What’s in a Name?

ship at sea and a big sun in the evening

Every boat deserves a name, but choosing one can be a tough process. While some vessels have traditionally been given female names, others have been christened with names a little more intimidating during warfare, such as HMS Victory.


Why do we Name Vessels?

One of the reasons for naming a ship is for communication purposes. When out at sea, sailors will often have to communicate with other vessels – having a name makes this process a lot easier. However, there is also the fact that sailors spend a long time on board their ships and will often form some sort of attachment to their vessel. This was even more significant historically when sailors could spend months and even years at sea.

Traditional Names

Historically, British ships have displayed a range of name types, from reigning monarchs, to place names and even fictional characters. Some of the most famous British ship names include:

  • Mary Rose – King Henry VIII’s warship which sank in 1545.
  • HMS Victory – Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
  • RMS Titanic – the luxury liner which famously sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg.
  • Golden Hind – Sir Francis Drake’s ship that took him on the first complete circumnavigation of the globe.
  • HMS Bounty – a merchant vessel that became famous after a mutiny led by the Acting Lieutenant.

Renaming a Boat

Many boat owners choose to rename their boat when it comes into their possession, but this is a challenge in itself. Legend says that the god of the sea (Poseidon in Greek mythology or Neptune in Roman mythology) keeps a ledger which includes the names of every boat. When renaming a boat, unless you carry out the procedure correctly, the sea god won’t know the name so will be unable to protect the vessel.

Whatever the name of your vessel is, it is essential that it is properly equipped before you take to the water. This is why, here at Offshore Supply, we specialise in marine chandlery, offering the highest quality of boat supplies, from workwear to fuel. If you would like to find out more about any of our products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 01524 862010 to speak to a member of our friendly team.