You name your kids. You name your cat. You may even name your houseplants. It thus only makes sense that you name your boat. Tradition says you not only have to pick a name for your boat, but you have to paint that name on the boat before you head out on the wild blue waves.
Skip these important steps, and bad things can happen. Your boat may sink, crash, smash, capsize or fall off that flat edge of the earth that sits just below the horizon.
Basics for Picking a Boat Name
Boats have long been given women’s names, so you might get strange looks if you name your boat “Gus” or “George.” Two theories are behind the female names used to adorn boats, and one is pretty boring. So I’ll mention the cool one. The cool theory stretches back to ancient times when watercraft were named for female goddesses and other mythical beings.
The tradition kept going, with female names expanding to include important historical figures, popular female names, or names of the women near and dear to the captain’s heart.
When naming your boat, you want to avoid:
- The most popular names, such as Serenity or Serendipity, which make it look like all you did was review the most popular boat names instead of using your imagination
- Names that indicate sinking, crashing, smashing or falling off the earth, like Disaster Dame or Sinking Sally
- Names based on someone or something you may not like in a year or two, although boat names are easier to cover than a tattoo
- Names you’d be embarrassed to paint on the back no matter how endearing they may be, like Cuddle Bear, Honey Boo Boo or Pumpkin Butt
Basics for Painting the Boat Name
A few quick dos and don’ts I picked up from painting the name on my beau Bob’s boat take care of this one.
- Pick the proper paint for the job, such as a hearty marine paint or no-nonsense sign paint
- Practice a bit so you know what you’re doing
- Sketch out the name in colored pencil first so you don’t run out of room
- Adjust the letters as needed as the paint drips when you lay it on too thick
- Cover the deck below your paint job, unless you’re a fan of paint-splattered decks
- Pick a color that easily fades or is not immediately visible
- Make your letters so little you need a microscope to see them
- Try to fit too many letters into too small a space; shorten the painted name if the official name is too long
- Try to paint the boat while you’re cruising down the lake
The Final Results
When the picking and painting of your boat name is done right, you can end up with glorious results for years to come. As you can see, the wonderful Captain Bob picked a name based on a woman near and dear to his heart – and then threw in his sweet sense of humor giving sirens a nod so they wouldn’t sink his boat. Betcha this vivacious vessel named SyRyn won’t be falling off the edge of the earth anytime soon. Love it!
Got a house, boat, houseboat or other large item you wanted groovily painted? Contact Rynski.