Boat Names

Great Boat Names – 14 Bits Of Transom Charm Found In the Boatyard

If you’ve spent time on or near the Great Lakes, you’ll know that Michigan has some of the best boating in the world. The lakes are big enough to go out and get lost all day long, but they’re small enough that a frozen-over surface is only a few weeks away at most. But what makes Michigan’s boating community particularly special is its names: no one takes themselves too seriously out on the water here, so there are plenty of silly and profane (and sometimes downright hilarious) puns adorning boats as they sail by.

Over the years, I spent a lot of working on my boat in my favorite little town along Lake Huron’s coast, and I found myself almost as fascinated by these names as I was with the beautiful beaches and lighthouses dotting my path. So without further ado, here are fourteen examples from across Michigan’s waterways—a reminder that it’s always important to have fun out there!

Boat Names – Stern Personality 

“The boat name you select may not seem like an important thing. But, considering the strong feelings many of us have for our boats; the fact that we put so much work, and sweat and money into them; the fact they are a big part of our memories of so many good times, with family, with friends; the fact that sometimes our very lives are in the safekeeping of our boat; most of us feel that selecting the right name for our boat is important.”

The Frugal Mariner

Pick a Good Name For Your Boat

The name of your boat is also a consideration by the United States Coast Guard. Keep your registration documents on your boat, so they are available for inspection. If you own a boat five net tons or greater, it needs documentation, too. Permanently affix documentation numbers to the interior of your boat. Display the boat’s home port and name in letters at least 4 inches high on the hull.

You have your heart set on purchasing a new vessel. Like with any other major purchase, such as a house or a car, you must ensure that you are purchasing what is being given and that it is the ideal vessel for you. You can’t send your buddy mechanic over to inspect the engine, but you may conduct further research on the vessel, including prior ownership, by searching the USCG boat names registery. This collection of vessels documented by the USCG will give you a wealth of information on the boat you are considering purchasing.

Another thought about boat names is using them when on marine radio. If your name is long or complex it may present a problem if you are looking for help.

Other Boat Names Worth a Look


YOLO. We all know what it means, right? You Only Live Once. Yeah, that’s right: “YOLO.” The popular acronym has been used to justify risky behavior, such as a night of heavy drinking. But in this case, we’re talking about boats! We may have found the best boat name ever: Yolo (it’s also very cool).


Serenity is a boat like the other boats in this article, but it’s also not like them. It sits on the back of the trailer facing away from you as you approach it, and if you didn’t already know what was up there, it would look like any other boat with a transom hanging off its stern. But once you see it, Serenity will give off an aura that can only be described as serene.

The meaning of serenity is hard to pin down because there are so many different kinds: There’s physical serenity (e.g., being relaxed), emotional serenity (being content), and mental serenity (having clear thoughts). And then there’s existential serenity—which has nothing to do with being calm in an existential crisis—but rather refers to having faith or trust within yourself or someone else. The type of person who finds peace within themselves will find true happiness when they travel through life without fear or worry about what might happen tomorrow, instead of focusing solely on what can be done today for today’s sake alone.”

Now and Zen

Now and Zen is an excellent name for a boat. It’s the title of a song by the band Yello, which describes the moment when you realize there is no moment—only now, now, and always now. Look no further than Now and Zen if you’ve ever wondered how to capture your sense of being in this instant we call life.

Slippery When Wet!

Slippery When Wet is an awesome play on words that will make everyone chuckle when they read it on your boat’s transom or dashboard. It speaks volumes about what you want out of your vessel: to be out on the water catching fish in all sorts of weather conditions. You don’t want anything slowing your down—not even some slippin’ and slidin’.

Gone Fishin’

You can find inspiration from this list if you’re in the market for a fishing boat—or just a fun new transom name for your existing boat. There are many ways to choose a fishing boat name: it can be funny, clever, classy or just plain weird. It could also be a play on words or even an inside joke between friends or family members. Whatever style you choose is up to you!

Adventure Awaits

This is an excellent name for a boat that you use to travel the world and live life with no regrets. It’s also an ideal name for someone who has never been out on the water before but wants to experience it for themselves.

Too Bada Bing

You’re probably wondering what “too bading” is. And you may be thinking it sounds like something from a high school slumber party in the 1950s. The Oxford dictionary describes “bada bing” (also “bada bing bada boom”) as an exclamation to emphasize that something will happen effortlessly and predictably. The word also is the name of a strip club in the mob drama Sopranos.


Speaking of Tony Suprano, he had a boat on the HBO series The Sopranos. This mob slang term was made popular by the HBO Series “The Sopranos”. But it’s not true Italian. The name Stugots is an Italian Americanized term that means something akin to “this a**hole” or “this dick”.

Beyond Paradise

A little bit of paradise in a Michigan boatyard is a thing to behold. These kinds of boat names work well for the Great Lakes area and the Great Lakes region but could also work in other places that have been touched by paradise—like Hawaii or Alaska. It’s a great name for anyone who dreams of sailing away from it all.

Can’t Paddle This

This is an excellent name for a boat. It’s not just because it sounds like an unbeatable catchphrase that would be perfect for the next season of “The Bachelor,” but because it’s also a play on words. It implies that the boat has something to do with paddling and is not just any old thing you can’t paddle. The name implies that this vessel is made specifically for use in water, allowing users to get out into nature and experience something new!

Good Vibrations

Boat names with this variation harken back to the Beach Boys’ song Good Vibrations. Good vibes are a must because boats are nothing without them. If you don’t have good vibes when you’re around your boat or if you don’t have any good vibes at all, then the boat will have bad vibes, which will make your boat sad and lonely and no fun to be around. So make sure that if you plan on buying a boat—or even just using one for one day—you get some perfect vibes from somewhere (probably from yourself).

She Got the House, I Got the Boat!

If you’re looking for a name that’s both memorable and can be creatively interpreted, She Got the House, and I Got the Boat! is a great option. It has alliteration, is short and sweet, and can mean whatever you want it to. You could think of it as referring to how you moved into your place after living with your ex-wife.

Seestern (German for “Starfish”)

Seestern (German for “starfish”) is a great name for your boat. Starfish are the class of Asteroidea marine animals with an internal skeleton composed of ossicles. They have two eyes on the top of their body, which helps them swim around in search of food. The starfish can regenerate some parts if lost to injury or attacked by predators like sea urchins.

Booty Duty

This was one of the most fun names to find in the yard. The owner is a woman, so we’ll call her “Booty Duty.” She’s certainly served her time in Booty Duty, and now it’s time for someone else to have a turn at serving booty! This name is great because it’s both clever and self-deprecating. It also works as a nautical pun on how your ass gets sore after sitting in a boat all day (don’t worry; they have cushions).

Hot Mess Expressway!

The name of the boat is Hot Mess Expressway! (again, seriously). It started as a joke for a group of friends to call their boat when it was in need of repair. The Hot Mess Expressway is a very fun, easy-going boat that makes everyone feel comfortable and relaxed. And, like most hot messes, she can be unpredictable at times but still end up being quite enjoyable in the end.

Final Thoughts on Boat Names

Do you have a favorite boat name? Do you know of any other fun ones we missed? If so, please share in the comments below.

Michael Hardy

Michael Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. Michael was born in Michigan and grew up near Caseville. In 2009 he started this fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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