Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Friday, February 15, 2013

Coming Up With A Boat Name

So what’s in a name? Specifically a boat name. The title that we give to our boats reflects something that we feel or have experienced, or perhaps is a reference to someone or someplace. Maybe it tells us something about the owner. It may even be just a made up name with no connection whatsoever to the owner or the boat. Other’s consider their boat as a place to express their humor and the name is chosen for this reason.

Deciding on the boat name can be a simple process, perhaps the first thought that comes to mind when you see the boat. Or maybe it’s named after someone so no real thought is necessary. The name may have been around for years in someone’s mind with no boat to attach it to. Or it might have come from a book. Each owner decides on the name according to their own desires, needs, experiences, thoughts, or whim.

For me, naming my boat has been a drawn out affair because I had specific desires to have the name reflect how I feel about the boat and building her. Since I decided to build a wooden boat, I wanted to make it an expression of art. I feel it is necessary to take the time to make it as nice as I can and maintain some sense of the style for the period she was designed in. My boat was designed in the mid 1950’s and has that classic look from that time. I knew from the beginning that she would probably be different than most boats on any given day on the lake. This is the way I wanted it to be.

So the name had to avoid the more common names, and I also wanted to avoid silly names. Not that there’s anything wrong with these. I have seen quite clever named boats using humorous phrases. But this name had to be an expression of her style.

I tried to figure out how to come up with such a name. I tried various approaches. For example, I started by listing many phrases that expressed how I felt about owning a boat or what a boat meant to me. I added phrases and words about idyllic scenes and places. I went through song lists and book lists looking for ideas. I tried translating these phrases into various languages (Spanish, Irish, Polynesian, even Klingon!).

As I came up with name ideas, I listed them. I would add new names every time a candidate occurred to me. There was one name I thought somewhat clever, “Yggdrasil”, which I originally thought translated to “Tree Ship” but later found out it really meant “Tree World”. Difficult to pronounce and everyone would have said “What??”

The reason for listing the names was so I could refer back to them and perhaps have some new name idea triggered. Seven months into this process, I had a list of approximately 25 names. None of them struck my fancy enough to use. In the end the name I decided on came to me while working out at the gym and listening to music.

The phrase “Some Other Time” was part of a lyric from a song I was listening to. It struck me that these words represented the boat in my mind. She was designed in some other time and her styling was from some other time. Also,the name could be construed as another form of “Later, I’m relaxing”. This name is not common for boats as far as I can tell. And I suppose, one test of it’s appropriateness is how people respond when you tell them what it’s going to be. In this I’ve only received positive responses. So..................

Some Other Time” it is.

I have asked an artist friend of mine to do some preliminary art proposals with the name. Once I have looked them over and made any tweaks, I will contract with him to get the final artwork done. I have a couple of things in mind for this artwork. Of course it will be on the transom identifying her. But I am also considering possible other places I can put the name such as in the steering wheel or possibly inlaid into the wood on the side of the cabin. These other placements are still up in the air but I want the artwork to be adaptable to these if necessary.

As for construction, well this week is a continuation of last week’s sanding. I have laid out and cut out more frame parts, but that means even more sanding. So I will be continuing with that.

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  1. I am new to the concept of building a boat from scratch, but certainly not to the concept of building things from scratch. I just started reading your blog yesterday and am finding myself sufficiently inspired. My wife and I recently moved to a small town on the coast of the Puget Sound in WA, and my desire to own a boat as increased exponentially. I will continue to read through this as a starting point for hopefully my own boat building adventure.

    In regards to your name choice, I can't express how much I love the decision you came to. I love the intentional double entendre with the name and both of the meanings seem to fit what I would hope a home made boat would mean to the builder. Having built things in the past, I can understand the pride and joy you feel being able to see and use your own creations.

    I look forward to the completion of this boat / blog.


    1. Hi Sean,

      I am glad to see you found my blog and that you may be inspired to build your own boat. That was one of my original goals for this blog, to get more people interested in this great hobby.

      If you decide to jump into this, I highly recommend the Glen L Marine builder's forum regardless if you choose a Glen L design or not. The people there are very friendly and most helpful.

      I am glad you like the name. I have had mostly positive responses to the choice. It's funny how long it took me to come up with the name and in the end it just came to me out of nowhere.

      As a final note, Once you begin to fully explore the world of boat building, you will find a huge variety of effort out there. It is so fascinating and satisfying, that frankly I cannot understand why it took me personally so long to find out about it.



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