Why Boats are Named after Women, 8 Ideas for Great Boat Names!

Looking around the marina in my local coastal city of Gothenburg, I almost only see female boat names. Most boat names are named after women, right? Well, that depends, but first, let’s look at why many boats are named after women.

Boats are often named after women or historically after female gods. By doing this, the ship was thought to be protected from bad luck and evil spirits since the boat would be a sign of tribute and devotion to the goddess. Read more to see why certain boats are named after males!

Buying a boat can sometimes be a tricky business, but naming the ship might sometimes even be harder. Here are eight tips that I hope will help you figure out a splendid boat name!

1. Naming a Boat after a Woman

This is the old-school classic way to go about naming your catamaran, or any boat really. This has been done since the beginning of boating; it’s not bad; it’s not good it’s just a classic.

Naming your boat after your wife can indeed be something romantic, it can also vary cheesy, tread carefully on you will find a good balance.

Naming your boat after your daughter is always a beautiful act, and is appreciated by many as a nice gift to your family.

2. Naming a Boat After a Man

Naming your boat after a man is not common, but ships are usually named after men in the military. In the civilian world, it’s often a female name. So giving your boat a traditionally manly name can make people look twice about what they just read, and that is always a fun thing!

Just as mentioned above, there is something beautiful in naming a boat after your father or son, but naming it after your husband, that might even be on board, is always a little weird. but that’s just my opinion 🙂

3. Boat Naming Rules That Apply

Ok, I’m not much of a rule guy, but here are some rules that you probably should follow if you want to stay out of trouble with the law 🙂

  • According to USCG regulations, there are restrictions concerning what you call your boat, firstly there is a 33 character limit, and secondly, it cant be profane, be the same or sound the same as another vessel. Although in reality, many names slip by the check and
  • In the UK, no legal restraints are keeping you from naming your boat to whatever you want (but double-check that in case times have changed)

“A name for the vessel composed of letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals and may not exceed 33 characters. The name may not be identical, actually or phonetically, to any word or words used to solicit assistance at sea; may not contain or be phonetically identical to obscene, indecent, or profane language, or to racial or ethnic epithets.”

US Coast Guard

4. Boat Name Should Be Short

Having a long name as the beautiful blue catamaran, (yes it’s a real name, and yes it also fails the “cheesy-or-not-test”) is not a good idea. It’s not only hard to remember, which can make it a safety issue, but it also, unless you have a giant boat, will be hard to see from a distance.

A version might be BLUE CAT; it’s basically the same but easy to remember when your calling on Chanel 16 an emergency or when someone wants to get in contact with you.

5. Boat Names Should Be Easy to Pronounce

We have all been there, a vessel on your same path, you look through the binoculars, and you spot the name, with the hand on the VHF you push the button, and out comes only stutter.

And of course, it’s a french boat which has an impossible name to enunciate correctly :). The French might beautifully say it, but there’s nothing beautiful about it when I try to say it over a semi distorted VHF. And it’s definitely not french!

So make sure it’s easy to read and easy to say for not just those speaking your native language but for anyone you might encounter.

6. Create an Original Boat Name

Having the same boat name as your neighbor is uncool; I mean, sometimes you might meet someone on the other side of the world with the same name, so maybe it, then it’s just a cool topic to discuss over a beer.

But try to be original, and the easiest way to be original is to look at your life, what’s important, fun, or otherwise has some great value that is also fit for a boat name.

Anything goes when it comes to boat names; my favorite is, of course, the BoatyMcBoatFace that was voted the best name in a naming contest; they never used the name, which of course is a shame 🙂

7. Using Puns

Using puns is great!! Maybe it’s just my bad sense of humor, but when you see it, almost everybody giggles a little. And adding laughter to somebody’s day is rarely a bad thing.

Not only is using a pun allowed, but it’s also a sport in itself; here are some interesting ones Aquadesiac, Seaduction, and For Play. There is an apparent sexual touch to these, but I think my favorites are Fueling Around and Master Baiter.

8. Naming the Boat after Yourself

Yes, this is a thing; you can name the boat using the same name your mother gave her child. Depending on your personality, let’s say you are a very outgoing person with a lot of self-distance who can laugh at yourself, then it could be an entertaining thing to do.

But if that’s not you then I would be a little more skeptical since your probably just going to come off as a douche with an ego trip!

Is it Bad Luck to Rename a Ship?

Traditions and superstition have always been a big part of the sailing lifestyle, and supposedly myths say that whistling will bring bad weather, bringing women on board will cause bad luck, etc.

Be careful choosing your first name for a boat since changing it is supposedly also connected to bad luck; I know… There aren’t many things you can do if you want to make sure you don’t have bad luck.

There are renaming ceremonies that, just like the movie The exorcist, seem to drive out the unfortunates of renaming; this includes, in a certain order removing all old signs of the old name, inside and out and thoroughly cleaning it from its old past.

The pieces of the old name are then put in a box, and you guessed it, burned, and the ashes were thrown into the sea when the tide is going out.

How Do You Write the Vessel Name On a boat?

While on a Catamaran or any other smaller boat used for recreational purposes, you can basically do whatever you want. Of course, there are better and worse ways of doing it, but let’s save that for another time.

Naming a vessel or a big ship has to be done in a certain way, so it complies with regulations. Firstly a ship name is always italicized. Other information such as hull number is to be written in normal font.


Owner of CatamaranFreedom.com. A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

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