Giving your boat a name is a tradition that has been around for thousands of years. There’s even a commonly seen trope of breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow that crops up in movies now and again—something which only happens during the christening.
When it comes to naming your boat, there are many tales and supposed "rules" but at the end of the day it's your boat so if you want to give it a name, you should go ahead and name it. What really matters is what you want your boat to be called!
Having decided that you want to name it, settling on a name can actually be more difficult than naming your child. No matter what type of boat you own—be it an ocean cruiser, a racer or sail around the lake boat—the name you choose is going to stick with you, so choose wisely.
For some people choosing a name is an exciting and fun task while for others it may pose a challenge.
If you fall into the latter camp here are two helpful online resources to get your creative juices flowing. Cool Boat Names has 1,000 suggestions broken up into helpful categories. Similarly Cap'n Johns Boat Lettering has over 1,000 suggestions again in various helpful categories.
Browsing these sites should really help to give you some great ideas for a memorable and appropriate name for your boat. Try to pick a name that has a special meaning to you or someone you love.
Some further naming inspiration
Here's a short video which we hope will provide a burst of inspiration for even the most creative of minds, it shows clearly that there are no hard and fast rules. From the simple to the crazy and bold a name is what you make it, enjoy the video.
And finally here's a video for the more daring boat owners who want a bit more of an “out-there” name for their boat, here are some of the crazier ones!
Getting your name on your boat
Hopefully, you’ve finally settled on the name for your boat, now you'll want to make sure it looks just right. There are two options for getting the name onto your boat.
Firstly, you can get a vinyl digitally printed which is fairly straightforward and affordable from places like BoatU.S.
But for many people vinyl printing just isn't the same as a beautifully painted name.
To paint your name on for a lasting impression, you'll need to remove any old lettering. If the letters are adhesive you can remove them by applying heat. Try using a hair dryer and then peel away the letters with a razor blade or knife.
When you have finished removing the old lettering clean that area of your boat with warm soapy water.
Once this section is completely dry, you'll need to prime this section. Here's our handy guide for how to go about priming like a professional.
Unless you are a professional sign writer, you'll need to create a stencil to professionally apply the name to your boat. There are lots of ways of creating these for no cost online. For instance, one easy to use site called Rapid Resizer helps you print designs you’ve made as larger scale stencils.
Once you've got your stencils made you'll need to tape them to your boat carefully using masking tape
Dip a brush in fiberglass paint and carefully apply the paint to the boat painting carefully within the lines of the stencil, repeat this for each of the letters. Once you've painted all the letters allow the paint to dry for at least three hours before applying a second coat of paint.
When the second coat is fully dry you should spray the lettering with a waterproofing spray. We recommend using the Preval Spray System and a waterproofing finish, such as a clear epoxy.
We really hope that this easy to use guide will help you get both the perfect name and make it look as stunning as these beautiful examples.