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Wednesday, August 10, 2022


                                                           NAME THAT BOAT


My daughter just informed me they named their new outboard fishing boat "Valkyrie," something about a Germanic chooser of the slain who guided the souls of deceased soldiers.  As her husband is a West Point grad who served several years for our country, it seems an appropriate name.  It did remind me of this post from 2011.

                                                           a very old Cranky re-run

I passed a car the other day that was towing a 28’ cabin cruiser named “You Only Live Once.”  What were they thinking?  I know it is a cute name and sure to get a few laughs along the waterway, but why not put in big lettering under the name I AM NOT A SAILOR!

Boat names should not be cute.  They should honor a loved one (preferably a lady) or perhaps tell something about the owner.  Growing up there were several boats in our family.  My Grandfather ran a business processing waste fabrics into polishing cloths and industrial wiping rags.  His boat was named “ETSAW” (WASTE backwards).  My uncle worked in the business; he owned a boat named “Rags”.  My brother, his wife and their three children all graduated from Duke University in North Carolina.  Their boat is the “Blue Devil.”

My parents named their small cruiser after my Mother’s favorite aunt, “Mable H.”  Dad had a small crabbing boat on the Eastern Shore Maryland named the “Crab Ali” after Alison his first granddaughter. He named an eight foot sailing dink “The Merry Bee”, after Mary Beth, his other granddaughter.

Cute names like “Momma’s Mink”, “Dad’s Cad” and so on are good for a quick laugh, but nautical they are not!

One thing to consider when naming a boat is how a distress call to the Coast Guard will sound:

“Coast guard station, coast guard station, MAY DAY, MAY DAY, this is motor vessel the “Momma’s Mink”.  We are without power and taking on water, May Day May Day!

“This is coast guard station calling motor vessel “Mr. Ming” over.
“Coast guard station that is “Momma’s Mink”.

“This is coast guard station, did you say “Momma’s Mink?  Over.”

“Roger coast guard station. Over.”
“This is coast guard station….What were you thinking? Over.”

“Coast guard station…It was my wife’s idea! Over.”

“This is coast guard station; we are on our way “Momma’s Mink” hope we get there before you sink!”


"Coast guard station, this is sailing vessel “Hang On Sloopy.”  We are without power and are taking on water. Over.”

“Vessel ‘Hang On Sloopy’ this is coast guard station, are you a sloop? Over.”

“…..Yes, over.”

“This is coast guard station calling sloop ‘Hang on Sloopy’….er…. Hang on ‘Hang on Sloopy’ sloop just hang on….hang on hang on! ……Sorry Sloopy….I had to do it.”

Please people, think.  Do you really want to make a distress call with a boat named “You Only Live Once?”


  1. Ooh, that is a good point and one I hadn't thought about when naming my 23 footer Kaka II. Kaka because it was not a very impressive, cranky boat. Kaka is a slang term for feces often used around toddlers and II since it was my second. Hopefully if I had to call the coast guard they would have thought I was saying Cockatoo, the bird. Still not good but better:)

  2. When I was a kiddo my Uncle always took us out on Lake Michigan on his cabin cruiser. For the life of me I can't remember it's name. I should because I spent most of the time hanging over the side puking. If a boat is smaller than a cruise ship I'm doomed. Hey, that might be a good name..."I'm Doomed" May Day, May Day!!

  3. Heeheehee! That's something i'd never considered, since i'm not a sailor and don't expect to ever have a boat. You do make a good point.

  4. As far as I'm concerned people should be able to name their boats anything they want. Easily pronounced is a good idea, but it shouldn't need to be nautical or even make sense, except to the owner.

    1. Was not really complaining about names or trying to make a naming rule, was just trying to have some fun and post something I thought was humorous. Feel free to name your boat anything you want.

  5. Good thing I don't have a boat. Choosing a name is just too hard. Mine would probably be The Ample Rumpus, or Future Pennyillionaire, or No Siree, Bob! Because Coleslaw is just too bland.

  6. long philosophical naming shows that owner does not have a family probably or a love interest at all i must say

  7. A long ago drummer friend of mine composed "Hang On Sloopy". He would get a kick out of this.