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The Name Game

Many speculate that the tradition of naming your boat originated centuries ago during the time of the ancient Egyptians on the Nile River. It has been said that boat owners spend more time searching for the perfect name for their boat than the time spent for naming their children. BoatUS has conducted an interesting survey of the most popular boat names. “Serenity” and “Irish Eyes” have been identified as the most popular names followed by such names as “Sea Spirit”, “Obsession”, “Time Out”, “Reel Time”, “Escapade”, “Southern Comfort”, and “Serendipity”.

After you name your boat, the explanation of how the name is chosen becomes paramount to boat owners. It should not be too cute or “sappy”. The name should be brief and effective for navigation and transmission purposes. Boat owners strive for originality. There are way too many “Obsessions” and “Odysseys”. Even though your boat is a “she”, it is never a good idea to name your boat after your wife or significant other. Most women are not comfortable with the idea of sharing their name. The name should be appropriate. It has to be a name that is suitable for your child to see or your boss. Also strive to be original. There are no rules about reusing boat names but common courtesy recommends not choosing the same name as the boat next to yours in the boat slip. Your boat name will be YOUR name. People you meet may not remember your name. They will remember you by your boat name. Make sure that the name you choose is a name that you want your family to be referred to in conversation.

There is actually no federal law requiring that your boat be named. Most states do require, however, that a boat display its registration numbers. But not naming your boat is unnatural. A boat without a name is like a wedding without a bride. You must register your boat in your state, which is more about the taxes and registration numbers than the boat name. If your recreational boat is over 5 net tons (usually 25 footers or longer), you can also choose to register it with the U.S. Coast Guard and make it a Federally Documented Vessel. The only boat name requirements related to a recreational vessel that is federally documented is that the boat lettering be at least 4 inches in height on the hull.

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“BoatUS Boat Graphics.” BoatUS Boat Graphics. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.

“Boat Names from First Boat: What to Name Your New Boat.” Boat Names from First Boat: What to Name Your New Boat. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.