26 August 2015
Naming Our Boat Tickety Boo & Temper Tantrums
Our boat has had four names in it's lifetime - What a Day, Y-Knot, Moody Blue and now Tickety Boo. In some ways, it seems odd to change a boat's name. After all, you wouldn't adopt a child and change her name. You might change a baby's name, but imagine saying to a seven year old, "From this day forward, your new name is Esther. Start getting used to it! Now, sit up and eat your peas. They're good for you."
Our boat is even older - 28 year old to be exact. She wasn't too impressed by the fact that we changed her name - again. In fact, when we told her we were going to change her name, suddenly the windlass started acting up. I think it was her way of letting us know that she was struggling to embrace this whole name change nonsense. Even 28 year olds have been known to throw a temper tantrum from time to time.
But then, we sat down with her and told what her new name meant. Tickety boo is one of our favorite New Zealand expressions. We love living in New Zealand and wanted a little Kiwi touch on our new boat. We explained that it's a British expression meaning that "everything is all good". Which is exactly what you want on a boat - for everything to be all good.
After that, she got onboard with her new name. The windlass still doesn't work, but I think that's because she's a bit miffed about the color I chose for the slipcovers for our settees. To be honest, I don't like it either, but I don't go around breaking things on our boat. Let that be a warning to all of you buying fabric online. The color never quite matches what you saw on the computer.
I'm not sure what the true origin of tickety boo is - there are a lot of different stories out there. It could have come from the Hindi expression, "Tikai Babu", meaning "It's alright, Sir" or it could be a shortened version of "That's the ticket." Whatever the origin, it's got a nice meaning and it's fun to say. Go on, say it aloud - tickety boo. Kind of makes you smile, doesn't it?
When I tell people the name of our boat, I get one of two reactions - "Oh, how cute!" and "Wow, your husband must really love you to let you name your boat that." Considering most Americans have never heard of the expression, it certainly generates a lot of questions about what it means. When we picked up a mooring ball at Sunset Bay marina in Stuart, Florida, the guy that checked me in said he never asks people about their boat names, but that he just had to ask what the heck "Tickety Boo" was all about. Guaranteed conversation starter!
One of my tasks when we bought our boat in April, was to take off her old name and put on the new one. Here's what she looked like when she was called Moody Blue.
The font suited the name Moody Blue, but it was a bit too ornate for a name like Tickety Boo. It was actually a bit too ornate for us. We're casual kind of people and we needed a casual font to reflect that.
After getting checking out a few recommendations on where to get boat lettering and comparing prices, I went with DIY Lettering. You can type in your boat name and hailing port and check out what it looks like with various fonts and sizes. I ended up going with Americana, which is kind of ironic given we were naming our boat after a New Zealand expression.
Here's what it looks like on the bow.
And on the stern.
Taking off the old name and hailing port was pretty straightforward. I just got a plastic scraper, some water and scraped away. Everything came off pretty easily on the bow, but was a bit tougher on the stern, but eventually persistence won the day. A bit of sanding to buff out some of the shadow lettering left behind and we were good to go.
It was a bit trickier to put the new name and hailing port on. In exchange for $83.91, DIY Lettering sent me what are basically giant decals. You perch precariously on a ladder, tape the lettering on, make sure you're happy with how it is positioned, remove the liner underneath which sticks your lettering onto the boat. When you peel off the transfer tape on top, presto, you have a new boat name.
The next step is to stare at it despondently while you realize how many air bubbles there are which have made things a bit kitty-wampus. Oh well, too late. You're stuck with it. But not to worry, just remind yourself that everything will be tickety boo.
Have you ever named a boat, an RV or even your car? What name did you choose and why?
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