Naming a yacht is a highly personal experience, and every yachter approaches the task with his or her own superstitions and quirks. Some choose nautical themes, others use symbols of fortune. And some: They just use a pun, like “seas the day.”
Bottom line, no two yachters are alike. Everyone brings their own flair to naming a vessel.
Olympic-winning skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, for example, names every one of his boats RITA. (Even the boats he won Olympic gold sailing.) And Richard Branson named his luxury catamaran “Necker Belle,” choosing to name the yacht after his private Caribbean hideaway.
Many choose to name their yachts after symbols of luck. Guitarist and musician Eric Clapton aptly named his 31-meter Camper & Nicholsons yacht Blue Guitar (as he’s famously strummed away at a baby blue Fender for years.) Actor Johnny Depp found inspiration from his wife and daughter. His yacht Vajoliroja is a mash-up of both their names.
Of course, this isn’t a new trend. Crews and sailors have been coming up with names for their ships for so long, we’re not even sure why the trend began.
La Nina, La Pinta and La Santa Maria – boat names made famous by Christopher Columbus – actually were invented by his crews (and, you’d probably never guess, each name was inspired by a lady of the night).
The tradition isn’t just reserved for naming boats. There’s also plenty of superstition tied to renaming boats as well. The legend goes you have to clear a name change with Poseidon first.
So what makes a yacht names popular? Well, looking at the top names in our yacht database, it’s easy to see a few common trends.
Plenty of boats are named after symbols of good luck. They use nautical inspirations. And many are often inspired by the peaceful of open-sea sailing. (Tranquillity, for instance, is a top boat name.)
Take a look at Boat International’s list of the year’s Top Yacht Names and you’ll see that many of these trends continue. Here are some of the most popular yacht names in 2018:
Yachting offers respite from the modern world, and many yacht owners choose names that conjure up peacefulness. Serenity, though, is by far the most popular. There are more than 300 yachts named Serenity in the U.S. alone. And if you check our database you’ll find more than a few, including this 131.5′ motor yacht available for charter.
You’ll find plenty of names that play off the theme being free (i.e. Escape and Independence are quite popular). But Freedom comes in at No. 1 on Boat International’s list. In fact, more than 250 yachts share the name, including 5 superyachts.
Every day on charter is an adventure, and that’s what makes this Latin phrase for “seize the day” so fitting for yachts. The name seems perfect for this 150-foot luxury charter yacht, Cape Diem II.
You won’t find a literal translation for the Hawaiian word Ohana; it’s more of an idea meaning all of the people that matter to you in your life. And the idea also happens to make a popular boat name, including for this 60-foot charter catamaran.
The popular song by Frank Sinatra (or The Who, depending on who you ask) conjures up a freeing, live-by-your-one rules way of life. And that’s why yachters have been christening their boats with the name for decades.
You’ll see plenty of yachts with Italian inspired names. And it makes sense: Italy is a hub for Mediterranean yachting and shipbuilding. Andiamo – which means “let’s go” – tops the list, taking the fourth spot on Boat International’s list.
A popular theme in yacht naming is fate. Serendipity, for instance, is the name of 146 boats in the U.S. It’s also the name of this 98-foot Westship charter yacht.
Endless Summer fits nicely with the idea of yachting – always in pursuit of the next adventure, undiscovered beach and incredible experience. Many yachts – 125, to be exact – call themselves Endless Summer, but none as luxurious as this brand new 2017 charter yacht.
Many boats have astronomical-themed names, but Blue Moon is hands down the most popular. Nearly 200 boats have this name in the U.S.
What’s in a (Yacht) Name?
Looking at these popular yacht names, it appears yacht owners share similar naming sensibilities. We have our nautical-inspired names and a few common themes like freedom/escape, adventure, fortune, and peacefulness.
What do you think? What names stand out to you?