How often have you walked the docks of a marina alternately snickering and shuddering at the names emblazoned on the transoms you pass along the way? Sea-Duction…Bottoms Up…Sexual Heeling…. Can you imagine picking up the VHF mike and saying: “Monaco Yacht Club, this is Wet Dream?”
It’s true, not everyone can come up with a classic yacht name like Running Tide, Flying Cloud or Windward Passage, but sometimes it feels like they are not even making an attempt.
BoatU.S., the major American boat owner’s association, publishes a list of the Top 10 Boat Names on American transoms each year. Here’s the list it released this year – which includes its share of clunkers:
- Seas the Day
- Summer Daze
- Second Chance
- Wind Seeker
- Dream Weaver
- Black Pearl (thank you, Pirates of the Caribbean)
- The Salt Shaker
- Sea Quest
A rival list put out by www.customboatnames.com, offers a few more choice monickers:
1. Happy Ours
2. Carpe Diem
3. Aqua–Holic (a perennial favorite)
4. State of Mind
5. Anchor Management (groan!!)
6. The Office
7. Feelin’ Nauti
8. Yes Dear
10. Serenity Now
Just plain Serenity has long been a top-ranked boat name – tacking on Now seems to add a note of desperation possibly indicative of the economic crisis. Frankly, I was surprised not to see more financial references among these Top 10 lists, such as Liquid Assets, Overdraft or A Crewed Interest.
(That last one was from an amusing list of Stupid Boat Names compiled by the sailors’ site www.messingaroundinboats.com.) Other winners from the site include Buoys in the Hood, Slipless in Seattle and Hot Ruddered Bum.
Even some superyacht owners have been unable to resist the impulse to make a nautical pun – witness the 282-foot Ecstasea. But most big-boat owners seem to choose a stately name for their new launch as befits a yacht of its stature. For example, Ocean Victory seems an entirely suitable name for the 248-foot premier yacht in Feadship’s new XL Series.
Recently, the age-old tradition of naming the boat after the owner’s wife or daughter (as in Talitha G and Christina O) seems to have been supplanted by a trend to combine the first two initials of everyone in the owner’s family together into a single word. Sometimes, this even works out – as in Vajoliroja, the name of Johnny Depp’s yacht (the former Anatolia). Say the name (which is derived from the names of Depp’s girlfriend Vanessa, the actor himself, daughter Lily Rose and son Jack) three times fast and it sounds like “The Jolly Roger.”
Going down Boat International USA’s 2009 list of the 100 Largest Yachts in the World, we feel compelled to give out the following awards:
Best Motor Yacht Name: Limitless. The name of this 315-foot motor yacht owned by Leslie Wexner, founder of retail clothing group Limited Brands, not only evokes his company, but also its sheer size and the extra-large complement of guests she is rated to take.
Best Sailing Yacht Name: Maltese Falcon. Computer scion Tom Perkins referenced the classic Dashiell Hammett private eye novel in naming his 289-foot clipper yacht after the precious statuette that everyone is after in the book.
Most Colorful Name: Bart Roberts. The dread pirate Roberts lives on in this rugged 265-foot explorer yacht.
Most Enigmatic: A. We feel a bit sorry for this captain. “Monaco Yacht Club…this is A…do you have A slip?”
Worst Yacht Name: Bashrah Breeze. If we took possession of this 269-foot motor yacht (ex-Al Yamamah, ex-Quadissiyat Saddam), originally constructed for Saddam Hussein, we wouldn’t name it after a city in Iraq or anything else that reminds us of the former owner.
Runner Up: DILBAR
Please post your favorite best and worst yacht names below.