Part of the fun of owning a Manitou pontoon is choosing a name for your boat. There is a lot of tradition behind naming a boat. At one time it was customary, and considered good luck, to name a new boat before it touched the water. This is the origin of the familiar christening ceremony, where a bottle of champagne is smashed on the bow and the ship’s name is proclaimed before it slides out of the dry dock and into the harbor.
More than likely, your new boat was water-tested by either the manufacturer or the dealer, so that chance is gone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t name your pontoon and pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly to note the occasion. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your new Manitou pontoon boat.
Keep It Short
A good boat name should ideally be one or two words, and never more than three. It needs to fit on the back or side of the boat without looking silly, and it will also be the name you use to identify yourself on a VHF radio call. Try saying the name out loud as you would on the radio to make sure it’s easy to understand.
The boat name can be inspired by your profession or your passion. A musician might go with Perfect Pitch, a name that also works for a retired ball player. Doctors (Knot on Call) and attorneys (My Alibi and Bail Out) and firefighters (Flame Out) and educators (Teacher’s Pet) and carpenters (Nailed It) and even librarians (Book Worm) provide more examples.
Puns are Fun
Inject a little humor into your boat name. Because your boat is a Manitou pontoon, there are many ways to create a pun using Toon, such a Toonful, or Toon Me In, Loony Toon or Manitoon. A few other puny examples: Seas the Day, Nauti Girl, Squid Pro Quo, Happy Ours.
Naming a boat for the love of your life has been popular for centuries, hence Magnificent Martha or Lovely Linda. Other traditional names evoke a place or a state of mind, such as Memory Maker, Serenity, Grace, Freedom or Down Time.
Match the Boat
The name should match the boat. A Manitou LX model with V-Toon® technology and a pair of hot outboards on the transom could have a name that reflects its performance, such as Blew By You, Double Trouble, Zephyr or Seeing 60. Into watersports? Name your boat Tow Time. A luxurious Manitou XT model deserves a name like Liquid Asset or Plush Pontoon.
A name that reflects a favorite song, movie or cultural moment can be fun, but may also quickly go out of style or lose its relevance. No doubt every marina in the country now has a boat named Social Distancing, for example. Pirate fans may favor Black Pearl, and Margaritaville has become such a common boat name it’s almost cliché.
Renaming a Boat
Tradition holds that renaming a boat without proper ceremony will invoke the wrath of Neptune, who could curse your vessel with bad luck. Tradition also holds that you can avoid the jinx by following these steps:
- Remove every trace of the previous boat name.
- Perform some sort of ceremony wherein you alert Neptune or Poseidon or a mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans of the erasure of the previous boat name and ask permission to rename your craft.
- Make an offering to the four winds. Rum is a good choice, but champagne or beer is also acceptable. Pour a little overboard while facing north, east, south and west.
- Get the new name on the boat as soon as possible.
The easy way to display your boat name is with vinyl lettering. You can order custom boat lettering on line, or your Manitou dealer can probably provide the name of a local sign shop specializing in weather-proof lettering suitable for boats.
The tradition of naming a boat can be a lot of fun, even if you’re not especially interested in nautical customs and ceremony or concerned about hurting Neptune’s feelings. Naming your Manitou pontoon is an activity that can involve family and friends. It’s a great way to start making memories on the water. Feel free to share your boat’s name with the Manitou community by posting a picture at #manitoumoments.