It’s likely the first thing friends or guests will notice when stepping onto your boat: its name! What’d you name it? Why’d you name it? Most boats are largely identified by the name that they are given.
Naming your boat is a long-held tradition, which has created some memorable mentions throughout history but few people know the history behind the concept.
Here’s what we found out:
Boat-Naming Goes Way Back
We’re talking way back. Like, back to the Romans, Greeks, and maybe even before then. But not for the same reasons as today—ancient civilizations named their boats largely out of superstition and fear. If you needed protection from threats, like mythical creatures or bad storms, you’d name your boat after an ancient god as a sort of tribute to them in hopes that they’d protect your boat.
There’s a Lot of Luck Involved
You’ll see this a lot with boat-naming traditions: the belief that a name can either usher in good or bad luck. Some people believe that naming a boat after something or someone you love brings good luck; others think that renaming a boat can create bad storms ahead. Centuries ago, Christians typically “christened” a boat as a show of respect for the boat’s voyages.
Here’s What to Keep in Mind
Boat-naming has largely persisted as a tradition because it’s a quick, easy way for boat owners to communicate effectively with one another. That said, name your boat something short, and simple: no more than 5 or 6 syllables. Just remember, have fun with it and don’t be afraid to get creative!