Naming your Boat

Naming a Boat — Great Tips for a Great Name

Naming your boat is a long-standing nautical tradition; use our tips on how to give your boat a memorable and meaningful name.

It’s all in the name. Or is it?

When it comes to naming your boat, there is a long-standing tradition in the nautical world, one steeped in history and one of great importance dating back centuries. It’s based on superstition and safe passage. The process of naming one’s vessel is a boat ownership right of passage that ensures good luck and is not to be taken lightly.

Buying a boat is a HUGE event; just ask any boat owner. Now that you have your boat, it needs a name. Boat names vary and many boat owners take great pride and creativity when selecting the perfect name. Boat names can range from quirky and fun, to meaningful or inspirational.

In this blog, we’ll give you tips on how to name your boat by understanding the history of boat naming, finding the best name for you and celebrating properly.

naming a boat after an Ancient Greek Ship naming a boat after an Ancient Greek Ship

Why Name Your Boat?

To truly appreciate the boat-naming tradition, let’s take a look at its history.

Legend has it that centuries ago, boats were named to ward off fear, bad luck and superstition. Since boating was one of the primary forms of transportation, many relied on traveling the high seas for exploring and commerce.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all believed that a boat’s moniker should show honor and respect to a gods of the sea, and in turn, the particular god would protect the ship and keep all onboard safe and out of harm’s way when traveling on their many voyages.

Christians soon followed suit and named their ships after saints, using the same reasoning as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, that these saints would offer smooth sailing and protection during their voyages.

Why Are Boats Named After Women?

Naming a boat after a female mythical creature Naming a boat after a female mythical creature

As with most long-standing traditions, there’s more than one story. The same is true for naming boats after a woman.

1. Mythical Creatures

The first theory is that naming ships after gods, like the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, waned in popularity; it was replaced with mythical creatures. Many of these creatures were women, such as fairies and mermaids, which supports this belief in the transition of using female names.

2. Languages

The second story is based on languages. Did you know that several languages assign genders to words? Yes, these words are either feminine or masculine. Olde English happened to be one those languages that followed this protocol of giving feminine or masculine genders to inanimate objects, and it has stuck ever since.

3. Mother Nature

Yet another theory has to do with Mother Nature. Ancient sailors knew and respected the power that Mother Nature had on their voyages. They believed if they named their vessel after a woman, this would make Mother Nature happy, and she would offer safe travels to them.

Whatever theory you believe, naming your boat is a seriously fun part of boating!

7 Tips for How to Name a Boat

Now comes the really fun part! It’s time to name your boat. From funny boat names and unique boat names to names of family members, when it comes to choosing the best boat names, the options are limitless! You want to make sure you are taking the right steps. We’ve made this easy for you to start the process.

How To Go About Naming a BoatHow To Go About Naming a Boat

Here are 7 tips to consider when selecting your boat’s name:

1. Get Creative

The options are limitless when you unleash your creativity. Let your imagination run wild, keep a running list of ideas that serve as good ship names so you don’t forget. Keep adding to the list.

2. Originality for the Win

Adding to creativity is originality when it comes to naming your boat. You want a moniker that reflects who you are and is timeless. Stay away from kitschy phrases or anything crude. Boat names are like vanity license plates. Others shouldn’t spend hours trying to figure out what they mean.

3. Make Them Laugh with Witty Boat Names

Think “Dad Jokes.” This can be a fun family activity. It should be a relatable name that others understand the humor right away. Afer all, who doesn't love funny ship names? Puns abound in this part of the naming process.

4. Make It Easyto Say

While this is a fun process, you’ll want a name that easily rolls off the tongue and is appropriate for all ages.  In case of water emergencies, profane language coming over the VHF radio is the last thing you want to hear. Plus, you want others to understand what you are saying quickly. Long and hard-to-pronounce names may be entertaining, but coast guard members alerting others about a possible water rescue may struggle to understand or repeat the name. 

5. What Does the Name Say about You?

Select a name that reveals who you are. The tradition of naming a boat is all about the captain. Remember, the name you select becomes your nautical legacy, one that will be linked with your name-make it a good one!

6. Include Inspiration!

Make sure you’re considering what inspires you-movies, songs, your friends, family, occupation and more. Inspiration can add a plethora of good boat names to your growing list.

7. Keep It Short & Sweet

Don’t forget, you’ll want to fit the name on your boat’s transom, the most traditional spot for the name. You can also display it on the hull if your boat has a smaller transom and outboard engine. It’s best to keep the name to one or two words at most.

Now that you have these tips, you’re sure to find the right name for your boat. Just dive right in and get started! See what we did here? A perfect example of a pun or dad joke!

Have fun!

A Sampling of Cool Boat Names

We enlisted some of our expert boaters from Lippert Captains to share their boat names. These are perfect examples of using our tips above to find the best name.

Guide to Naming a BoatGuide to Naming a Boat

Ruff’n It – “Paw print for apostrophe. Ruff as we have doggies. Play on rough n it , as it’s a 53’ floating condo ????. Has everything needed for 6-7 weeks in the Bahamas.”

the best method for naming a boatthe best method for naming a boat

SeaSaw – “Last boat, "SeaSaw" - Because I sell sawing equipment for a living.


Turn The Page – “I named my boat this since this is my favorite song (Bob Seger) but also I saw myself turning the page to a less stressful life, working part time instead of full time, and nearing retirement.”

Decorate Your Newly Christened Boat

Pop a bottle of champagne! It's time to celebrate your boat’s new name. You’ll want to adorn her with accessories bearing her namesake as well as protect her from damage.

We have a collection of decorative ring buoys that look as good on your boat as they do on your dock. Our ring buoy letter kits offer the personalized touch needed to christan a boat. You can also add personal style and flare to your boat with a novelty flag.

Protect your new investment with our fender collection, trusted by boaters everywhere. Our boat fenders are made with the marine-grade vinyl that stands up to the harsh marine elements. Designed to safeguard your boat from taking on any damage from other boats and docks, we have the right fender for your new boat.