Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Knot Usual Boat Names

April 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

knot usual names

I’m a keen observer of boat names as we sail past or berth nearby, and I can’t help but group them together in my mind and then on the page.

Last year was a season of the ladies, including Grace-Sea, Nan-Sea, Kari-Away, Mara-Time, and Joy Ride. I’m fairly positive there’s one relaxed woman who has no trouble identifying with her boat named Driving Miss Lazy, and Electric Ladyland deserves a berth all by herself!

Boat named BoatI don’t know if the owners had a woman in mind when they named Margaritaville, but I’d like to tie up next to them around 5:00 pm sometime and find out. The woman aboard She Drives Me Crazy explained the name was about the boat, not about her, while the man stood by and rolled his eyes.

Some boats hint at professions. My dentist calls his Sweet Air. Is Pipeologist a voice doctor or a pipe smoker? It’s clear what Sea P.A. does, and the fellow who hauls mooring balls calls his boat Easy Pickens. Well, maybe for him.

There’s always a boat that hints of past history, not always good. Like Panic Attack, Three Deep Breaths, Twice Sunken Too, and Bittersweet. I’ll add Ole Mole because I’m sure he’s had some dark times, maybe a run in with Mincemeat, Blue Streak, or Ricochet. I suggest they travel with that go-to guy, Escape Route.

Every season I find some good plays on words, such as Slip Aweigh, Naturally Nauti, Shore Thing (do they leave the slip?), Inn Deep, Rode Trip, One Step Up, Knot Home, and the fishing vessel named Casting Call. When it comes to advice, Sound Investment might want to entice Miss My Money.

Billow and Whiffler sound like two boats that ought to be in a pleasant nautical painting. If you paint by numbers there’s Toys 4 Us. I wonder if the sporting owners of 7th Inning Stretch and 19th Hole would rather be somewhere else than at sea.

Mark Twain’s comment that “Names are not always what they seem” came to mind when I saw Enemy Glory (the boat went by too fast to ask what it actually means).

On a recent trip to San Francisco, I checked out boats in several marinas to see how West Coast names compared to East Coast ones. To my disappointment, many had no name at all.  One boat had two different names, Divine Wind on the side and Pura Vida on the transom. Maybe the owner was superstitious about changing the name when he bought it, so left it and put his choice on it, too?

Ones with a sole name were often gentle, like Next Dance, Wave Length, and Very Good Year. Someone might be hard on him or herself with Over-compensated. And don’t you think Fuhgeddaboutit was probably a transplant from the right to left coast?

Some boats had the words run together, like Canduit and Tilligo. Others seemed to reflect the foggy, windy conditions on San Francisco Bay as in Soupy Twist, Snafu, Giddy Up, Hardwater, and Mistress Quickly. The latter, I seem to remember, was a bawdy innkeeper in some of Shakespeare’s plays, but who’s to say she wasn’t fast on the seas, too.

Fishing boats were named Fish Stix, Fish Tank, and Catch 22, although I wonder if there’s not more to the story with the latter boat. That one might want to travel with Cahoots.

When I mentioned how I’d found a dirge of good names, a local apologist claimed that at the time of my visit, all the boats with clever names had headed south to Mexico. To authenticate that, I might check out the nice, warm waters of Mexico during our next off-season. After all, someone has to do it.

Until then, I’ll recall a boat I saw rocking lazily on the mooring one warm summer afternoon — That’s It For Now.

by Ann Fox


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