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

Motorboat & Yachting - - Contents -

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

Tubbs and Crock­ett as seen through Nick’s rose-tinted Avi­a­tors

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