Ahoy, Matey!


While driving, I’m always scanning license plates.

First of all, I like to see which state that driver’s from.

When we took long road trips, we’d see how many different state license plates we could count.

By the way, Alaska is often a challenge but so are those small New England States because there just aren’t as many of them on the road.

Secondly, I like to see if there’s a special or unique message on that plate.

I guess that interest in that is rooted in the fact my family had a boat on Lake Erie when I was a kid.

I remember walking the docks, checking the sterns of the boats to see what that craft was named.

The boat my parents had was called the “Sijon”.

That came from my Mother Hazel’s nickname, “Sigh” and my Dad’s name “John”.

(Still not sure where “Sigh” came from.)

By the way, I still remember the actual registration number of that boat.

OH 9376 AJ.

I spent many a spring in coveralls scraping the bottom of that 21 foot cabin cruiser and then painting it with that bright copper paint.

I’m surprised a don’t have a horn growing out of the top of my head.

I keep watching TV for that law firm asking victims of “Boat Bottom Copper Paint” to become part of a class-action lawsuit because of  that stuff.

But I did a little research on boat names.

First off, Florida has the most boat registrations in the country, but on the basis of percentage of the population with boats, Minnesota, “The Land of 10,000 Lakes”, leads the nation.

Names of boats often tell stories about the boat’s owner.

“Tax Refund”, “Wife #4” and “Tax-Sea-Vation” offer insight into the reason that boat is floating.

A little philosophy often decorates the backsides of boats.

“Seas The Day” and “Seas The Moment”

Is there a “Carpe Diem” afloat for a boater who likes common fish?

That’s probably where “Codtastrophe” came from.

Somebody on deck of this boat, “The Codfather” has to mumble, “He sleeps with the fishes”.

You can also find boats named after Supreme Court decisions.

“Row vs. Wade”.

That’s really clever.

The small dog owner is obviously behind “Pugboat” while that person with a bit of a drinking problem named his craft “Sotally Tobor”.

Think about that last one before you read on.

Docked side-by-side in one harbor, I saw “Wood Too” and “Wood Not” which indicates to me there were some arguing siblings being referenced.

From the kid who felt his Father was a bit too demanding comes the  name on the back of a large schooner, “Now Who’s The Loser, Dad”.


There’s a bit of a Deutsche connection on this gem…”Fahrfrum Wurken”. Of course, you need umlauts over some of those vowels for the full effect.

A gun owner with a boat obviously came up with “A Salt Weapon”.

I have a sneaking suspicion the owner of “Ships Ahoy” might also like chocolate chip cookies.

There’s a Spanish legacy to “Sea Senor” and a Muppets fan behind the fishing boat, “Tackle Me Elmo”.

The former personnel manager may have named this boat “Docked Pay” while the former school counselor might have named this watercraft “Pier Pressure”.

This boat owner obviously plans on keeping this ship.

Otherwise, why would it be named “Knot For Sale”.

Other boat owners opt for the obvious “Lega-Sea” and “Ecta-Sea”.

I can’t help but think this boat was named by a Mom who, at one time had a couple of younger boys.

Where else would “Quit Playing With Your Dinghy” originate?

Movies and popular TV shows are also behind some boat names.

There’s “Orca” from “Jaws”, “Jenny” from “Forrest Gump” and “Wax On, Wax Off” from “The Karate Kid”.

The “HMS Shag At Sea” is from the Austin Powers movies while Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield fans might appreciate “The Flying Wasp” from the “Caddyshack” flick”.

There’s little question that “The Lion King” resulted in a boat being christened “Laguna Matata”.

A fan of Norma Jean is revealed with “Marlin Monroe” across the stern.

Even my favorite TV show, “The Simpson’s” led to a boat named “Gone Fission”.

Is C. Montgomery Burns on board?

Or at least one, three-eyed fish?

I’m looking for “The Skipper” and “Gilligan” when I see “SS Minnow” painted on the stern of a boat.

Did the professor ever fix that radio?

Plus, a boat owner with an eye for the fairer sex obviously named these vessels “Playbouy” and “Nice Aft”.

And I’ll bet this boat owner lunched on canned nourishment while growing up as a kid.

Otherwise, where did “Campbell’s Sloop” originate?

One of my favorite boat names is  “Edmund Fitzgerald”, memorialized in that Gordon Lightfoot song about the November 11th, 1975 tragedy on Lake Superior.

The 730 foot freighter sank during a vicious storm and took the 29 crew members to watery graves.

When launched in 1958, the ship was the largest on the Great Lakes and was named after the one-time Northwestern Mutual President and Chairman of the Board.

The huge ship was nicknamed “Fitz”, “Mighty Fitz”, “Pride of the American Side”, “Toledo Express” and later the prophetic “Titanic of the Great Lakes”.

So, does any of this information “float your boat?”

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