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The Best Boat Names of 2021


Post by Becky at Dockwa - Published on 7/13/21 8:15 AM

Another year, another impressive slew of boat names! This year’s category winners  (🏆) receive $25 in dockage credit, and our grand prize winner scores dockage credit, Dockwa swag, a YETI, and bragging rights for a year.

Hundreds of boaters shared their stories with us for our 6th Annual Boat Names contest! From aww-worthy to laugh-out-loud funny, these 100+ names stood out in the crowd. 

This year's boat names honored language, love, family, and tradition. They paid homage to ancestors, appeased gods, helped you ditch work, and relayed skills, successes, and new endeavors. And, of course, they put pets, partying, and pop culture f̶r̶o̶n̶t̶ stern and center. Thank you to everyone who shared your boat name and its story with us! Read on for the Best Boat Names of 2021. 

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#1: A Boater’s Best Friend

...They're good boat names, Brent.

This category is open to cats, birds, horses, you name it – but this year, boat-worthy pups made up the lion's share of the pet entries. 

Here are this year's favorites: 

  • 🏆 Gunny's Dream: My first combat PTSD Service Dog was named Gunnery Sergeant after friends who have passed. Water calms me and he started boarding random boats at Marinas. When we moved to Mississippi I promised we’d buy him a boat we did he went on the test drive and became the Capt of the vessel making sure I didn’t crash. – Pamela S., Biloxi MS

  • Pirate Dog: Saw this picture and not only does it look like my dog she loves the water as much as me. So I decided to put the two together and name the new boat after her. – The Gibsons, Essex, CT

  • Wet Whiskers:I’m a cat that loves to boat tube and fish. Yes you read that right: I’m a cat that owns a boat. So what a better name than Wet Whiskers? – Fisher T., St. Petersburg, FL

  • Sea Monkey: Our oldest dogs nickname is Monkey. We usually put an adjective in front of it describing where he is or what he’s doing. The first time we took our boat out after buying it he was with us. My wife and I both say “The sea monkey!” – Phillip O., Savannah, GA

  • Doggie Style: Our boat's name is a tribute to our two rescue dogs Doogie and Layla adopted as seniors look closely at the name and you can see both pups' faces and tails! Our pups always love to go boating and our boat has always provided a wonderful "hotel room" that is completely dog friendly in any port. – Charlotte A., Laurelton, NJ

  • Mystic's Valhalla: My wife raises and breeds American Eskimo dogs. Her kennel name is Mystic American Eskimos. We have done much to make our boat dog ready for cruises. It will be like heaven for them and us. So we named our boat Mystic's Valhalla (viking for heaven). So translated it means "dog heaven." – David C., Seattle, WA

  • Dog Daze: We have 4-6 dogs at any given time in our house so we are always knee deep in dogs. The couch and the bed are theirs we are just visitors in their world. Always an adventure! – Christian R., Abington, MD

  • Nor’westie: We have two West Highland terriers that go everywhere with us thus the name is a no brainer living in the Northwest! – Cindy S., Seattle, WA

  • CatDog /kat dôɡ/ (noun) 1. like a normal dog but lives on a Privilege catamaran and often exhibits cat-like tendencies. 2. slang used to describe a dog that is a fraidy-cat around loud noises i.e. thunderstorms and fireworks. – Amy Z., East Hampton, NY

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#2: The Love Boat

While still traditional to name a boat after your sweetheart, we renamed this category this year since so many stories reference first dates or long courtships. 

  • 🏆My future wife and I met on a marine research vessel called Paumanok (means long island in the native language) at Southampton College of Long Island University in 1970. We always had a boat but renamed the purchased 1986 34’ Albin Trawler. We said...” we started on Paumanok and will end on Paumanok. – Ronald K., East Falmouth, MA

  • 🏆 Booger: My coworker at that time learned I was being transferred away and she would have to assume my work duties. I told her I would always be there and stuck to her like a booger and couldn’t be shaken free. That coworker would become my wife and, indeed, stuck forever like a booger. A great co-captain. – Scott S., Cape May, NJ

  • 1st Date: My wife and I talked about boats and I shared my dream of doing the Great Loop which became a shared goal. When we finally bought our Carver 400 a year after we married the name was obvious back to where it all started on our 1st Date. – Chris H., Memphis, TN

  • Mad Again: Last name is Madigan and wife was Mad Again when I bought another boat! – Mark M., Waltham, MA

  • HalfSeas: My wife and I share all the boat expenses 50:50. We go halfsies. – Jon M., Sewell, NJ

  • Lina Lina: My wife's name is Angelina and her nickname is Lina and when I saw our 51' Sea Ray Sundancer it is a boat so nice I named it twice! – Captain Mark F., Auburn, WA

  • It has been my dream to own a boat and spend my retirement cruising but it would only work if my wife was willing and preferably enthusiastic. So I found a “cute” red tug and named it Beautiful Red which happens to be my wife’s Chinese name (Mei Hoong) translated to English. – Doug S., Gig Harbor, WA

  • Cruise Control: My husband Nathan and I named our boat after our favorite ski trail in Killington Vermont. We bought a home there in 2016 and in 2018 he proposed to me on the mountain. 1.5 years later we married at the top of the mountain and only thought it fitting to also name our boat after our happy place. – April H., Milford, CT

  • Beautiful Life: My wife and I are high school sweethearts, married 40 years ago! Over this time we experienced a lot together, including college, small business ownership, learning to fly, and learning to sail. Recently we each survived cancer and related treatments. We are still here and happy together. – Anthony B., Trabuco Canyon, CA

  • Your Name Here: I was single until late in life... – John R., Aiken, SC

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#3: The Fun-Lovin' Free-Wheeler!

Party on, Garth – naming your boat for booze, bad ideas, or that time you blew up your budget is all fair game for boat naming. 

  • 🏆Bad Idea: [Named for this news story.] My son Alexander told the officer in the police report he thought blowing up the porta-potty at the town dock drunk on the night of 4th of July was a good idea at the time. – James C., Stuart, FL

  • Cask Strength: like a cask strength whiskey or bourbon – no water inside. – Ben S., Palo Alto, CA

  • Drama Free: No drama allowed on my boat. Only fun parties and relaxing. And NO ex-wives allowed!!! – Adam C., Cleveland, OH

  • When my husband and I met in 2010, he had a 28ft SeaRay named Stabn' Cabin' – and I still married him. To stay true to our riskily-named boats, we later bought a Keaton and named it Keaton It Wet, and for our 390 SeaRay I suggested we combine my maiden name of Love with his name of Rawlings to be RawLove. – Danielle L., Stockton, CA

  • Stark Raving Mad: Our last name is Madden – plus this is is what my wife called me when I doubled the original budget for the boat. There have now been nine Stark Raving Mads. – Jim M., Newport Beach, CA

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#4: The Weatherbird

In years past, we've had significantly more entries for boats named for the sea, sky, wind, and warm sunny days. There's plenty more of those on the horizon, so we'll shrug this year off as a fluke. This year's Weatherbird winner pulled from their region's history, giving the name an air of superstition and mystery. 

  • 🏆Witch of November: We named it in homage to the perfect storm conditions that pop up in the Great Lakes in winter. It is said to be the type of storm that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald. So we wanted to pay respect to the dangers of the lake and those who perished. – Bill E., Chicago, IL (Learn more about the Witch of November.) 

  • Risky Sunsets: We went for it but wanted name to reflect both of us. Risky for hubby’s risk consulting business and sunsets are my favorite thing. So we sail off to watch some risky sunsets. – Kathy L., New York, NY

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#5: The Repeat

This year's winner took a name that traversed both land and sea several times over, named for the state of mind every boat owner aspires to even as it sailed the many miles of the world's great cruising challenges. 

  • 🏆Sans Souci: Frederick the Great's summer castle in Potsdam was named Sans Souci, which means "summer castle" but also "without a care." My grandmother's summer home built in 1931 on Lake Mohawk, NJ, was named Sans Souci. We carried the name forward to two sailboats and two power boats including this Great Loop veteran. – Bob K., Venice, FL

  • Feisty Too: Our first boat was Feisty, after family name. Next boat was Feisty II. Well the present boat is Feisty as well.. Feisty Too. – Richard K., Olympia, WA

  • Damn It 3: Did not learn anything after owning Damn it and Damn it 2. Usually the first thing I say stepping on the boat. – Alexander S., Clayton, NC

  • Pop A Top pop – open that beer and enjoy dock-tails. The second Pop A Top was POP A Top (Again) just like the song. The new to us boat is now POP A Top (one more) in honor or my husband and his buddy who always say, "One more!" at the end of the night, whether it's 9pm or 3am. Love our life. – Karan K., Columbus, GA

  • The Mityrnes: My dad died in 1989 and I got the 21' Regal. Hurricane Bob sent it into the woods of Mattapoisett. Replacement was Mityrne II. Two boats after the 28' Baha Cruiser were named Mityrne Too and will remain every boat there after. Pronounce "My Turn" or My Turn 2 or My Turn "Also." – Dwight S., Somerset, MA

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#6: The Workaholic

This category is always so fun, with new occupations each year that boat owners have turned into fantastic on-the-water puns.  


  • 🏆Bone Voyage: My daughter came up with this because I'm an Orthopedic Surgeon. – Mark M., Suffern, NY

  • I manufacture lithium ion batteries. Don’t Die gets a lot of looks and is a great conversation starter! – Nathan S., Tampa, FL
  • Net Quick is the term in my industry (Surety) denoting a fast study of a contractor's Current Assets less Current Liabilities. Yes, booooorrring...... in our case it also means when fishing in Charleston Harbor "Hey get the net quick." – Matthew C., Charleston, NC

  • Priapus is the Greek god of fertility and protector of male genitalia – perfect for a urologist’s boat. – Patrick K., Bristol, RI

  • Uninshored: I’m in the commercial insurance business. – Joshua S., Dallas, TX

  • Going Twice: I'm a professional Charity Auctioneer. – Jim M., Chicago, IL

  • Mow Money: Landscape contractor who sold the business and bought a boat. – Robert M., Mashpee, MA

  • Sweet EmOcean: I was a concert promotor / music producer in the 1970's and 80's and my wife and I are both fans of classis rock and we were trying to come up with something that would combine the ocean and rock music. My wife came up with the idea of Sweet Emotion and then I came up with idea EmOcean idea. – Keith G., Carlsbad, CA

  • Whisky Business: In 2012 I started a craft distillery in my home town of Placerville CA. When we changed boats I suggested the name to my wife who immediately was all in. We had "Neptune" bless the new name and I must say at every bridge opening I get a very favorable comment. – Sam T., Placeville, CA

  • Caulk Tails: I have been in the caulk and sealant business my entire working career and enjoy adult beverages when I am not working. Work and play = caulk tails. – Bill L., Mentor, OH
  • To Die For: I am a Funeral Director that owns a Funeral Home. Those who know me think it’s funny/clever and those who don’t just think it’s about a nice boat! Lol. – Lou P., Oyster Bay, NY
  • FIRE ESCAPE: We bought our first 'big' boat about 10 years ago when my husband was still working as a fire captain for the Duluth Fire Department. We knew we wanted to tie his profession into the name of our boat and FIRE ESCAPE said it all! – Lynn Y., Duluth, MN
  • Off Leash: I have been a veterinarian for over 30 years. My dedication to my clients and my practice has kept me on a pretty short leash. I rarely got away. This year I will retire and I am purchasing my boat. I will finally be "Off Leash." – Rob K., San Pedro

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#7: Gods, Goddesses, Spirits, and Legends 

Whether you're looking to the stars, the ancients, or your Sunday service to inspire your boat name, the benefit to naming a boat in this category is that being on the water with it will surely revive your spirit on grey days. 

  • 🏆 Poseiden took revenge on our Finngulf 46 sloop for not returning to him the old vessel name through a proper renaming ceremony. We've since renamed her PINCOYA, daughter of Poseiden and goddess of marine fertility. We hope to venture forward in his good graces! – Robert L., Westford, CT

  • Nehalennia: She is the Celtic Goddess of the Seafarers. – Todd O., La Conner, WA
  • Jolly Roger: Growing up on the water with an affinity for mythical stories of the sea exploration and adventure I have always loved the folklore of sailing pirates (and rum). When it came time to name this fun exploration/adventure boat Jolly Roger was perfect. Roger is also the nickname of our last beloved dog. – Todd M., Waterbury, CT

  • Fatamorgana is Italian after the sorceress Morgan le Fay It is a mirage when a piece of land in the distance looks like it is floating in the air like a faery castle. The belief is that these mirages were fairy castles in the air were witchcraft to lure sailors to their deaths. – Surendra Rose H., New Haven, CT
  • Tir na Nog is a mythical land in Irish folklore. It translates ‘the land of the forever young’. It is a love story about a mortal man and a mythical goddess who fall in love and she brings him to Tir na Nog where they live happily ever after! – Rhianna Q., Oakdale, NY

  • Third Day: God separated the water from the land on the third day. – Steve M., Brockton, MA

  • Lower Lights: Based on the hymn “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning” which was inspired by the sermon of a 19th century evangelist who used a true Lake Erie shipwreck story as a metaphor to communicate his message that God as the lighthouse lights the way but the people must keep the lower lights burning. – Bob C., Sterling Heights, MI
  • Ta'aroa lived life as a racing boat on the West Coast. She continues to sail the PNW and has a nice new tanbark mainsail. (In the mythology of French Polynesia, Ta'aroa is the supreme creator god.) 
  • Vanir: Commissioned by Nelson L. Rockefeller, designed by Frantz Plunder of St. John's College, and built in at the Cresta Boatyard in 1949, Vanir was named for the Viking goddess of the Hearth and has sailed around the world twice.Antonio T.

 

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Hardship & Heartache


  • 🏅Knot A Day Goes By: I survived being shot six times as a police officer. My wife’s best friend passed away from cancer at 30 years old. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t remember and are not grateful for friends and life.  – John S., Bay View Toledo, OH
  • Marie Rose: When my mom passed away, we wanted to use the money she left us for something fun. We decided to sell our current sailboat and purchase a newer one with some of the money. Naturally we named the new boat after her, Marie Rose.  – Margaret B.,Westbrook, CT
  • Mona B: My boyfriend’s mother passed away from cancer. It was always his lifelong dream to own a bigger boat. After her passing he decided to go through with the purchase. His mother loved fishing and being on the water. Therefore the boat was named Mona B after her.  – Shannon W., Portland, CT
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#8: The Musician

A pirate metal band covering the year's hottest sea shanty?? Don't mind if we do! 

 

🏆Alestorm is one of my favorite bands – a pirate metal band. Yes that genre exists: metal bands that sing pirate songs! Felt appropriate lol! – Ted W., Staten Island, NY

Some Devil (Some Angel): Favorite Dave Matthews Song – sometimes our boat is an Angel but sometimes its the Devil!Larry B., Kenosha, WI

 

 

My Reel Life: My favorite song is Waiting for my Real Life by Colin Hay. My real life began when I got sober and I love to fish, so it is a play on the song title and fishing. – John R., Millersville, MD

 

 

Revival is the title of a favorite Allman Brothers Band song. The name and the lyrics, "People can you feel it? Love it everywhere! felt like a great way to christen our new Whaler with a strong word of hope. – Hellen M., Westport, MA

 

 

Vaya Con Dios comes from the Zac Brown Band song "Toes" and means "Go with God." ZBB uses it to mean "Adios, go with God, I'm outta here to some place with cold beers and hot senioritas." – Ryan F.

 

 

Sublime: We love the band Sublime & thought our boat is Sublime so there you go 😉 She is Sublime!! 🙌🏻🛥 – Stephanie W., San Diego, CA

 

 

My wife named our boat after a Jimmy Buffy song. Callaloo is a Caribbean stew that is very tasty and good for you! – Sonny R., East Falmouth, MA

 

 

 

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#9: The Pop Culture Fan

This year's pop culture submissions included crowd favorites and "deep cut" tv and movie references. 

  • 🏆 Millennium Dolphin: She's the boat that made the New Buffalo run in less than 12 parsecs. – Ben T., Chicago, IL
  • Ricky Bobby: We are a new cruising family so we knew we were not going to fool anyone with our saltiness. So instead of the traditional Zephyr or Windjammer, we went with an homage to the Nascar racing legend. The transom sticks out in the crowd and makes us smile every time we come aboard.
  • Starship Enterprise: The perfect name for a cruiser that explores strange new worlds and new civilizations. And wherever we go we go boldly...

  • Hakuna Matata: Boat name is Hakuna Matata, which translates to “No Worries!" This world is crazy, being out on the water keeps us sane and functioning as a family. We chose our boat name obviously because The Lion King is one of the best movies made showcasing how important family & the circle of life is. 

  • Kavorka: Latvian for "The Lure of The Animal," taken from Jerry Seinfeld episode.
  • Targaryen: Named after Daenerys Targaryen the mother of Dragons from Games of Thrones. My wife and I geeked out over that series! Coincidently my wife had a dragon tattoo on her shoulder from her crazy 20s that we had duplicated to be our boat's logo.
  • Bushwood: Taken from Caddy Shack. Our fun and happy place.
  • Betelgeuse: Go ahead hail me on the VHF I dare you!

  • FINS UP! I've been a Parrothead (a Jimmy Buffett fan) since the early 1990s. The name needed to reflect Jimmy's music but I have SO many favorites. "Last Mango" "Tin Cup Chalice" "Mañana" were all options. But my wife suggested the universal Parrothead greeting "FINS UP!"– Bingo!

  • Screaming Viking: Named after the Cheers episode when Woody has to earn his bartending gig, he wins because of the “screaming Viking." Also we are Norwegian!
  • Moor Cowbell: A nod to the SNL skit starring Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell that was aired in 2000. I GOT A FEVER... AND THE ONLY PRESCRIPTION... IS MORE COWBELL!

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#10: Puns & Plays on Words

The boating world is full of puns – seen across all 21 categories. This category ensures that clever turns of a phrase or spellings can share the spotlight even if they aren't about jobs or what have you. Just a straight-up punny good time. 

  • 🏆 Pied à mer: A play on words – it’s my second home, a pied à terre on the sea. – Patricia H., San Diego, CA
  • Berth Control: My husband's love of boats got a little out of control and we were on our way to owning a fleet. His first was a Challenger 35ft Double Catch, second was an Islander Freeport 41, third was a Heritage Trawler 42, and fourth was 52ft Sea Ranger. Finally I said "No more boats for you! I'm putting you on Berth Control!"

  • TreeStand: My son-in-law and I are partners in ownership of the boat. He is from Minnesota and said that Tuna fishing is like deer hunting on the ocean. Our logo is a fisherman on a treestand hooked up on a Tuna.

  • Taxi Vasion II: My then- 9 year old son were trying to come up with a name for a yellow 28’ center console that I had bought. So we were thinking of stuff yellow, like banana, submarine, taxi, etc. He just blurted out "taxi evasion!" We shortened it to Taxi Vasion. Bought a new boat so this is II.

  • We live aboard three seasons out of the year so we decided to play on words: Seahouse instead of seahorse. 

  • HaulODay: This sailing vessel a 1989 O'day 40 is the first boat for my husband and we believe the last vessel made by O'day. Honoring the maker we created a play-on-words combining the sailing term "haul" with O'day to make HaulO'day pronounced 'holiday'. Our tagline: If you need me I'm on HaulO'Day!
  • DO OAR DO NOT: As lifetime Star Wars fanatics every vehicle we own has a name derived from our love of the movie. When debating if we should buy a boat each conversation ended with "do we or do we not." We did. Part of Yoda's famous quote "Do or do not there is no try" became the name with a nautical twist!
  • Smiles Per Gallon: My boat has two large very thirsty engines. As a result it consumes lots of gas by the gallons. It always makes me smile when I drive it!
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    Deja Blue

#11: The Storyteller

Some boat names are significant to the owner in multiple ways, or have a unique, often personal history that isn't quite the same as Paying Homage. The story behind this year's winner easily paints a picture you can connect to. 

  • 🏆 Sheekasay: Geronimo used to run through my great grandfather's ranch in south eastern Arizona, with Cochise – principal chief of the Chokonen band of the Chiricahua Apache – on the chase. Cochise would stop by the ranch to purchase horses and have a bite while chasing after Geronimo. Cochise's name in English was Sheekasay. The name Cochise means "having the quality or strength of an oak." – Jeffrey W., Harpswell, ME

  • Knowing Blue: 2000 years ago Indian Buddhist monks believed there must be a fleeting moment of pure sensation before we conceptually identify something that we see hear, smell, feel, or taste. They said that before knowing “this is blue ” we simply "know blue " which for those who know the sea is Knowing Blue.
  • Protea is a perfect name for our boat because of the flower’s mythological associations to the sea (named after Proteus son of Poseidon), its designation as the national flower of South Africa (we are South-African Americans), and its symbolizing diversity and courage.
  • Tuta Tenebo: Latin phrase roughly meaning "I will keep you safe." Unfortunately found inscribed on a clock in a passenger's cabin on the Titanic!

  • Beyond Blessed: After surviving two hurricanes and two tornados while onboard I thought this name was appropriate.
  • Tiltin' Hilton: We had a cottage that we lovingly called the Tiltin' Hilton because it was made by our family and after awhile it started to "tilt" a little bit! So after we sold it and bought our boat we thought it would be the perfect name for it!! Even our boat "tilts" and it is "our" Hilton!
  • Gael Force: Our love of sailing and Irish heritage came together at the Molly Wee tavern in New York City where we considered names inspired by Irish Ayes the Tartan that Peggy's Dad owned and we raced. The cocktail napkin that we wrote Gael Force on became the model for the transom letters.

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#12: The Linguist

From "doing nothing" to taking a breath, sometimes it takes one word in a foreign language to sum up all you hope to get out of boat ownership. 

  • 🏆 Our boat is a 42ft Manta Catamaran, Hahalua, pronounced “Ha-Ha” (like you are laughing) “loo-uh.” It is the Hawaiian word for Manta. The literal translation is “2 breaths,” which refers to when Mantas dive out of the water they take a breath in the water world and the air world. – Lisa T., Miami, FL

  • We searched for a month for a name. Bel Far Niente means "the beauty of doing nothing" in Italian. To make it even better when I was proposing to my beautiful wife I did it on one knee with a bottle of Far Niente wine. This name was perfect! In addition our logo is our most loved pup.

  • Pemisu is a Naumkeag Indian word meaning “happy harbor”. My father named his first powerboat that in the late 40s. We have named our family boat Pemisu ever since. 
  • Mangata: The Swedish word for the reflection of the moon in the water. We love when the sun goes down the water gets quiet and the moon rises over Saratoga Lake. A great way to end a day on the water.

  • Ki is possibly the most powerful useful and even quintessentially Japanese word in the Japanese language. It is the Japanese word for air; atmosphere; flavor; heart; mind; spirit; feelings; humor; an intention; mind; and will; all things that we feel our beautiful Tayana 42 embody.

  • Cu Mhara is the Irish for "Hound of the Sea". In Irish folklore the hounds were the great warriors and protectors of Ireland. Often times the tribal chieftain was referred to as "the Hound". Plus it sounds kinda pirate-ish.

  • Beke Deru in Hungarian means "peace and serenity". My wife and I have two Hungarian vizsla bird dogs that love to hunt fish (not flying fish) and love to sail. Hence we believed in honor of our elders' "beke deru," we would name the boat after her.

  • Edonismo is Italian for "Hedonism." The purest definition of Hedonism is "the pursuit of pleasure." Here's a YouTube video describing how I picked the name and logo and my custom boat sign. 

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#13: Heartstrings


  • 🏆Peregrine: The day my husband was diagnosed with cancer we saw a peregrine falcon outside the hospital; later I learned Saint Peregrine is the patron saint of cancer patients. For strength we made a family seal with a peregrine. My husband battled cancer during Covid & WON. We immediately bought our first boat in August of 2020.  – Eliza S., Baltimore, MD

  • E'toile de Mer: A starfish has the ability to regrow damaged or severed limbs. After a severe childhood trauma sailing always seemed to have psychologically healing properties. I am whole today and every sail is a victory lap. My step daughter is fluent in French, hence the French version of starfish.

  • SEABK: This was originally my dad's dream boat. After he purchased and enjoyed a year on it he passed away due to cancer. At our family business we placed his real initials on our business cards CBK in memory of him. I changed the boat name to SEABK the water version of his initials.

  • Wings: Ashley’s father was a Private Pilot and my mother always said that she would come back as a dragonfly when she passed. The both now have their Wings.
  • Lorelei: My name is Laurie and I had a co-worker that used to call me "Lorelei" as a nickname and she passed away from cancer before her 40th birthday. Lorelei means a siren (mermaid) that sings a song that lures sailors to their death. So we tweaked the spelling and added a mermaid picture as well.

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#14: All in the Family

Two winners in this category this year! The Belfry for the Batt family is just too perfect, but we couldn't leave out the Muthashp when the photo they included helps tell the story so well! 

  • 🏆 We’re the Batts...boat is The Belfry. We’re Batts in the belfry. What else COULD we have named it? – Fred B., Elizabeth City, NC

  • 🏆 MUTHASHP: Both of my sons have boats. We often say, "Hey meet me at the Muthashp." – Craig W., Scottsdale, AZ
  • Uncle Iggywas named for my wife's great uncle Ignatz Pecukonis. Iggy, Clem, and Eddie were three Lithuanian brothers well known for their love of fishing and telling outlandish fish stories. It only seems right to name a fishing boat after the legendary Uncle Iggy.
  • Chase-n-Tail: My son’s name and the fact that I fish and dive for lobster and fish. 

  • Spiny Rooster: My son and daughter are both enthusiastic fishermen. Despite a multitude of disabilities they are very much at home on the water it is their "happy place." My son's nickname is "Spiny" due to his occasionally abrasive personality. "Rooster" is my daughter's nickname.

  • Hull Lotta Cox: Based upon my last name and 6 grandkids. 

 

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#15: The Competitor

Miss Mayhem knows where it's at: the name is badass, appropriate for an owner who jumped in feet first and joins every race she can. 


  • 🏆Miss Mayhem: You know we are racing when you see the link coming. I bought her four years ago with little/no experience sailing or racing. We race in every race they will let us, and being one of the smallest and highest PHRF-rated boats in the PNW racing fleet, we love getting out and shaking things up. Woman-owner. – Melissa D., Seattle, WA

  • Crazy Uncle: I had this crazy uncle who would show up unannounced and stay for two weeks. After a few years of this, I said Uncle, why don't you leave me a bunch of money and I'll buy a race boat and name it after you? Ha!– When he died he left me enough to buy the boat. Couldn't name it My Uncle Al could I?


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#16: Paying Homage

A boat name is a beautiful way to pay homage to a harbor, a lost loved one, and, in some firsts this year, a sandwich or destroyer ship. 

  • 🏆 Steinsvika is the name of the bay where my wife's great grandfather started a small harbor in Northern Norway. Her grandfather and uncles fished out of the harbor and built their houses around the bay. When we step onboard we are back in Steinsvika! – Mark and Gerd-Inger, Gig Harbor, WA

  • We lost my mother-in-law in 2018 and wanted to honor her with the new boat. We named the boat Avia (pronounced Aw-vee-ah) which is Latin for Grandmother. RIP Grammy Sally.

  • Kidd at Heart: I served aboard DDG-993 The USS KIDD. My boat's first home port was Branford, CT, an area known to be frequented by first class privateer Captain Kid. And I'm known to have a childish sense of humor.

  • San Francisco Kidd: The name was derived from the ships that my father and my father in law served on while in the US Navy serving this great country. The USS San Francisco (CA-38) and the USS Kidd (DD-661) = San Francisco Kidd

  • Dorade: My wife and I grew up sailboat racing 5 Olympic Campaigns between us and are raising two boys as sailors & water rats. We bought a 50' Sportfish to live on when the boys are not in school. So Dorade is one of the most famous Sailing Ocean Racing boats (1920's) and also a fish.
  • Invigorator: In his later years my grandfather (a WWII hero) used to like to enjoy a nice cocktail to unwind at the end of the day. He used to say “I think I’m in the mood for a little Invigorator!” When he died we wanted to honor him with our boat name so “Invigorator” was the natural fit!

  • I’m the first of 9 WSU Cougars in my family graduating from Washington State in 1987. We are all WSU Cougars and we therefore bleed Crimson. My boat is a Glacier Bay Power CATamaran and thus the boat name Crimson Cat. 

  • Sync or Swim: Picked this name to honor my brother Roger Nichols a nine time Grammy winning recording engineer. We lost him to Pancreatic cancer in 2011. He loved music obviously loved boating with us and was all about anything digital. He loved Apple products thus the sync to update music on his Apple devices.

  • Ceffyl Mor means ‘seahorse’ in Welsh. We have horses at home so this was our horse on the water. My Dad’s heritage is Welsh so this was a nod to his background.
  • Bingo Czyk: My husbands grandmother divided her estate evenly between her grandkids and her children. My husband decided she would want him to have a boat. Many ideas later we decided on Bingo because she loved Bingo and Czyk because it's part of our name and a play on words as its pronounced "Check" in Polish.
  • Queen City Special: Burlington VT is known as the Queen City. Back in the 80's while attending UVM our favorite restaurant was Carburs and its featured item was the Queen City Special a 5-decker creation that the wait staff served with kazoos and trumpets blaring. Perhaps the first boat named after a sandwich!
  • GustintheWind: My husband inherited this boat years after his father’s death. His name was Gustave William hence the Gust and Wi (capitalized) in the name. He was an airplane mechanic by trade and loved boating so the airplane and marine props dot the I’s. He drove the boat like a gust in the wind! j

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#17: Money Matters

From rolling the dice to rolling up your sleeves to spruce up a hole in the water, these money-related boat names all got a laugh. 


  • 🏆 Ka-Ching: 1972 28ft. Bertram that I’ve spent enough money on redoing the whole boat from the interior to new motors to paint and so many new parts that I probably could own something a lot newer and less work but I just have a hard time parting with it. – John M., Boston, MA

  • 🏆 A LOAN AT SEA: Being the largest Private Pawn shop Owner in the Chicagoland area and an introvert, this name is perfect. There's nothing like the sound of water and counting money on the boat. – Raymund L., Columbus, OH
  • Despite College: Self explanatory but kids in college and we managed to buy a boat anyway 😀

  • Against All Odds: As a teenager I was always told that I would never amount to anything during my life. After college, I borrowed $2500 from my uncle and started a plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company. I built the company to 13,500 customers, 100+ employees, and 56 trucks... and sold it for $20,000,000.

  • Hard Eights: I'm an avid craps table player and on one evening I walked away with over 25k in cash – we basically created our own Hangover movie that night. 
  • THANKS BUDS: I sold a large marijuana company.

 

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#18: Modern Times & Tech

Formerly known as "Current Events," this category now encompasses news-based names as well as those related to advances in technology. An extra award or two for a boat that has a perfect name to go with its family during the pandemic, and to Lake Mode for speaking right to Dockwa's mission to create technology that helps you put technology down.  

  • 🏆 @sea.calm: I’m in the tech space and this is a play on an email domain @domain.com. – Andrew R., Fairfield, CT

  • 🏆 Lake Mode: You turn your iPhone's Airplane Mode feature on when you don't want to be bothered. The same rule should apply when you're on your boat at the lake. So we decided on Lake Mode and made the graphics look identical to Airplane Mode on an iPhone and replaced the airplane icon with an anchor. – Michael K., St. Louis, MO

  • 🏆 Our last name is Distin and while thinking of a boat name the pandemic hit. Social Distins sounds like social distance and we are extremely social so it has two meanings! – Susan D., Pasadena, MD

  • Our main boat is Summer Haven because we live in VT and don't get to use it the rest of the year. Last year we got a dinghy for the first time which wasn't easy during the pandemic. The boat came from Canada on a pallet and we drove a few hours to get our outboard. Our pandemic boat had to be Zoom.

  • Quarantini became our families’ new home away from home during the 2020 season with many excursions up and down the Chesapeake - 1500nm in total and great weekend getaways from Annapolis to Smith Island.

  • Essential Business: While 2020 was a very tough year for many businesses we were fortunate enough to see a lot of success with our landscape design business. Landscape was considered “Essential” and we are so happy it was! We feel very lucky to have thrived throughout quarantine & wanted to remember how we got here
  • Burners@Sea: We are multi year Burning Man participants but the event has been cancelled for two years due to Covid. So our Ranger Tug is our "oasis" to get away from the default world when we feel the need.

  • Mi’ Corona: Bought a new Hurricane 212SC last March when Covid was taking off... the boat became our escape from the insanity. So we decided to name it after the corona virus. But its also a double entendres. Besides being My Corona its also a play on one of our favorite songs from the 70’s...My Sharona.

  • Coastal Distancing: Bought it last year, any questions?

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#19: Literary & The Arts

  • Sea Major: While sitting on a Bare Boat Charter in the BVI we were tossing around names for a new boat we had on order. My wife plays the violin and I play guitar. When my wife's brother asked her what was her favorite music key it was easy. C major has no sharps or flats and Billy Joel had this name too.

  • Deo Volente is Latin and it means “God willing”. I got it from Jane Eyre (yeah, I read Bronte out on the water). Now I’m about the farthest thing from being a religious person but I figured if I made it out and back alive it would be for that reason. So fair wind and following seas from Deo.
  • I got an old wooden Snipe just after I'd read R.H. Dana’s “Two Years Before the Mast,” which had a line, “A ship is like a lady’s watch: always in need of repair.” It fit. My boat became M’lady’s Watch

  • Hawkeye is taken from the main protagonist in a series of novels known as The Leatherstocking Tales written by James Fenimore Cooper set in 18th century New York. We purchased our boat from a friend by the name of Ken Fenimore, descendant of the famous author, and have kept it ever since.
  • 🏆 Vagrant Gypsy: I always loved the poem Sea Fever by John Masefield... – Erin S., Gig Harbor, WA

Sea Fever

BY JOHN MASEFIELD
 
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
 
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
 
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
 

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 #20: Dinghy Duo

An extra award for this category as well because, come on, how cute is Tooth Ferry?

  • 🏆Bubblecuffer: The boat is named for a double black diamond ski trail at Sugarloaf Maine. The trail name is an old lumbering term for a riverman who could ride logs down river and stay dry as he moved from log to log except for bubbles that might wet the cuffs of his pants. Our dinghy is named Cuff Link. – John B., Freeport, ME

  • 🏆 Baby Tooth: My wife is a Pediatrician and I am a dentist. The "baby" is for her and the "tooth" is for me. Our tender is caller Tooth Ferry.

  • We named our boat Whitecap after the wave and our favorite ski area with the same name. Our dinghy is named Undertow both for the wave and it is under tow behind the boat

  • Bark Less, Wag More: We’re empty nesters who cruise with our dog. We get a lot of happy comments on the dock about our boat’s name.

Honorable mention, because it made us laugh: 

  • Our first boat was named Spacht (like yacht). The second and present boat a C&C 32 which was better and faster so we named it Hacht Shacht. I wanted to name our inflatable Hacht Snacht but my wife wouldn’t let me.


 

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#21: Change of Pace

All great names. This year's two Change of Pace winners both fully embraced the spirit of their new lifestyle. 

  • 🏆 Last Dance: I've been boating since my teens and am now 75. I love cruising and sleeping aboard, so when I retired I purchased a 270 Sundancer with my bucket list "Erie Canal" summer cruise in mind. In the Coast Guard we always referred to choppy seas as "dancing with the waves" and as this is my last boat = Last Dance. – Ron W., Tallahassee, FL

  • 🏆 What better name than Call Me Crazy for purchasing a Leopard 44 catamaran as a first boat without ever having sailed. Well it was a steep learning curve but we've never looked back. And at anchor or visiting other marinas I always get a shout of 'Hey you're crazy!" – David A., Woonsocket, RI

  • Knot Supersonic: I am a former military fighter pilot who has been supersonic in a jet fighter many times. My wife and I now own a trawler that goes hull speed around 10 knots. We are definitely Knot Supersonic. With a nod to going the speed of sound we are now enjoying the relaxed pace of trawler life.
  • Carry On: My partner Nancy and I are retired. We had been cruising New England in the summers aboard our Tartan 34 but three years ago we bought a more comfortable Cape Classic 30 trawler so we could "Carry On" cruising further into our old age!

  • I started an agricultural business that sells seed to farmers 25 years ago. When it finally came time to sell the business and retire my wife and I fulfilled our dream and years of hard work and bought a catamaran that we named Sead Money. Our boat logo incorporates the leaf of a growing seed.

  • Pines 2 Palms: After a lifetime in cold states Pines 2 Palms is our retirement home. We now spend summers in Maine (the Pine tree state) and winters in Florida (the Palm tree state). What better name to share our joy of (finally) traveling to warmer climes for winter.

  • Argonauta: An Argonaut is an octopus whose egg case resembles a sail. Argonaut means “sailor of the sea.” We moved from our well loved sailboat Spring Fever to our well loved Tollycraft CPMY 44 Argonauta. The name is a small remembrance of our sailing days.

  • the dark side: We were sailors for years.....then we went to "the dark side" and bought a power boat!!!

 

That's it! Congratulations to this year's winners and all who entered – luckily there are no losers in this contest, since getting out on the water = winning at life.

Thank you to everyone who shared your stories and photos with us! We had a blast reading through these and we hope you did too. If you can’t wait until next round, share with us in our Facebook Group.

 

See More Boat Names

 


 

Post-script: For those who've been following the Dockwa blog and emails for a while, you may have noticed some new faces! Janelle is now at the helm of our social media channels and pulling together fantastic new blog posts (share your story!), and Amy is whipping Marinas.com and Dockwa Deals into shape. I'll be taking some much-needed time off, but already can't wait to get back and hear about summers on the water. Feel free to stay in touch via my Facebook, where I'll be popping in on the Dockwa Facebook Group from time to time. –Becky 

 


Boat Name Contest FAQs

 

Q: When does the contest run? 

A: We launch the contest each April or May to help get boaters in northern latitudes excited to splash their boats and get back out on the water. Typically we announce the winners a month later – in 2020 we announced mid-July. Our 2021 Winners are typically announced mid-June! (This year had some extenuating circumstances, thanks for bearing with us.) 

 

Q: I have a trophy near my boat name! What happens now??

A: Your bragging rights are effective immediately! We've issued boater credit to all of the category winners who had Dockwa accounts corresponding the the emails with which they submitted their boat name; if you are a winner and don't see credit on your account, check your inbox and spam for a message asking for an updated email address, or email becky@dockwa.com to inquire. Dockage credit will apply automatically to your next Dockwa reservation. Woot!

 

Q: Can I submit a better photo of my boat? Can you add my marina name?

A: Sure! Just keep in mind we're a small team, so bear with us as we hustle to check off our team priorities first. Send on over to becky@dockwa.com, with the subject line "Best Boat Names - Update" – or, even better, post a photo of your boat on Instagram and tag @dockwa and we'll get the memo. :) 

 

Q: Why are there more East Coast boats? Do you hate the West Coast? 

A: Heck no, we love the West Coast! We started in Newport, RI, and our team is based there, so although we're growing like crazy we still tend to have more boaters and marinas where we've been the longest. We literally do not even look at the locations when sifting through names. :) 

 

Q: I have feedback on the way this contest is run, promoted, or written – who can I share that with? 

A: That'd be me, Cap! Email away at becky@dockwa.com

 

Q: Can I share this post? 

A: Oh heck yeah! Please do share to social media, post to your boater forums, spraypaint the URL onto the back of your enemy's car – the sky's the limit. 

Post by Becky at Dockwa

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