The Delicate Art of Naming Your Yacht

Congratulations– you bought a yacht! Welcome to the How The Heck Can I Spend My Millions of Dollars? club!

As the proud owner of a new yacht, you’re probably making some tough decisions, such as:

  • Where will I moor this gorgeous babe?
  • What prestigious races will I compete in?
  • Should I learn how to sail or just hire a reputable yacht crew to handle all of the pesky sea-faring details?
  • Will I wear pink polo shirts and white tennis shorts on deck, or will I go for the gold suit and ultramarine dress shirt combo as a tribute to the fabulous Simon LeBon?

Hold on there, fella!

Before anything else can happen, you’ve got to name your yacht. Yes! She needs a name! You’ve got to register her! Sure, it was easy to spend the $750K+ to get your yacht in the first place, but that doesn’t mean it will be “smooth sailing” choosing a name. (Get it- sailing? Yacht? Little bit of filthy rich humor for you there.) Anyway. To guide you down the path of choosing the perfect name for your perfect, perfectly expensive yacht, the club has compiled a list of existing yacht names and grouped them into several categories on your behalf. Remember, all of the names listed below have already been registered* to other yacht owners, so if there’s one that really jumps out at you, try adding a “II” to the end and go from there…

Yacht-Naming Tactic #1: Go for something pretty!

Everyone loves a boat with an ethereal or nature-y sounding name. Naming your boat after a river or a woodland creature lets people know that you’re more than just a sack of dusty money– you care about the environment, too!

Some examples:

  • Prairie Dancer
  • Dragonfly
  • Cheetah
  • WindChild
  • Fragile Habitat

Yacht-Naming Tactic #2: Name it after your mother, girlfriend, or wife

What woman wouldn’t be flattered to have an expensive, sleek, and sophisticated yacht bear her name? (NB- People who marry just for love: you only wish a yacht could be named after you.)

Some examples:

  • Marjorie
  • Red Sheilla
  • Annie

Yacht-Naming Tactic #3: Sound tough!

You’re not just a pretty boy with perfect teeth and pleated pants, are you? No– you’re strong! You’re manly! Well… even if you’re whisper thin and cry during so-called ‘chick flicks’, you can still create a facade of masculinity by naming your yacht something bold.

Some examples:

  • Warrior
  • Icon
  • Braveheart
  • Freedom X
  • Bulletproof

Yacht-Naming Tactic #4: Play on words!

People will love you for your intelligence, wit, and clever use of the English language. Naming your yacht something snappy proves that you’re more than just an 8- or 9-figure Swiss bank account… you’re a Harvard educated 8- or 9-figure Swiss bank account. 🙂

Some examples:

  • ReignMaker
  • Airloom
  • SeaDuced

Yacht-Naming Tactic #5: Be honest

OK, so maybe forking over 2 million dollars for your 50′ yacht wasn’t exactly easy. Let people know this by forever naming your boat after your money woes!

Some examples:

  • X-S
  • Overdraft

Yacht-Naming Tactic #6: Leave some breathing room

Some names have double meanings or leave room for interpretation. Think of what would happen if you named your yacht after your girlfriend and later broke up with her. Awkward! To avoid potentially uncomfortable situations like this, it’s wise to name your yacht something more, um, open-ended.

Some examples:

  • Family Affair (could mean that you sail with your sons… or that you’re leaving the door open to cheat on your wife)
  • New Beginnings I (it’s easy to tack on extra “I”s in the event that your relationship(s) don’t work out)

Yacht-Naming Tactic #7: Confuse people!

Who says that filthy rich yacht owners don’t know how to have fun? Why not christen your boat with a name that will have everyone scratching their heads and thinking WTF??

Some examples:

  • Free Bowl of Soup
  • Muffin
  • Baaad Kitty!
  • Penetration

Yacht-Naming Tactic #8: Add some sass to your class

If all else fails, why not name your yacht something sassy? If you like cats, too, why not display your affection for them by including a feline reference in your yacht’s name as well?

Some examples:

  • Cat Sass     (Note: can also fall under the Play on Words and WTF?? categories, especially if your yacht happens to be a catamaran.)

Hopefully this handy reference guide has helped you think of potential names for your new yacht. Remember, all of these yacht names are already taken, but there’s nothing stopping you from registering Doe-Sea-Doe or Stinky Cat Sass. Good luck!


*Yacht names compiled from the actual 2012 Swiftsure International Yacht Race list of registrants. (The Swiftsure Race takes place in Victoria every US Memorial Day weekend.) Disclaimers: No offense intended. Stereotypes of yacht owners were unfairly exaggerated for the purpose of this post. Don’t worry, Swiftsure racers– we know you’re not all preppy pretty boys with rich daddies and a penchant for Dockers. Besides, you know I’m just jealous. 🙂

If you want to read more tongue-in-cheek mini-essays about yachts, why not re-visit last year’s Swiftsure post, where I chronicled Marty’s re-enactment of the classic Duran Duran Rio music video? Do eet!

PS: All of the photos in this post (with the exception of Mr. LeBon aboard the amazing Rio) were taken by Marty during last year’s Swiftsure International Yacht Race. Please don’t use them without permission and/or proper credit!


54 responses

  1. Cute post! We have a boat – no yacht mind you, just a boat – and we named it Skapin (as in escaping) so we are done with clever names for now. 🙂

    • I was amazed to see all the different names for the yachts during last weekend’s Swiftsure Race. The best/worst was “Cat Sass”. Personally, if I had just spent *a lot* of money on a yacht, I wouldn’t want to name it anything that sounded like “Cat’s Ass”. But maybe that’s just me… 😉

      It’s probably difficult to choose a name for a boat, yacht or not. I would likely find a pretty Czech name and leave it at that. (Lazy name-giver alert!) It’s definitely a good thing I don’t have children of my own. They could end up with names like “Girl #1” or just plain “Boy”.

  2. “Knot ’til Monday” will “In her Course” take to the water looking for “Holy Mackerel.” Until then, I’ll be a “Nervous Wreck” or “In Deep Ship” — neither emotional states are to be envied.

    Truth be told, I’m a “Chick of the Sea.” I yearn to be yacht-free, but my husband insists that she’s “Knot for Sail.” But I’m tired of his “Bullship,” so perhaps one day very soon he’ll find himself in “Davey’s Locker.” Until then, I’ll continue to drink — I may even become an “Aquaholic.” Unless, of course, I find some courage and “Seas the Day!”

    • Yowza!! This is a pretty great comment, Laurie– it would have taken me about a week to think of all of these names. 🙂

      My fave boat here in Victoria is a commanding fishing boat called the “Iron Maiden”. Marty did a painting of it a few years back and it still brings a smile to my face whenever I think about it.

    • Most of the boat names don’t really stick out to me one way or another, but I’d definitely feel pressured trying to pick a “perfect” name for my own boat (if I ever owned a boat… or overcame my cat-like aversion to water).

      This whole post came about when I was trying to identify one of the yachts that my husband depicted in his recent “Swiftsure Race” painting. All of the sails are numbered, so as I was scrolling through the yacht names trying to match to the sail number in his painting, I found myself whispering “Please don’t be this one!” at certain names, or “That would make a good painting name” for others. Thankfully, the yacht in question ended up being “Lightcure”, NOT “Cat Sass”. I don’t think Marty would have wanted to have a Cat Sass painting. 🙂

  3. Dana – I live in Crystal LAKE, Illinois which isn’t all that far from the Fox RIVER, and LAKE Michigan. We see boats — lots of them — of every size and description. And as you can see, some of them have fairly memorable names 🙂

    The “Iron Maiden” does sound commanding, indeed!

    • It’s so great living by the water, isn’t it? I grew up in the prairie provinces and still thank my lucky stars each time I consciously remember that *I work on a harbour!* now. 🙂

  4. Hahaha, AMAZING! The WTF section is the best. I love the way you categorized the names, it makes it oh-so-easy for anyone naming a boat! I will never do any such thing. Maybe a canoe? Perhaps some of the same categories apply…

    • Some of the categories would probably still apply to canoes, but it’s less fun to pick a ridiculous name for something that you’ve *only* spent $1000 on, agreed? Better to drop a cool mil and then show people how funny you are by choosing an outlandish name for your yacht. 😉

      BTW, I’m guessing that not *all* yachts cost zillions of dollars, but I found a pretty telling quote on the internet when I googled “how much does a yacht cost?”:

      “You have no right or business owning a yacht if you ask that question.” — J. P. Morgan

      Touche, Mr. Morgan (I’m assuming he’s a mister). Well played!

      • Oh man, did he really say that??? That’s great. So basically he’s saying that anyone who has a yacht is the kind of person who throws huge amounts of money at things without thinking at all?

        Yeah, I can imagine feeling a lot more pressure when it comes to naming something that expensive… especially since SOME people are already judging you for owning the yacht in the first place!

  5. I heard about someone (i’m assuming a general contractor) around here who has a sailboat named Change Order. Their dinghy is called Contract. That is the best EVER!!

    • Haha– I guess you *can* name smaller vessels, too (like dinghies!). Clever names aren’t just for yachts.

      PS: Is it just me, or does plural “dinghies” look ridiculous?

  6. One memorable flaunting of wealth yacht once docked in the inner harbour was named “Liquid Asset’.
    A few years back, I had a 14′ runabout, and considering my navigation skills, I wanted to name it “Future Reef”.
    As both desirable and expensive to purchase and maintain, boats tend to be, there is an expression out there that the two best days for a seafarer are the one when he buys his boat, and the one when he sells it.

    • Well, I’ve already come to the (obvious) conclusion that the sea-faring life is not for me, so I can bypass all those wretched in-between days of owning a boat. 😉

      I wonder if anybody in their right mind has since named a boat “Titanic”?

      • You might enjoy kayaking. It is really fun, and they can be rented easily/cheaply. A few times I have taken in the Symphony Splash that way and it was terrific getting a front and centre viewing spot.

        • We’ve been kayaking a few times and I’ve definitely enjoyed it. Marty and I actually got married on our first ever kayak trip. 🙂 Good memories all around!

  7. I’ve spent my whole life being judged as ” just a sack of dusty money”. It’s rough 🙂 Also? Bulletproof? That’s asking for it. I don’t own a gun, but it kind of makes me want to buy one and test it out on a million dollars’ worth of sail boat.

  8. I don’t think I’ll ever run into this predicament – but those are some great names!! 😉 Your post reminded of the Seinfeld episode with the proctologist who had the boat named “Assman”!! 🙂

      • I remember that! I can’t imagine naming a kid Richard when you *know* your last name is Assman AND that people shorten Richard to “Dick”. What were they thinking??

    • Hahaha. I don’t think I’ll run into this predicament, either. My sister used to take music lessons from a “Miss Song”, and there’s a chiropractor here in town named “Dr. Payne”/Pain. If my last name was Assman, becoming a proctologist would be the only logical career path. 🙂

  9. You should win blogging humor awards, Dana. We have a “yacht” sitting in our yard that is yet un-named, and, come to think of it, may never live to see the water. The motor sits in the garage and it’s been all strapped down with plastic tarps for the last 2-3 years. I think Barry paid $2500 for it. It’s a 24 foot Sea Ray. Think old. But possibly sea-worthy if it’s ever repaired properly. He took 14 years to repair the 49 Studebaker, so he may get this one operative. We’ll come to you for a name, shall we? 🙂

    • Thanks, Kathy! Maybe you and Barry can sift through my helpful suggestions and find a suitable name for your as-yet-unchristened Mega Yacht. 😉 Then again, maybe by the time Barry makes this boat seaworthy, the boat naming trends will have changed and I’ll have to do a whole new post. Only time will tell!

  10. Woops, I just used ALL of those pictures in my latest article on yachting – so sorry Marty. I feel so bad now, I’m even turning the collar down on my pink Polo in shame. At least Biffy and Muffy at the club (no offense to anyone with those nicknames) like the photos and the article.

    Really funny piece, Dana. Hard to believe that some of those are real names.

    I’ve decided on my yacht name – after I win the lottery; oh, and after I actually play the lottery – “Blog Fog.”

    I’ve just trademarked it, so don’t go stealin’. hehe

  11. Your pictures are beautiful! If it weren’t for an unfortunate tendency to get seasick, and the inability to tell the mainsail from the mizzenmast, I’d be out there in a minute.

    Boaters seem to be really big into the cheesy play on words and puns, but maybe that’s more powerboaters.

    • I get seasick, too, so it’s a good thing Marty was on board the yacht instead of me. (Not to mention the whole “I can’t swim but Marty was a competitive triathlete before” issue. The only thing worse than getting seasick during a yacht race would be getting seasick, going overboard, *and* not knowing how to swim.)

      Aren’t the pictures neat, though?

    • That would be perfect, Mark! I’m going to have to find a million or so dollars to give to you, JUST so you can buy a yacht and name it the Idiot. 🙂

  12. Oh Dana, you are such a delight. Now how did you come up with this. What a great great post! And of course I had to do a bite of research also. I found a sail boat named “Blow me”. crude but funny. Ah the rich, they don’t care, something to laugh about with their buddies while smoking cigars and drinking cognac. Cheers

    • Blow Me??! That’s too much! The mental image of cigar smoking and cognac drinking seems fitting. Who else but the filthy rich would spend so much money on a name like that? 😉

  13. LOL! Thank you for a good laugh this morning, Dana. I’m getting ready for our flight home and laughter seems to help with the fear of flying. If only we could sail home…

    • Thanks for checking in, Kathy. Yes, work has been keeping me VERY busy these days, but hopefully I’ll get a little breather in the next little while. 🙂

    • Haha, that’s an awesome idea. I actually just met somebody with their own island yesterday! For real!

      Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. I appreciate it! 🙂

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