If you’ve ever picked the name of a child or a pet, then you know how important it is to pick the right name. The stakes might be a bit lower for naming a boat, but you still want to get it right. You want to have a name that you’re fond of, that you like saying and hearing. There are some legal considerations to keep in mind as well. Here at the Maritime Documentation Center, we’ve got some tips for you to pick the right boat names for your vessels that comply with US Coast Guard boat requirements.
US Coast Guard Boat Requirements for Names
Before you select a name, there are some legal factors you have to keep in mind. For example, the name has to be made of letters “of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals.” Don’t let that intimidate you, those are just the typical letters and numbers that you’ve been using your entire life. We quoted that from the United States Coast Guard itself. All “Arabic and Roman Numerals” means is that you use numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on as well as I, II, III, IV, V, VI and so forth.
Names you Can’t Use
There are some things that, no matter what, you can’t have as names of your vessel. For example, you can’t name your vessel something indecent, obscene or profane. You can’t use any racial or ethnic epithets, too. Additionally, you can’t use something that is phonetically identical, either. A good rule of thumb: if you think it can be interpreted in such a way as to be obscene or profane, then don’t use it. There are enough great names out there that you could be proud of that won’t run the risk of being interpreted incorrectly.
You Can Use Nautical Terms, But Be Careful
A majority of boats probably have some kind of nautical or water-themed name. “The Wave Shark,” “Naughty Buoy,” and so forth — most boat names are something like that. Those are the perfectly acceptable boat names. However, you can’t use something that’s at all similar to words that are used to solicit assistance at sea. That means you can’t use something like “S.O.S.” or something like that. The reason for that isn’t that the names are obscene or something, rather the powers that be don’t want a name to potentially hinder rescue operations. In an emergency, every moment counts.
Changing Your Vessel Names
When you have a name for your vessel, you can put it into our initial vessel documentation, and we’ll help you to get your vessel registered. However, over time, many vessel owners want to change the name of their vessel. Some folks change their vessel’s name when it sells, or when something in their life changes. When that occurs, we’ve got your back then, too. You can find the forms to change your vessel’s name right at our site. For the best in vessel documentation, you can call the Maritime Documentation Center at (800) 535-8570.