Lady Love
Dark 'n  Stormy           (ever been thirsty in Bermuda?)
Hot Tamale                (a red hull, natch)
Lucky Duck           (quack, quack, quack, quack, quack)

In a class by themselves are fishing boats, and tugs, whose captains tend to name their vessels after their own lady love:

Miss Josephine
Sharon Anne
Island Girls
Sara Kaitlin
Suzanne's Fling

After all these months (years) on the water, I have developed my own set of rules (opinions) for boat names and their display:

1) Grow up, you are lucky enough to own a boat, respect that. (ie, don't name your something the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club will not announce at the finish line because it is socially unacceptable or suggestive) 

2) Clever spelling is a burden  (ask any Jenipher). To avoid annoyance on both sides, spell your boat name phonetically. Pity the approaching boat captain who is trying to hail you on Channel 16.

3) Ditto for the font on your stern (curlicues are clever, but not legible; if you carry your dinghy across the stern, stencil the boat name on the bottom)

4) Private jokes are,  well, private

Finally, my all time favorite boat name, first seen on Back Creek near Annapolis in the 80"s:

Lovely Martha

Has a ring to it, doesn't it?

1 comment:

  1. So I guess you wouldn't approve of "Four Play" hailing from Climax, NC!

    Or "Men-O-Paws"

    Betsy Johnson
    Rick 'n Roll (recently sold)
    Topsail Beach, NC