While towing some boats in after the wind died on Saturday during the 2012 Kettle Cup, I was asked about the name of my boat (Millihelen) by the captain of a boat I was towing. After he explained how he came up with the name for his boat, which was quite a story I asked the members of LMSA how they came up with their sailboat names. Below are a few of them who took the time to respond. More will be added as they come in. One common comment made in several e-mails was from Willie Blevins, “Don’t name the boat right away, sail the boat a while, it will name itself.” Enjoy.
Diane, Andy Forrest Precision 23 – Show Me
Diane was raised in Missouri and is very much true to the state slogan. After hearing “Are you sure” for the hundredth time, the name Show Me seemed appropriate. Diane wasn’t thrilled about the second possible interpretation of the phrase but consented to the name.
Jeff Herter S2 6.7 – Vulcan Mermaid
S-2: We are trekkies, and in a weak moment I used my wife’s computer name , “Vulcan Mermaid.”
The Flying Dutchman: named after I sunk it, “Widow Maker”
Diane, Andy, Mike, Pam (D.A.M.P.) – Precision 27 – Gilravage
Gilravage, we thought this old Scottish word most appropriate for our floating party barge. “To hold a merry meeting, with noise and riot, but without doing injury to anyone It includes the idea of a wasteful use of food and of intemperate use of strong drink.”
John Jamieson’s Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish language
Calton – SJ 21 –Just Us
When we first started sailing (2006) people would ask of us, “who else is sailing with you?” when we would charter a 40′ boat , our answer was always “Just Us”. When we bought our San Juan 21 in 2007, most of the racing boats had 3 aboard. We wanted to keep it simple by learning to sail our boat with just the 2 of us. So, “Just Us” stuck. Aggie has been known to often call her “Baby.”
Brent, Maryann Carter, 29er –Wile E.XX
Wile E seems to fit our sailing style on the 29er. A seemingly great plan, everything goes really well right up to the point when it doesn’t. We never stop trying, nor do we consider a more sensible approach. Win big, lose big…
Steve S. – SJ 21 -Box of Kittens
My daughter (I think 12 years old at the time) named my SJ 21… she said, “You should name her “A Box of Kittens.” Then when someone else wins, they have to say, “Yeah, I beat a box of kittens….” ;-)
Jerry Brinton S2 7.9 –SailGator
We are Florida Gator fans!
DJ Seidelmann 299 –Pretty Much
S/V “Pretty MUCH”, a Seidelmann 299, was purchased in 2005 as a hurricane damaged boat with no mast and a gutted interior. Spent 3 years restoring her with the help from of lots of friends… New mast and standing rigging, new running rigging, new deck hardware, new lifelines, new plumbing, new electrical, new interior (that was a big one), etc… she was “pretty much” a lot of work… Even now if someone asks if the boat is finished, I can say, “Pretty MUCH”…
Jeffrey Susan Laydon Hunter 23 –Watch this
The name originated from many dumb redneck activities I have foolishly undertaken in past lives and lived to tell.
Steve L. Kent
First boat Maggie after Rod Stewert’s Maggie May
Second. Changed the name from “high times” to Delphinus after the constellation because I didn’t want the attention in the Keys!
Third, name was wild duck so I changed it to Merganser which is a wild fishing duck
Fourth is a game fisher which I haven’t bothered to name.
Byron Hicks – Force 5
My Force 5 is named ‘Monkeybutt’. This seems to bring a smile to those upon first glance (at the boat name), though I can’t imagine that they have actually all seen a monkey’s butt. That being said, I believe a boat name best serves its purpose by conjuring up a personal image of that special bonding moment that the vessel and its owner will have. You might notice that this happens to be much more apparent for sailboats than powerboats where a sense of manhood defensiveness seems to dominate.
So, one day as I was preparing a Sunfish for sailing at a Monte Carlo clothing optional resort, I was approached by a women who inquired as to my golden tan, particularly that on my backside. I related to her how I had been raised in the jungles of South America by a tribe of apes, and that tree sitting does take a toll on the posterior. Little did I realize that a very simple body ointment, when applied properly, is quite soothing. But I digress. Perhaps I can relate the rest of the story sometime on Woofy’s deck.
Michael Loughlin MCG21
I was looking for an Irish term. I wanted to name the boat in Gaelic so we called it “Lough Arrachtach” which is “Lake Monster”. Pam hated the name and asked me to change it to “Lough Buoy”. Since the boat is slow it is like sailing a buoy. When sailing other sailors call her, Ba Ba Buoy, Blow Boy, Low Boy and Slow Buoy to Slow Boy. So that is the truth and the whole truth.
Tom Dyll – SJ 21 Blackjack
Blackjack – reference to a another sailboat I raced in Hawaii, Its also a reference to the 21 in San Juan 21, Its also a good salty pirate name.
Endurance – reference to my adventure racing and past athletics, also a reference to the ship Sir Thomas Shackleton sailed to Antarctica since his life boats were very similar to my Sea Pearl 21.
Lance Squires – Macgregor 26 –Grounds for Divorce
I couldn’t sleep one night and was surfing the web for a used stereo and came across a Sailboat For Sale, I had never sailed before nor ever been on a Sailboat but decided I wanted to learn so I bought the boat. I never asked my wife for permission so she was shocked when she came home and a 26 foot sailboat was in our driveway, in fact she was so excited that I bought a boat without asking her that she was speechless for about two weeks, She also slept in the spare bedroom so that she could be closer to where the boat was parked. So a couple of days later I was on the boat with a friend trying to figure out what all of the lines went to and he asked me what I was going to name the boat, I said “well since it’s a sailboat I was thinking of naming her Blow Me” which to my surprise my wife was in the garage and heard what I said. She interrupted by saying “why don’t you call the F&^$ing thing Grounds for Divorce” and then slammed the door. So that’s how we came up with the name. And strangely enough my wife was really mad when she saw the name that she came up with on the side of the boat, I guess some people are just hard to please…
Matt Homan – Catalina 22 Millihelen & Knot Fast
I found this name on http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/ “Helen of Troy (from the Iliad) is widely known as “the face that launched a thousand ships. Milli is 1/1000, thus, 1 millihelen is the amount of beauty needed to launch a single ship.” After placing the name on the hull, I posted the photo under Reddit.com/r/sailing here
The Knot Fast names was a play on words I came up with. Knot being a line tied in such a way to hold something. Also the word Knot is a measurement of speed. So Knot Fast could mean a line tied and holding something tight or a boat that travels quickly. Finally if I did not place well in an event, well the boat’s name does sound like “not fast,” so what can one expect?
Fisk Hayden – SJ 21 -Old Yeller
(I’m paraphrasing the conversation I had with Fisk) “It is old…. it is yellow….”
Dawn Patrol S2 7.9 -Bill Blalock & Susan Tolbert
Paraphrased conversation with Bill “I severed.”