Houseboat names can honor an important person or inspire humor. So what are the best houseboat names, and how do you choose?
The best houseboat names are simple, significant, funny, or a combination of all three. Funny houseboat names, like "Pier Pressure" and "Sink or Swim," are a great choice. Naming it after your spouse is popular, and nautical names are always a big hit.
In this article, we’ll go over five of the best wholesome houseboat names, ten of the best humorous houseboat names, along with a few suggestions to help you choose. We’ll also cover the history and unspoken rules of naming a houseboat, along with the technicalities and superstitions surrounding boat names.
We sourced most of the information used in this article from our experience in the maritime and boating world. The names listed here are suggestions that many boat owners use and enjoy.
Do You Have to Name a Houseboat?
Is boat naming mandatory? No, you’re not legally required or compelled to name a boat. The registration number is the only identification that the government demands. But why not name your boat? It’s easy enough, and you can get creative with it. The possibilities are limitless, and it can be a lot of fun.
Is Changing a Houseboat Name Bad Luck?
Here’s a piece of maritime lore that even the uninitiated have probably heard. The old superstition goes that changing the name of a boat will doom it to bad luck. And anyone whose been around boats for long enough will have an anecdote confirming this theory, especially if they believe it.
So, is it bad luck to change the name of a houseboat? It depends on who you ask and probably on what you believe. If you think it’s bad luck, it’s probably not a good idea to do it. But if you don’t, you’ll probably be just fine. Who knows! It’s your boat—name it what you like or do whatever you’re comfortable with.
Do Houseboat Names Need Significance?
Does there need to be any significance behind the name of your houseboat? Nope! But it’s usually a lot more fun to add a personal touch when naming your houseboat. Many people name their boats after their spouse or a significant person in their life, and others just have fun with it.
Traditional Naming of Boats
If you look at history, there are a lot of ways that different countries and cultures have named their boats. The U.S. commonly named warships after states, cities, or significant people. During the Second World War, the naming conventions were simple: Submarines were named for fish, destroyers for notable people, cruisers for towns, and battleships for states.
Other countries, such as Japan, attached more meaning to the names of their ships. Aircraft carriers were named after real or symbolic flying creatures, such as “Hōshō” (Flying Phoenix). As you can see, traditional boat naming conventions vary widely throughout history and between people.
Modern Recreational Boat Naming
These days, most houseboat owners don’t take naming very seriously. After all, it’s a houseboat, not the pride of a national fleet. Many houseboat owners choose to add a bit of humor to their boat, as it’s associated mostly with fun and recreation with friends and family.
Many houseboat names are a play on words with a nautical twist. Names such as “Pier Pressure” and “Tax Sea-Vation” come to mind and are sure to get a few laughs at the marina. You can name your boat whatever you want—and the name can tell a lot about the owner.
Best Wholesome Houseboat Names
Lots of people take an edgy approach to naming their boats, which is often where the best humor is found. However, it’s perfectly fine to name your boat something nice, especially if you take boating seriously. Here are the best wholesome houseboat names that you can be proud of.
1. Home Away From Home
“Home Away From Home” is pretty self-explanatory, and it’s certainly appropriate for a big and comfortable houseboat. After all, isn’t that what makes houseboats more accommodating than other vessels?
For many, a houseboat symbolizes the freedom to live and go wherever you want, whenever you want. “Independence” is a great way for your boat to express that meaning and its significance to you.
Similar to “Independence,” the name “Traveller” is a simple and respectable houseboat name. You use it to travel around with your friends and family, so the name fits it perfectly.
“Neptune” is to boats what “Fido” is to dogs. It’s a common and fitting name for a boat with nautical significance and a memorable sound. It makes a great houseboat name, with lots of interesting history behind it.
Is “Oasis” sea-themed? Not exactly—but it’s a nautical-sounding name that has a double meaning. Your houseboat can certainly be your own little oasis on the lake, and a simple and memorable name is often the best and most agreeable option.
Best Funny Houseboat Names
How do you choose a funny houseboat name? Well, most boat enthusiasts get a kick out of nautical puns—even if they’re over the top and cheesy. Some of the best houseboat names are a bit edgy—but punny enough to avoid offending the average person. Here are a few of our favorite funny houseboat names, along with a brief explanation.
1. Ship Happens
“Ship Happens” is a play on a famous catchphrase and line of bumper stickers from the movie Forrest Gump. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll get it immediately—and many people get a kick out of this name.
2. College Fund
“College Fund” alludes to something everyone knows about boats—they’re expensive. The joke is that the kids’ college funds went into the boat, and so we might as well just enjoy it.
“Unsinkable” is a particularly funny boat name when seen on a sunken boat. It alludes to the fact that engineers famously called the Titanic “unsinkable,” and we all know how that turned out.
4. Anchor Management
“Anchor Management” is another funny nautical wordplay and a good reminder to chill out and relax when taking the houseboat out for a week in the sun.
“Uh-Oh” is a funny houseboat name—but only when it’s painted upside down. It’ll be facing the right direction only when your houseboat has capsized—in which case, the exclamation fits the situation well.
“Bow-Movement” is an edgy boat owner’s easiest way to get a laugh at your expense—harmlessly, of course. Is it a bit immature? Perhaps—but we’re all just on the water to have a good time.
7. Zombies Can’t Swim
Indeed, zombies probably can’t swim. Here’s a funny boat name that’s family-friendly and sure to get a chuckle out of most people—especially when The Walking Dead is playing on TV.
“Aquaholic” communicates an almost destructive love of the water, and it’s a funny way to name your houseboat. This is one of the most popular humorous boat names.
9. Seas The Day
Again, nautical wordplay is a very common way to name boats these days. “Seas The Day” is a great motto to live by—and also a wholesome, funny houseboat name.
10. She Got The House
The conversation goes like this: She got the house, now I live on the boat. It does play out like this sometimes—but most people can find the humor in this classic houseboat name.
How to Choose a Name for a Houseboat
Are there any real rules to naming a houseboat? Not really—you can name your boat whatever you want. Or you don’t have to name it at all! Generally speaking, the boating community is very forgiving, and they have a great sense of humor—so don’t be afraid to get experimental or have fun with it.
But if you just want to name your houseboat something significant, you can always name it after your spouse, friend, or favorite pet. Names of famous people, places, and things are also popular and perfectly acceptable.
Crafting nautical puns for boat names is an art—they even wrote a book about it. That said, anyone can do it. Also, it’s ok to copy another boat name that you saw somewhere, as long as you’re not in the same marina as the original.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson