The great boat names give folks pause as they think of the cleverness or humor of the selected choice. It seems that nearly everyone loves to relax on a boat on the water. And, these same folks appreciate a well-chosen word or two. A good boat name brings a smile or a chuckle, and a great boat name really makes an impression.
You may think it is easy to name a boat, but a lot of thought and deliberation goes into choosing just the right name. The name should reflect the owner’s personality, puns are sometimes a good direction, and a clever play on words can be met with cheers.
We’ve scoured marinas, ports, local lakes, and rivers to discover the most memorable boat names we could find. We’ve compiled the list below and hope you might find some information that will inspire your boat’s name. Whether you’ve got a yacht or a dingy, naming a boat is an enjoyable process that can be shared with others. So, without further ado, here is our list of names to float your boat.
Best Boat Names
Our expert panel of boating enthusiasts at Sports Feel Good Stories combed through thousands of boat names to find the absolute best. In our humble opinion, these names represent the cleverest, wittiest, most entertaining, and classic boat names we could find. Here’s our list.
1.) Black Pearl
2.) Liquid Asset
3.) Old Sport
4.) Irish Wake
5.) The Codfather
6.) Second Chance
8.) Knot Jaded
11.) In A Meeting
12.) Pier Pressure
13.) Still Kicking
14.) Retirement Fund
15.) Monkey Business
16.) No Worries
17.) Salty Dog
18.) Unsinkable II
19.) Hidden Agenda
20.) Worth the Wait
Funny Boat Names
Who doesn’t want a good chuckle on the water? It’s not just yo, ho, ho. It’s ho, ho, ho. A funny boat name puts a smile on your face, your passengers, and passer-byes. It’s all in good fun, and the mental images a funny boat name can conjure up are great. So, here’s a list of boat names designed to make you laugh out loud or, at the very least, smirk.
Dazed and Confused
S.S. Off Duty
Put it on my Bill
Crazy Like A Fox
It’s Five O’clock Somewhere
Still Paying It Off
Not the Doghouse
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Nautical Themed Clever Boat Names
Everyone wants to show that they aren’t a landlubber (a clumsy person on the water and does not know the sea). So, the best way is to come up with a name for your boat that reflects you are comfortable on the water and a master seaman/woman (well, at least a minor seaman/woman). Here is a list of nautically themed names for boats that are assured of making your adoring fans go, “Arghhh!”
Catch A Wave
Seas the Day
Fishing Boat Names
Sea Ya Later
Knot A Mistake
Out to Sea
Seas the Day
Cool Boat Names
Who doesn’t want to be cool? And what doesn’t say “I’m cool” as much as a really cool boat name? A boat name that says “I’m hip” is exactly the kind of persona you want to project on the water. A name that not ever understands can be way cooler than a simple name without any thought. Here are some super cool boat names and the reasons they are so cool.
Licensed to Chill – Okay, maybe it’s a little cheesy, but a James Bond reference is cool, and it looks good on the stern.
Pequod – From Moby Dick, the Pequod was a Nantucket whaling ship in the novel by Herman Melville. The name is derived from the Pequot tribe of Native Americans.
Executive Decision – Just the name implies power and the ability to command. Aye, aye captain.
The Right Stuff – Who wouldn’t want to name their boat after a book about the original astronauts and the implied naming means you have the right stuff.
S.S. Minnow – That’s right, the boat from Gilligan’s Island, but what makes it cool is the backstory. The producer of Gilligan’s Island, Sherwood Schwartz, extremely disliked the former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Newton Minnow. Schwartz decided he would name the wrecked boat the S.S. Minnow because he thought Minnow had “ruined television.”
Andiamo – This translates from Italian as Here We Go. Always nice as you are sailing away.
Mahalo – This is the Hawaiian word for Thank You and a very appropriate boat name.
Feng Shui – Feng Shui is the Chinese study of everything has a place and everything in its place. If you think about it, this is a perfect name for a boat.
Facetime – A classic double entendre, a reference to the face-to-face chatting app and the ability to spend quality time with your family and friends.
Won the Lottery – No, you don’t actually have to win the lottery to give your boat this name, but it helps, and you could buy a bigger boat.
Monkey Business – Okay, so it may not be the coolest name, but it comes with a fascinating conversation-starting history. Married Presidential Candidate Gary Hart was rumored to be having an affair. He dared the media to follow him around, and they did, and they found him on his yacht Monkey Business with a woman named Donna Rice. Candidacy over.
Boat Names Based on Songs
We all love music, so why not let our favorite music influence the name of our favorite pastime…boating. The songs listed below would all make great boat names and positively reflect the boat owner’s personality. It even gives your boat its own theme song, kind of like the theme from Gilligan’s Island. The musical genres that are reflected showcase a wide range of styles and include everything from heavy metal and power rock to folk and pop-rock.
Livin’ La Vida Loca – The translation for Ricky Martin’s hit song is Living the Crazy Life. It was released in 1999 and rose to the top of the US charts.
Sloop John B. – Originally a Bahamian folk song, Brian Wilson did a new arrangement that became a hit for the Beach Boys in 1966, making it to #3 on the charts.
Two Tickets to Paradise – So Eddie Money wanted to have a nice vacation with his then-girlfriend, but her Mother wanted her to date a doctor or a lawyer. Money wrote the song in hopes of impressing the Mother.
Sail on – Written by Lionel Ritchie and released in 1979, The Commodores song reached the Top 10 in both the US and the UK.
Wasted Away Again in Margaritaville – This iconic Jimmy Buffet song was written after a night of drinking margaritas in Austin, Texas and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #13 on the Hot Country Chart.
More Musical Options
Smoke on the Water – This Deep Purple song is a true story; it is about a fire that destroyed the Montreux Casino in Switzerland. A patron fired off a flare gun at the ceiling and the entire place burned to the ground.
Free Bird – Released as a single in 1973, this Lynyrd Skynyrd classic is a frequently requested song with lighters in the air. It could also be phrased Free as a Bird.
Sea Cruise – The song as recorded by Franke Ford had ships bells and fog horns in the mix. The song was released in 1959 on the Ace Records label and made the Top 20.
Purple Rain – The song, written, produced, and sung by Prince, was released in 1984 along with the film of the same name. Prince explained Purple Rain as blood in the sky that would fall during the end of the world.
Twist and Shout – This is the cover version by The Beatles of an Isley Brothers hit single that was released in 1962. The Beatles song was produced by Phil Spector.
Wild Horses – Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards this The Rolling Stones song was released in 1971. It was written to reflect the band’s desire to get off the road and take a break in touring.
Yellow Submarine – Also the Beatles, one of the few Beatles songs sung by Ringo.
Rock the Boat – The Hughes Corporation and Alliyah each did a version of a song titled Rock the Boat, but The Hughes Corporation was disco.
Sail on Sailor – This Beach Boys song only reached number 79 on the charts; however, it is still a favorite with FM classic rock and album rock radio stations.
Sea of Love – It was a song written and performed by Phil Phillips, his one and only Top 40 hit. It was released in 1959.
Ride Captain Ride – Blues Image were one-hit wonders releasing this single in 1970 where it rose all the way to #4 on the charts.
Son of a Son of a Sailor – Written and performed by Jimmy Buffet, it was released in 1978 and was included in the comedy film FM. Jimmy Buffet makes a cameo appearance in the film as well.
The Love Boat – Theme from the TV Series sung by Jack Jones. At least 10 cover versions have been recorded of the song
Afternoon Delight – The song by Starlight Vocal Band was about making love in the afternoon, but it is also a great name for a boat.
The Tide is High – Originally the song was done by a Jamaican Group called The Paragons, Blondie had a hit with the song in 1980 when the song hit #1 on both the US and UK charts.
Good Boat Names
What makes a good boat name? It needs to be a name that evokes a reaction from passengers and other boaters. A good boat name should bring a smile or cause some thought. It should be memorable and let people know you’re serious about being on the water. Here are some good boat names that we’ve compiled, and we hope you might use one or that one of these names will spark a new name that you will want to use.
The Next Act
That’s My Point
Hold the Ice
Taking a Break
Wake Up Call
Cute Boat Names
Whether you’re naming a fishing boat, a pontoon pleasure cruiser, a yacht, or a dingy, you want your name to be cute and clever. A name that people enjoy and will tell their friends about. A name that stands out in the marina and lets people know you have a little bit of mischief in you.
Upgraded to First Class
La Dolce Vita
Boat Naming Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about naming a boat.
What do the initials S.S. mean before the name of a ship/boat?
Back in the day. Steam engines propelled most powered ships (not sailing). So, the term Steam Ship, or S.S., became a common prefix to the name of a boat or ship.
What’s the difference between a Ship, a Boat, and a Yacht?
What’s the difference between a boat and a ship, you ask? Good question? A ship is intended to be ocean-worthy and spend its life in the sea or substantial bodies of water (like the Great Lakes).
A boat is a watercraft that is used everywhere else like lakes, rivers, streams, etc. In addition, a boat is small enough to be carried by a larger vessel, while a ship can carry a boat.
What about a Yacht? The name is a derivative of the Dutch word Jacht (the word for the hunt in Dutch), and they were smaller. Fast sailing vessels used to pursue pirates. A far cry from today’s yachts.
What do the initials H.M.S. mean before a ship’s or boat’s name?
This term was – and still is – used in the British Royal Navy, and it stands for Her Majesty’s Ship or His Majesty’s Ship, depending on whether a queen or king was on the throne. It is also used in other countries that are ruled by royalty.
When the ship captain was commissioned by being given a contract to serve in the Navy, and the commission included a ship. The ship would then be placed into service, and the name H.M.S. would be added to the ship’s name like H.M.S. Pinafore from the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera.
What do the initials U.S.S. mean before a ship’s or boat’s name?
We have President Theodore Roosevelt to thank for the ship prefix U.S.S which means United States Ship. He signed an Executive Order that standardized the Navy’s prefixes to U.S.S. in 1907.
The prefix U.S.S. had been in use sporadically since the 1790s, but President Roosevelt standardized its usage. Now, all active-duty ships carry the U.S.S. designation until they are decommissioned when they are referred to as ex-U.S.S.
Why are boats often referred to as she or her?
In ancient times, it was believed that ships were protected by goddesses or mother figures and that these females kept the ships safe. This led to the practice of installing a female figurehead on the front of a sailing ship, expanding the belief that the female figure kept the ship safe.
Another story goes that…” ships are like women, unpredictable.” Hey, I am just the messenger. Either way, it is very common to hear a sailor saying, “she’s a solid ship,” “her hold is bigger than most,” or ‘what I really loved was how her bow sliced through the waves like a knife.”
What factors to consider when naming a boat?
1.) How long is the name? At some point, you may need to radio for help and identify your boat by name. Do you really want it to be something like, “A Boat Can’t Have Two Captions”? Or, would a two-word moniker like “Friend Ship” be easier to communicate? I think you know the answer.
2.) Is the name easy to pronounce? I love the name “Andiamo,” but will everyone know how to pronounce it right away?
3.) Is the name too much of a cliche? You get points for originality, so don’t go for the names that are overused, e.g. “Impossible Dream.”
4.) Is the name a good fit for the ship’s owner? Does the name reflect the essence of the person behind the ship?
— Tim Moodie
Tim Moodie is not a landlubber. He likes boating but has never owned a boat. His Father-in-Law, however, did own two houseboats that he kept on the St. Croix River in Minnesota. The first boat, “Kadaba,” combined his Father-in-Law’s three children’s names Karen, David, and Barbara (Tim’s wife). The previous owner, a photographer, aptly named his second boat “The Viewfinder.” He liked the name so much that he kept it. Tim enjoyed cruising the river with his late Father-n-Law and truly understands what it means to have a good boat name. Chips… er, uh, Ships Ahoy!
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