Naming Your Boat Is Serious Business...Seas The Day!

July 24, 2013

When your new boat arrives, remember it comes with an enormous responsibility — you will need to choose a boat name!

Okay, maybe it’s not SUCH a big burden, but lots of folks feel pressure to come up with the latest, greatest boat- or water-related turn of phrase to dazzle the rest of the marina with their cleverness. It’s for those people, we’ve come up with a few pointers to help you narrow down the choices.

As you can see by this list of last year’s top boat names (compiled by our friends at Boat U.S.) the most popular ideas are puns of one kind or another. In fact, one could argue that the boat name is the last acceptable bastion of the cheesy pun. That’s something us boaters take pride in, after all. And whether it’s your personal style or not, you’ve got to admit that a funny boat pun will put a smile on your face.

So, in the spirit of the adventurous boaters who came before us, let’s turn the wheel toward well-charted territory and see if we can navigate the confused seas before us. According to our extensive research (really just one page that has all the annual top 10 boat names since 1991), there are a handful of categories that can help you narrow down your search.


One name, above all others, has dominated the last decade of boat names: Aquaholic. While booze and boat operation do NOT mix, apparently booze puns and boat names blend just fine. Some of the other classics along these lines include On The Rocks, Happy Hours (or the variation Happy Ours), Southern Comfort, Shaken Not Stirred, Beeracuda, and Comfortably Numb. Be aware that any of these could lead to more than your fair share of visits from local boating law enforcement!


Getting sassy on the high seas is a well-established method of boat naming. Just ask the folks aboard Mojo, Damifino, Life Is Good, Sea Ya, Miss Behavin’, Nauti Buoy, Blew ByYou, Footloose, Liquid Asset, What’s Up Dock, Bow Down, and Trim This.


Meaning something to the effect of “let’s go” in Italian, the name Andiamo was pretty hot back in 2010. Also making the non-English greatest hits are Ohana, a Hawaiian term which emphasizes the importance of family ties; Carpe Diem (plus its Anglicized pun, Seas The Day); and another Italian phrase La Belle Vita, which can be used to mean “the beautiful life” or, more ironically, “someone who only thinks about having fun.” Of course, you have to give careful consideration to this last phrase because rumor has it that Hollywood bad girl Lindsay Lohan now has it tattooed somewhere on her person. Clearly, Ms. Lohan leans toward the latter definition.


One of the best things about boating, of course, is the ability to get away from it and just unplug from “real” life (or Reel Life or Reel Time). And along those lines, there is a legacy of boat names that attempt to capture that feeling. Out on the water, you see lots of names like Solitude, Escape, AWOL, Freedom, Island Time, Diversion, No Worries, Mental Floss, Lazy Daze, Summer Wind, Amazing Grace, Liberty, Wanderlust, Dream Weaver, and Therapy (or the like-minded pun Hydrotherapy). Of course, if things have gone too far, you can always choose a classic like Luna Sea.

Pop Culture

Lots of good material to be found here. Movies, TV shows, music…you name it. Literally. Just think about these classic pop-culture references such as Licensed to Chill (with grateful nods to both James Bond and The Beastie Boys), Captain Hook, Hakuna Matata, Black Pearl, and Serenity Now (with a humble nod to Frank Costanza).


Top names here include Pegasus (a flying horse sired by king of the sea Poseidon), Boreas (Greek god of the North Wind), Notus (South Wind), Eurus (East Wind), and Zephyr (West Wind). Another popular choice is Odyssey. Hey, thanks Homer!


These days, it seems like there are fewer and fewer money references on the back of the boat, but in certain circumstances, it may be the right move. For instance, if you’re buying your boat on the winnings from your recent Mega-Millions quick pick, Whole Lotto Fun, would have to make your short list. And if your not-so-lucky poker buddies lost enough to you for a decent down payment, it may be tough to resist Dough Buoy.


It’s hard to resist the urge to sing the praises of the open water when naming your boat. So it's okay if you’re leaning toward Splish Splash, Fantasea, Seaduction, Sea Breeze, Tide Runner, and Sea Spirit. And, have mercy, you just know there is one boater/American Idol fan out there somewhere who’s at the helm of Ryan Sea Quest. Clear skies, friend. Clear skies.


Just to get serious for a minute. Is there anything more important than your family? Of course not. You can’t ever go wrong with a tribute to your lovely wife or your wonderful kids. You will be spending the best quality time with your family aboard your boat, after all. Why not celebrate your time on the water by naming your boat after the most important people in your life?

There you go. You’ve got a good start on your boat-naming quest. Remember, this should be FUN. When it becomes work, you’ve gone too far.