Hook & Barrel
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naming a boat

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How To Avoid Epic Fails When Naming Your New Fishing Boat

So, you’ve finally bought a boat. Congratulations! It’s a sound financial investment on par with the Venezuelan bolivar and ensures you won’t have to worry about what to do during retirement until at least age 146!

Now that you’ve traded financial security for a 36-foot piece of fiberglass, it’s time to name her. Naming your boat is one of the most important decisions you make in your life—definitely more important than naming your children and possibly more important than naming your fake ID. This is because your boat’s name is what will either announce to the world, “This is a boat!” or, “This is a floating Mötley Crüe tour bus!”

Your name needs to be something clever, sexy, and probably offensive to anyone born after 2001. Something that screams, “I’m not just a guy with a boat, I also know lots of funny ways to use the word ‘Hooker!’”

The U.S. Coast Guard mandates your name be limited to 33 characters.  They don’t do this to stifle your creative genius, but more because yelling, “Attention: This is Her Divorce Lawyers Are The Worst. No, Seriously, I’m Pretty Sure They Were Once Prison Guards In North Korea. We need assistance!” into the emergency radio can get garbled. Better to stick with something simple like Tapped Dat Asset.

Some suggest a boat’s name should reflect your profession or interests. This is good advice if you have an interesting profession like doctor-ing, where you can name your boat catchy stuff like Boatox or Post-Op. Or international gun smuggling, where you can name your boat A Salt Rifle or We’re Definitely Not Smuggling Guns.

But if you’re, say, a tax consultant, maybe leave your job out of the name since it’s pretty hard to make hilarious nautical puns using words like “millage.”

Boat Names To Avoid Unless You Lose A Bet

funny boat names
Editor’s Note: No, no Photoshopping was done to the image above. That, sadly, is the name of the boat docked in a driveway in my neighborhood that’s a only a couple clicks from the Hudson River in Upstate New York. Do you have any “epic boat name fail photos” to share with Hook & Barrel Magazine? Visit H&B‘s social pages for more information. instagram.com/hookandbarrelmag and facebook.com/HookAndBarrelMagazine.

Boat Name Best Practices aka Pleasing the Gods

There are also certain things you should not name your boat. First, you can’t name your boat after any terms used to express emergencies at sea, like Mayday! or We’re Out Of Beer! Also, it’s considered bad luck to name a boat after a famous sinking ship, so you should probably avoid names like Lusitania or Biden Administration.

Also, if your boat already has a name, you can’t just rename it like it’s a 2-year-old foster child. According to nautical lore, the gods of the sea Poseidon and Neptune know every boat by name, and since they’re both over 2,400 years old, changing the name is going to make them confused and possibly disoriented.

If you’re going to rename a boat, you must have what’s called a “purging ceremony.” This is where you remove all traces of the old name from the boat, including any paperwork, and then have a nice conversation with the gods about the changes. Remember, Poseidon and Neptune are old, so keep discussions of the change polite and simple, like when you had to explain to Grandpa why Cousin Kenneth is now Cousin Kathy.

Once you’ve got a name, or purged the old one, it’s time for the Christening. Christening ceremonies date back to the ancient Greeks and Phoenicians, who would sometimes sacrifice humans and animals to ensure their boat’s safety. Today, the Fun Police at the Coast Guard frown on human sacrifices, and instead encourage you to sacrifice a bottle of marina store champagne. After you read a brief poem where you rhyme something with “Nantucket,” break the bottle over the hull, and Christen your new boat. Once you’ve stopped the bleeding and gotten your hand stitched up, it’s time to enjoy your new life out on the water! Just make sure your kids aren’t planning on going to college.

Do you have any “epic boat name fail photos” to share with Hook & Barrel Magazine? Visit H&B’s social pages for more information. instagram.com/hookandbarrelmag and facebook.com/HookAndBarrelMagazine.

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