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Volume 15, Issue 13 ~ March 29 - April 4, 2007

Happy Hours Knot Working

So what do you call your water escape?

by Alice Snively

The act of anointing a boat with a name is rife with creative opportunity. For some people the right one is easy; for others it’s a challenge that can lead to sleepless nights, coin-tossing, polling of neighbors and friends — even posing a threat to marital bliss.

Boat U.S. has just released its list of the 10 most popular boat names in the nation for 2006: 1. Aquaholic; 2. Second Wind; 3. Reel Time; 4. Hakuna Matata; 5. Happy Hours; 6. Knot Working; 7. Life Is Good; 8. Plan B; 9. Second Chance; and 10. Pura Vida. The organization’s graphics and lettering department, which makes custom boat graphics, maintains a large database from which the list is generated. Most of the names on the roster have appeared at least once before, while Numbers 6, 7, 8 and 9 are new to the list this year — though we’ve all seen them around.

A quick survey of marinas and boat-watchers around Chesapeake Bay illustrates the creative side of vessel moniker efforts.

The word sea gets lots of double-entendre use in boat names, including Must Sea, Sea Breeze, Sea Dream, Seascape and Sea Ya.

Music and songs are an inspiration, often making neat state-of-mind boating metaphors, as in Cool Change, Take It To The Limit, Blue Moon, Pretty Woman, Moon Glow and the very popular Wind Beneath My Wings. Reelin’ In the Years is a nifty play on fishing, music and retirement.

Artful Dodger, the musical-play character via Dickens, makes a provocative name; I wonder if its owner does the racing regatta circuit. Music Man is the name of the play, but the boat’s owner is also a musician. The owner of Sound Waves is in the audio-equipment business.

Other locally popular names include Escapade, Gone Fishin’, Galatea and Getaway. Liquid Assets, Money Man and Stocks In Ponds probably belong to boats whose owners are in financial professions.

It’s my guess that Chesagansett implies a disapproving wife or a north-south marriage, and Czechmate is a clever reference to spousal ethnicity. My Kids’ Inheritance and Yes Dear also have family ties, while Wind Tryst suggests an extracurricular relationship.

Besides the Number 1 name Aquaholic, alcohol inspires such names as Weenie Martini, Martini Time and Suds Bucket. Many boats are named for women, some for pets, some for places. Others are just not possible to understand without talking with the owner.

But Toyot I can figure out on my own. No, I didn’t misspell the name of a car. This clever label is what it says — toy yacht, and it forms a splendid palindrome. In other words, the name of this boat requires a double-take to get it all.

Many more fun and fascinating names bob about on the transoms of vessels small and large up and down Chesapeake Bay. So many, that some boaters keep collections in their log books. This small sampling is a tribute to all you boaters who’ve anguished or laughed hysterically through the process of choosing that perfect image to leave behind along with your wake.

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