Tuesday 27 September 2011

Choosing a boat name

There are many boat names that are duplicated on the canal and some boat names are more popular than others. Kingfisher for obvious reasons is a very popular boat name. There are many other bird names to choose from such as Osprey, Mallard and Merlin which we have seen over the last few days. Waterside plant names such as Iris and Sorrel seem to abound as do waterside tree names like Willow. Waterside wildlife names like Otter and Toad are popular if only from their connection to books such as “Ring of Bright Water” or “Wind in the Willows”.

So its not easy to find a unique name unless you use a bit of imagination. Humour often applies to boat names. The humour can be quite obvious or it could be done with a play on words. “Sir 'T' Fiable” was one recent humorous name spotted, as was SKI explained as “Spending Kids Inheritance”.

There are also famous boat names such as “Titanic” or “Cressy” that you could emulate. You could also combine together words such as a plant name and a place name such as “Rose of Arden” though even that name is not unique as there is a sea going Yacht of exactly the same name.

Our old house was named “Wits End” as we lived at the end of a cul-de-sac. We were going to rename our boat to “Wits End II” but “Rose of Arden” has grown on us, so now that we are unlikely to ever change her name. Often abbreviated most of the time to just “Rosie” by us anyway.

Insects also play a part in boat names, I have yet to see a Wasp or Horsefly but I have seen several Dragonfly and a few Queen Bee's. Nymph is the larval stage of the Dragonfly but I think the use of Nymph is related to the world of children’s stories such as the Water Babies.

Children’s stories have given a few names such as Puddleduck or even Swallows and Amazons. Harry Potter has given a whole new realm of characters and magical places. I wonder how many times the JK Rowling imagination will be reflected in boat names.

But are there names that we would not use – I suppose Hitler might not be high on the list of duplicates though we have seen the U boat Narrowboat on the Leeds Liverpool Canal in Leeds.

Whatever you choose someone else will be thinking along the same lines. Private Eye has a section on “Pseudo names” so you could lift one from there and have something like The Angus McCoatup Carrying Company or some other similar name.

Duchess of Alba
You could choose a name that reflects one of the natural feminine beauties from around the World. One such as the “Duchess of Alba” who is higher in the aristo's social standing circles than our own dear old expensive to maintain queen.

Yes, choosing a boat name is such a difficult task.


1 comment:

  1. The boat we owned just prior to the narrowboat was a glass fibre cruiser, built in 1984 as an attempt to re-introduce a luxury brand back to market after the liquidation of the original company. It's manufacturing costs were high, as it was fully hand built as a one off to display at boat shows. Its original owner, who had it on the Thames, bought it after it had been for sale for over a year, and paid the equivalent of the price of an average house at the time. He named it "Sheer Madness". It still had this name when we sold it. Thames registered boats do have to be unique - BW registered ones don't.


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