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The Frugal Mariner
Saltwater Suzi and Cap'n Larry's "Boating on a Budget" 
How to's, Information, Education & Fun Stuff about Boats, Sailboats, and Cruising

Before you go sailing check your local National Weather Service forecast by "City, ST" or Zip Code



Choosing a Name for your Boat

The name you select for your boat

may not seem like an important thing.  And in the greater scheme of things, it probably isn't.  But, considering the strong feelings many of us have for our boats; the fact that  we put so much work, and sweat and money into them; the fact they are a big part of our memories of so many good times, with family, with friends; the fact that sometimes our very lives are in the safekeeping of our boat; most of us feel that selecting the right name for our boat is important. 

The name you pick for your boat will reflect to others a little about you - about your intellect (or lack thereof)  and your worldliness (or lack thereof) or your sense of humor. 

If you are a cruiser, many fellow cruisers will only remember you by your boat name, or your first name and your boat name -" Hey, there's Jim from Moondance!  Hey, Moondance!"
Today, some boat names are more intellectual.  One boat in our marina is named Window Blind - from the poem A Nautical Ballad by Charles Edward Carryl:
      A capital ship for an ocean trip
          Was The Walloping Window-blind --
      No gale that blew dismayed her crew
          Or troubled the captain's mind.
You can read the rest on our Sailing Poetry page. (Click HERE).  If you like the idea, scan down through the rest of the poems - maybe you'll find something perfect for your boat.

Greek and Roman gods are sometimes used as boat names.

For instance, Boreas - North Wind;  Zephyr - West Wind;   Notus - South Wind;   Eurus - East Wind.  All Greek gods.   In that same vein, there are many to choose from in other cultures.  Celtic culture has, among many others, Danu: Celtic Goddess of Wind, Wisdom and Fertility.   Might make a good boat name - it's short, easy to spell, easy to say, and nobody else has it, as far as our research shows.  Here's a link to the Pantheon of gods:  Meet the Gods - over 3,000 Supreme Beings, Spirits and Demons - tested. (all very tongue in cheek, but lots of good ideas for your boat name, if that's your bent.)

Foreign words are often used for boat names.

Many from French and Hawaiian, and others have a nice nautical sound to them.  Our own boat's name, Kanau (pronounced Ka- NAH-ou) we found in a marlinspike manual.  The Japanese Success Knot looks like a plus on one side and a square on the other.  In Japanese cuneiform, those two symbols make up the word Kanau - which means "A Desire Realized."  Please don't steal this name - it is ours and as far as we know, the only boat named Kanau.
Our first boat we named "Harbinger"  - promise of things to come (or as some have said - a warning of things to come.)  We named her that because she was our 'learning' boat.  We intended at the time to eventually purchase a larger boat, move aboard and go cruising.  Which we did.

We hope you have gotten some good ideas for naming your boat on this page.  Please don't come up with a lame name.  She deserves better.  And so do you.  Below are some links which may give you some more ideas on naming your boat. 
Yachtsee - Boat Names and Gadgets
Lots of boat name ideas, categorized  - an excellent resource for boat name ideas.

Our Boat Name Collection - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Funny, opinionated site - no blame, we're a little opinionated ourselves.

10,000 Boat Names
Actually more like 25,000.  You can use this list to see if the boat name you've selected is already taken.

Top 10 Boat Names Lists
From 1990 to 1999, top 10 boat names for each year. 

Cool Boat Names
Don't know where they came up with these names - but they are definitely NOT cool.  Most are just bad puns.  Treat it as a list of names to avoid.

Big Dumb Boat

Lots of excellent suggestions, caveats, silly and stupid names to avoid.  We hope someday to meet the folks on BigDumbBoat - our kind of people.

Currently, these are the top ten boat names: 

(according to the 10,000 boat names site)

                                                   1. Serenity
                                                   2.Second Wind
                                                   3. Wind Dancer
                                                   4. Orion
                                                   5. Windsong
                                                   6. Escape
                                                   7. Whisper
                                                   8. Carpe Diem
                                                   9. Summer Wind
                                                 10. Serendipity

If they are popular, that means they are trite, overused, commonplace, tired, pedestrian, worn, hackneyed, corny and cliché
. Did we cover them all?  Try to be original. Please.   (If you already have one of these boat names, we mean no offense, we are sure you had it first and it was original then,)


Now that you have chosen the name for your boat,  if it's a new boat, put that name on her, christen her, go through the legal paperwork of getting her registered and maybe federally documented.  Fair winds and smooth seas to you.

If you are changing the name on your boat, it is imperative that you do the proper de-naming and re-naming ceremony.  The only one that works, and there are many out there, is the one on this site.  They all will claim that theirs is the only one that works.  But ours is the only one that comes with a double your money back guarantee - and it's
FREE!  Click here - hurry, limited supply, order now, but wait there's more.  Actually, no, there isn't.
One friend of ours spent a lot of time building his boat.  Often, during the building process, he was asked by friends and family, "So, what are you going to name your boat?"  His  response was always, "Damn if I know."  And sure enough, when he was finished, emblazoned in red letters across the stern was  DAMIFINO.
Of course you've seen the extremely clever(?!) name on the backs of some  boats, "Master Baiter."  If you name your boat that, or anything like that - say, "Mom's Mink", "Wet Dream", "Dixie Normous", or "Breakin' Wind", get off our website and never come back.

Bear in mind when you name your boat that someday you may be calling in a Mayday while your boat is sinking, on fire and being attacked by pirates.  "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. This is the Lalea Pitanya Prokenza."  "Um, could you spell that, please?"

A retired Coast Guardsman with 25 years service was quoted as saying, "Boats with names like "Drunk Again" "Party Hardy" and "One Last Round" are asking to be boarded by the local authorities or the Coast Guard. The name always made me look hard when on patrol. Behavior and open drinking will always draw attention, as will excessive speed, over loading, etc. But a dumb drinking name rings the dinner bell."
We have seen some clever boat / dinghy combinations.  A friend of ours has a boat he calls Prelude.  We suggested that he call the dinghy he drags behind him Postlude.

Some good friends of ours are naming their new boat "Common Grounds" after the coffee house where they met.  Kind of romantic.   Maybe they could name their dinghy "Cream and Sugar?"

Here are another few Boat / dinghy combinations:
                      Justavacation - Mini vacation
                      Miss Kitty - Marshal Dillon
                      Caviar - Roeboat
                      Impulse - Afterthought
                      Prelude - Postlude
Here are some boat names we've seen and liked. 

A few links for other boat name ideas:

The Japanese Success Knot looks like a 'plus' on one side...
and a square on the other.
In the past, it was customary to name boats after a woman.

Still haven't found a boat name you like?

Maybe you'll find some inspiration in this YouTube Video we dug up for you.  Sorry for the annoying repetitious guitar.
Please enter the discussion.  What's your boat's name?  How did you come up with it?  What are some of the favorite boat names you've seen?   Please keep it civil - and no spam.  This IS monitored.
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West Marine Inflatable Boat Lettering/numbering Stencil Kits Kit; White

West Marine Inflatable Boat Lettering/numbering Stencil Kits Kit; White

West Marine Inflatable Boat Lettering/numbering Stencil Kits Kit; White . Water-based vinyl paint and stencils allow you to paint legal sized registration letters directly onto your dinghy. Once paint cures; boat can be rolled without damage. Kit contains entire alphabet and numbers 0 9; plus paint Choose from a selection of six paint colors

We thought you might like to see a little slide show of some of the things we've seen out cruising.