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26 August 2015

Naming Our Boat Tickety Boo & Temper Tantrums


Our boat has had four names in it's lifetime - What a Day, Y-Knot, Moody Blue and now Tickety Boo. In some ways, it seems odd to change a boat's name. After all, you wouldn't adopt a child and change her name. You might change a baby's name, but imagine saying to a seven year old, "From this day forward, your new name is Esther. Start getting used to it! Now, sit up and eat your peas. They're good for you." 

Our boat is even older - 28 year old to be exact. She wasn't too impressed by the fact that we changed her name - again. In fact, when we told her we were going to change her name, suddenly the windlass started acting up. I think it was her way of letting us know that she was struggling to embrace this whole name change nonsense. Even 28 year olds have been known to throw a temper tantrum from time to time.

But then, we sat down with her and told what her new name meant. Tickety boo is one of our favorite New Zealand expressions. We love living in New Zealand and wanted a little Kiwi touch on our new boat. We explained that it's a British expression meaning that "everything is all good". Which is exactly what you want on a boat - for everything to be all good.

After that, she got onboard with her new name. The windlass still doesn't work, but I think that's because she's a bit miffed about the color I chose for the slipcovers for our settees. To be honest, I don't like it either, but I don't go around breaking things on our boat. Let that be a warning to all of you buying fabric online. The color never quite matches what you saw on the computer.

I'm not sure what the true origin of tickety boo is - there are a lot of different stories out there. It could have come from the Hindi expression, "Tikai Babu", meaning "It's alright, Sir" or it could be a shortened version of "That's the ticket." Whatever the origin, it's got a nice meaning and it's fun to say. Go on, say it aloud - tickety boo. Kind of makes you smile, doesn't it?

When I tell people the name of our boat, I get one of two reactions - "Oh, how cute!" and "Wow, your husband must really love you to let you name your boat that." Considering most Americans have never heard of the expression, it certainly generates a lot of questions about what it means. When we picked up a mooring ball at Sunset Bay marina in Stuart, Florida, the guy that checked me in said he never asks people about their boat names, but that he just had to ask what the heck "Tickety Boo" was all about. Guaranteed conversation starter!

One of my tasks when we bought our boat in April, was to take off her old name and put on the new one. Here's what she looked like when she was called Moody Blue.


The font suited the name Moody Blue, but it was a bit too ornate for a name like Tickety Boo. It was actually a bit too ornate for us. We're casual kind of people and we needed a casual font to reflect that.

After getting checking out a few recommendations on where to get boat lettering and comparing prices, I went with DIY Lettering. You can type in your boat name and hailing port and check out what it looks like with various fonts and sizes. I ended up going with Americana, which is kind of ironic given we were naming our boat after a New Zealand expression.

Here's what it looks like on the bow.



And on the stern.


Taking off the old name and hailing port was pretty straightforward. I just got a plastic scraper, some water and scraped away. Everything came off pretty easily on the bow, but was a bit tougher on the stern, but eventually persistence won the day. A bit of sanding to buff out some of the shadow lettering left behind and we were good to go.

It was a bit trickier to put the new name and hailing port on. In exchange for $83.91, DIY Lettering sent me what are basically giant decals. You perch precariously on a ladder, tape the lettering on, make sure you're happy with how it is positioned, remove the liner underneath which sticks your lettering onto the boat. When you peel off the transfer tape on top, presto, you have a new boat name.

The next step is to stare at it despondently while you realize how many air bubbles there are which have made things a bit kitty-wampus. Oh well, too late. You're stuck with it. But not to worry, just remind yourself that everything will be tickety boo.

Have you ever named a boat, an RV or even your car? What name did you choose and why?

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14 comments:

  1. I like the name "Tickety Boo"!

    We named our motorhome "Sherman" because when I first drove him, I thought he drives like a tank! And doesn't get much better gas mileage.

    People told us that we had better name him male, because a female motorhome often turns out to be a right bitch!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. Sherman is a nice solid name. Just the way you want your RV to be!

      I read somewhere that Canadians also use the expression "tickety boo" - do you guys say it?

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  2. We didn't change the name of our yacht when we bought her, but we liked the current name - Pukeko (also New Zealand). However, she was called Tail Wind before she became Pukeko from the prior owners. They did a ceremony where they asked Poseidon for permission.

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    1. BTW - Tickety Boo is an awesome name :)

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    2. Pukeko is a great boat name - love those birds! We didn't do a renaming ceremony so fingers crossed Poseidon thinks the name Tickety Boo is so awesome that he lets us off the hook for not going through the ritual.

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  3. I think you are in a good spot...we've been there a few times and you are tucked away fairly well....dont worry about the gators unless you sink....will you be aboard during the storm?

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    1. Fortunately, it looks like Erika is going to fizzle out so I don't have to worry about hurricanes and can go back to my usual focus on alligators :-)

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  4. Cool name, and I love the font too! Very nice.
    I did think about changing Wildwood's name when I first got her. We have shortened it to Wildy, and everyone knows her as Wildy. When I recently got my article published in a NZ Boating Magazine, the original owner of Wildwood saw the name and got in contact! So cool. He wouldn't have recognised her otherwise. When he had her she was blue!

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    1. I think Wildy is a great boat name! Pretty neat that you got to meet the original owner of Wildy :-)

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  5. Great name, it is fun to say. I highly recommend the renaming ceremony, we have had too many friends have problems that did not do it. It is never too late, you just have to ask Poseidon and the wind gods for forgiveness on not alerting them before placing the name on the boat. They understand mere mortals make mistakes.

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    1. Thanks for popping by Steve! We probably should do one because if we do then nothing will every break on our boat :-)

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  6. Love your blog, I name my vehicles after the people I've bought them from. My silver beetle is named Linda, and my red beetle is Sherilynn, I bought her from the actress Sherilynn Wolter who played Cecilia Quartermain on G.H.

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  7. I love the name, "Tickety Boo," and it is fun to say.

    I renamed the 19' sloop that came into my life. It just seemed like the right thing to do, and she seemed all right with it. I took some time to see what came from the ethos and into my brain. The previous owner, who was the original owner, had taken excellent care of her, but then her job and health made demands, time marched on, and the sloop sat on the hard for nearly 20 years before she came into my life.

    The name that came to me was Retrouvé. French for "found again." I asked the sloop about it, and she liked it. Also used DIY Lettering.

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    1. Retrouvé is a great name! I'm glad your boat liked it :-)

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