Born again boater
NICK BURNHAM: I am now the proud owner of a Jeanneau Leader 805. But what to call her? I’m beginning to think this might be an even bigger decision than buying the thing
You join me at the time of writing, the proud owner of a Jeanneau Leader 805 that I’ve not actually seen since before I bought it. It’s an odd feeling – I’ve transferred a massive pile of cash to a broker 350 miles away and been assured that I now own the boat. But beyond a scanned emailed bill of sale, I don’t actually have anything to show for it (original title documentation is on its way, I’m promised).
Fortunately, I know the guys at Norfolk Yacht Agency and they’re an established broker, so I’m not overly concerned, although it is a little disquieting. I’ve arranged transport and the boat is due to show up here in about a fortnight’s time – I will feel better about it then.
In the meantime, I’m distracting myself by wondering what to call the new ship. My previous boat’s name, Smuggler’s Blues, came about via my long-held Miami Vice obsession. Very much a child of the ’80s, Miami Vice epitomises the era – great music, pastel colours, amazing fashion, fast cars, fast boats and beautiful women. It was the coolest TV series of the decade, arguably the coolest TV series ever. I loved it. I still love it. Smuggler’s Blues is the name of an epic episode, the one, in fact, that the 2006 Miami Vice movie was based on, and a song by the late Glenn Frey of the Eagles (who also appeared in the episode as a renegade pilot).
At the time, I had the idea of naming future boats after different episodes, the way that some people name their boats after James Bond movie titles. The trouble is, having picked the best one, none of the others quite stack up. ‘Out where the Buses don’t Run’ is probably my favourite episode of Miami Vice, but it’s a lousy boat name. ‘Missing Hours’ sort of works but was actually one of the worst episodes. ‘Yankee Dollar’? Maybe if it was an American boat…
That’s the thing, you see – a boat name has to work, even for people who don’t know what it means. People often name their boats based on a reference that works for them but is meaningless to the rest of the world. I knew a chap who called his boat Dog’s Twitcher as it was an in-joke amongst friends. Fine, till you have to call the Coastguard or a marina. Likewise, amusing names are often funny initially, but pale quickly. Far Canal or Hoof Hearted are hilarious the first time you hear them, but less so a year in.
Song names are a good source of inspiration, but can be a minefield. My favourite song when we’re on the boat is Jimmy Buffet’s Bama Breeze. As we leave the speed restrictions of Dart Harbour Authority and power on to the plane, racing back up the coast as the sun sets in our wake after a magical day afloat, there is no song that better suits the mood than Bama Breeze cranked up loud on the stereo. I had visions of Bama Breeze across the transom in teal with a palm tree motif. The trouble is that while it is a fabulous song, Jimmy Buffet wrote it about the destruction and devastation along the Florida coastline caused when a hurricane hit it. Maybe not such a great name for a boat then… Obsession – an absolutely perfect name for a boat owned by me. The problem there is about a million other people have already had the same idea. See also Carpe Diem, Hakuna Matata, Dolce Vita and Aquaholic (the latter the name of my Youtube channel).
And so, after days of indecision, I can finally reveal the new name of my lovely new (to me) boat. It is…drum roll please… Smuggler’s Blues 2! Or possibly Smuggler’s Blues II, I can’t quite decide.
This month’s video recommendation – search ‘Bama Breeze, Jimmy Buffet.’ Then sit back, close your eyes and imagine warm weather and calm seas
Naming your boat Dog’s Twitcher is all fun and games until you have to call the Coastguard