Name

Our Yankee came to us without a name, oddly enough. She had a name when the previous owner took possession of her, but during the course of his work on her (sanding the hull, notably) the name was eradicated, and after 6 years on the hard without a name, we don’t feel obliged to return to it (it’s also nothing we’d be willing to live with).

So we have a boat with no name, and must christen her.

My previous boats have all had names that flew. My first boat, the Abbott 22, was Pegasus, the flying horse. Next came Swallow (the first Roue R/20 was Hirondelle, french for Swallow, mine was honouring that one), and finally Weatherbird. My father’s boats while I was a kid were My Tern (his Abbott 22) and Phoenissa – which might not sound like a bird, but the boat was a Redwing 30, and Phoenissa is part of the scientific name of that bird, and a play on a female Phoenician – so I come from a long line of bird/flight-related boat names, you might say. Because of this, I felt like this boat would be named after a bird, also, and have been thinking along those lines. Trouble is, when I consider what bird she might be, the one that keeps coming back is Kestrel. She’s small, taut, ready for action, but graceful and lovely all at the same time – and there is another Yankee 30 already using that name! Not to mention any number of other boats, no doubt – just yesterday I noticed a Pearson Ariel in Good Old Boat magazine by that name. So do I ignore that and go for it anyway? Maybe.

Another naming theme that I’ve always liked (Beth too) is naming after stars or constellations – but when we were trying to name Weatherbird (she came to us as Glide, which wasn’t us, we deliberated for two years before returning her to her original name of Weatherbird) we went through any number and didn’t come up with one that satisfied that we didn’t see on boats all around us. So I don’t think the celestial route is going to work, at least not in a starry way.

While we were considering what sort of boat was going to replace Weatherbird, I was considering any number of possibilities (as has been mentioned elsewhere). One of them was a Hallberg-Rassy Monsun, and there was one in Massachusetts for sale named Moonwind, which we both liked. It has connotations of quiet moonlit sails, as well as respecting our moon’s effect on the waters we ply (tides) and our favoured mode of movement, wind powered. This morning I noticed (again in Good Old Boat) another boat named Moonwind and was thus again reminded of it. Nice name. But somehow not for us.

But what about Luna? That has the same respect for the tides, makes clear the fact that the moon is feminine, respects the goddess, and still evokes beautiful night-time scenes. It also hints at lunacy (which is the same root, of course, all kinds of madness are blamed on our lovely moon), without which no ocean voyaging for pleasure would ever take place.

No decisions yet, but it’s fun to ponder…

Note: In case you’re worried, we will do this with proper ceremony – requesting the gods’ permissions to cast off the previous name and again requesting acceptance of the new – there is no way I’d skip either of those steps!

Update:
I mentioned Luna as a possible name to Beth, and she really loves it. The more I think about it the more I like it, too – so we may have named our boat! Still going to wait a few weeks or months to let it sink in – no sense in rushing these things…

Further Update:
Luna has definitely stuck, and will be going on the transom. In fact I’ve begun to get fast and loose with it, to the point that we need to do the unnaming ceremony long before she goes in the water – soon, in fact. But we’re both very happy with it!

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Your thoughts?

 
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