Upon the purchase of a new or previously enjoyed vessel, the quickest and easiest way to make it feel like your own, is to change or add a boat name.  Boat names are personal:  It can take a very long time to find that perfect name which embodies everything enjoyable about your boating lifestyle.  Trying to think of something original, that hasn’t been over done or that you’ve never seen, can be a daunting task.

Advice from a professional:

  • Think about your boat’s purpose, what kind of boat it is, and its size.
  • Write down a few things that are important to you – people, places you’ve been and loved, your personal philosophy and major life events.
  • Brainstorm about what your boat symbolizes.
  • Identify hobbies, your personality and nicknames.

After you’ve written down some brainstorming ideas, try different combinations of the words to find the perfect combination.


  • Your boat name should be easy to pronounce and to understand over the radio.  Off the water you might be “Dan” in accounting, but when in open water, other boaters, lock staff and emergency personnel will identify you by your vessel name.
  • It should look good if you’ll be putting it on caps, t-shirts etc. and be easy to read.
  • Practice saying it out loud and run it by a couple of friends or family for feedback.  Ultimately this is your boat, so you need to be happy with the name…don’t worry about anyone else.


Our designers can help you:

  • Decide on a suitable font, or lettering style. This might be influenced by the boat name itself, your boat’s style or your own personality.
  • Think about colors, and this includes metallic, gold and silver, and colors for background, outlines and shadows.
  • Choosing a size that’s appropriate for your transom.
  • Integrating all of these components into a suitable design.

Once you’ve decided on a name, now all you have to do is add / change it, right?  Are you superstitious?  Can you change one without incurring bad luck?

Many boaters argue that there is a definite ‘process’ to re-naming or adding a name to your vessel…a process that is designed to avoid the wrath of Neptune,  Poseidon or anyone else.

Typically, I’m not a superstitious person….I don’t really like Friday the 13th but that’s probably more a reflection on my dislike of horror movies.  However, there are several things that can go wrong, when offshore.  There are also many many rocks in the areas in which we boat.  With these things taken into consideration, we felt it was necessary to embrace the re-naming ceremony of our current vessel, which I will outline below.  Feel free to use this as a guideline or ignore it entirely:  Safe Journeys to All!

  2.  Make it a gathering.  This is a celebration of sorts so feel free to invite other boaters, family and friends….or keep it small and quiet if you’re embarrassed.  There should be enough champagne for all!
  3.  Remove every trace of the old name. This includes key chains, hull logos, life rings, and anything else that had the old name on it.  You can also remove all references to the former owner’s name.
  4.  Document the old name.  Write the old boat name somewhere in the boat…we chose to write in in the engine compartment out of sight.
  5.  Perform a ceremony.   You can find some text online, and perform it in as loud (or as quiet a whisper 😉 ) a voice as you prefer.  We found something resembling a ceremony of gratitude and blessing for the boat, asking for safe passage.
  6.  Optional (I don’t know the reasoning behind this one).  Place virgin urine in the bilge….it pumps out anyways.
  7.  Make a sacrifice. We used a lot of champagne….pouring it on the vessel, in the water and some in our mouths. I don’t think the specific type matters, but make sure you toss Neptune some sort of libation.
  8.  Add the new name ASAP.    Get out your new boat name and get it on!  Make sure to re-christen the boat as soon as possible after naming. This must include adding the name to the hull, as a bare minimum.