So far we’ve narrowed it down to Selkie or Rainbow Gerbil – both of which meet some, if not all, of the criteria for naming boats. You see, I believe that boats, like brands, should be memorably named and reflect something positive about their owners.

Names should invite a question or two in a new port to help break the ice. Ideally, it should be no more than two syllables and definitely not some naff mnemonic or anagram made up of your and your pet’s names. Why not? Every salt will know it’s a mnemonic or anagram and therefore meaningless. What about puns? Puns only work in your native language. Besides, puns are the lowest form of wit and should be at all costs be avoided.

Remember the Force

A name should also be clear enough that it can be understood over an SSB radio in a Force 9 gale. It should also be short enough that you can spell it out phonetically in less than five seconds. Ten at the outside.

Taken to its logical extreme, you might, for example, name your boat “Yo Momma!” Thus when asked the name of your boat, you’d say, “Yo Momma!” To which your inquisitor would rightly reply with a fist in your face. In this example, your ‘brand’ demonstrates your preferences for bar fights and generally getting the crap kicked out of you. Needless to say, Yo Momma! hasn’t made the cut on our list of boat names.


Here’s a short selection of ideas, please post your favorites or better ideas, within the rules of naming outlined above, of course.

  • Rainbow Gerbil – two words of two syllables apiece – so not bad. Logic would dictate a dinghy named RG Bargie as a companion. Her port of call would naturally be Portlandia, Oregon.
  • Selkie – pretty much meets all the criteria, the question of dinghy naming remains open at this point.
  • Carol – then name the dinghy Lynn and when docked the boat would be C, L, Quay (Selkie). Okay, it’s a stretch.
  • Boaty McBoatface – fails miserably.
  • Schr√∂dinger’s Cat – but only if she’s not a catamaran. Don’t break the pun rule.
  • Banjo – not a mnemonic, but still a (highly favored) pet name. The dinghy would be Annie, and the life raft Marlon. BAM! Just like that!
  • Anagrams like Karmic (from the letters carolmike) also lead right to Miracle, Earlock, and Calorie.

And, well, that’s pretty much it right now… any and all suggestions appreciated…



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