Crafting Identities

The Art of Naming Boats and Ships

Choosing a name for a boat or ship is a tradition as old as seafaring itself, imbued with personal significance, superstition, and a sense of identity. This guide explores the rich tradition of maritime naming, offering inspiration and advice for naming your vessel, whether it's a humble kayak or a majestic yacht.

A boat's name is more than just a label; it reflects the personality of the vessel and its owner, often carrying deep personal or historical significance. From ancient times to modern days, the process of naming a boat involves careful consideration, creativity, and respect for nautical traditions.

Choosing the Perfect Name: Tips and Traditions

When naming a ship, many sailors consider factors such as the boat's characteristics, the owner's interests, or memorable experiences. Some follow the tradition of using female names or names that evoke protection and good fortune. The right name can also embody the spirit of adventure or the tranquility of the sea.

Popular Trends in Boat Naming

Over the years, certain themes have become popular in boat naming:

Nautical Legends and Mythology: Names like "Poseidon" or "Calypso" pay homage to the sea's mythic past.

Destinations and Travel: Names such as "Wanderlust" or "Horizon" reflect a love for exploration.

Humor and Wordplay: Clever names like "Seas the Day" or "Aqua Holic" showcase the owner's sense of humor.

Read more articles about sailing, sailing tips and destinations in our Magazine. 

Sail boat named memory - Tauranga Habour New Zealand

Iconic Names in Maritime History

Throughout history, certain ship names have captured the public's imagination, becoming legendary in their own right.

Famous Historical Ships

"Titanic": Perhaps the most famous ship name, synonymous with tragedy and heroism.

"Santa Maria": Christopher Columbus's flagship on his first voyage to the New World.

"HMS Victory": Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, a symbol of naval prowess.

Yachts with Notable Names

"Octopus": The late Paul Allen's mega-yacht, known for its exploration capabilities.

"Eclipse": Roman Abramovich's luxurious yacht, reflecting the opulence and exclusivity of private yachting.

Read more articles about sailing, sailing tips and destinations in our Magazine. 

Legal and Practical Considerations in Boat Naming

While choosing a boat name is largely a creative and personal decision, there are practical considerations to keep in mind, such as legal registration and the ease of communication over the radio.

Registration and Documentation

Many countries require boats to be registered with a unique name. This process often involves checking that the name isn't already in use and adhering to specific regulations regarding length and content.

Visibility and Safety

The name should be clearly visible on the boat for identification purposes. Choosing a name that is easily understood and spelled can also be crucial for safety during radio communications.


The tradition of naming boats and ships is a testament to humanity's deep connection to the sea. A well-chosen name not only adds character to your vessel but also connects it to the rich tapestry of maritime culture and history. Whether you opt for a name that is meaningful, humorous, or simply sounds right, remember that it will be your boat's identity for many adventures to come.

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I will be happy to help you with your boat selection, please contact me.