Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

We’ve made an offer on a Pearson 424 sailboat. This image is pilfered from’s website.

We Made an Offer on a Sailboat!

It feels a little premature to share this news—we made an offer on this sailboat, this Pearson 424 ketch. Making an offer on a boat is a bit like making an offer on a house.  You make the offer, but you can’t really feel like you can say you bought the house until it goes through inspection. Everything could be fine, in line with the contingent offer, made and excepted as such, usually after a counter-offer from the seller. Or, upon closer inspection, you may find something that’s only worth completing the sale if you renegotiate. Maybe you can’t agree on the renegotiation. Or maybe you find out something scary enough to just walk away.

Contest: Name Our Next Boat

If we do buy this sailboat, we need to decide on its name when we sign the sale paperwork. We know we won’t keep its current name. So, even though we’re not sure this will be our sailboat, we need to be ready with a name for it. We’d love your help.

First, Some Background . . . [or, just scroll down for the contest] 
Initially, We Kinda Sucked at Naming

Our First Boat: No Name

This isn’t our first boat, but our favorite place near Portland, where we took both our first, unnamed boat
and m/v Serendipity.

Our first boat, a motorboat, came to us as a gift from Wayne’s dad. The boat had no name anywhere on her. We were so busy enjoying her, we never got around to naming her. Instead, we referred to her by her make—The Fiberform. To this day, I feel kinda embarrassed about it. She deserved better. We were sorry to sell her when we moved to from Portland Oregon metro area to Everett Washington. After moving, we wish we’d moved her with us.

Our Second Boat: We Never Renamed It

Our 26-foot O’Day anchored off Copeland Islands, Desolation Sound, Canada.

We’d already decided we wanted to go cruising on a bigger sailboat when Wayne bought a sailboat off Craigslist in Everett, a 26-foot O’Day named C & H. We don’t know why that was her name. Wayne joked about naming her Trainer because he bought her for me to learn how to sail. (I didn’t.) Nor did we own her long—about a year. Wayne worked so much overtime, we didn’t sail her much. We got in a lovely 3-week good-bye sail into the San Juans and British Columbia’s Desolation Sound. We never did rename her.

Our Third Boat: We Didn’t Want to Reinvent the Wheel

s/v Journey on the way to the French Marquesas, from Galapagos.

We bought our 36 1/2-foot Pearson 365 sailboat, s/v Journey, in St. Lucia to cruise five years in the tropics, cross the Pacific and sell in Australia. She came with the name. Her former owner, Ned, flew out to St. Lucia to spend the weekend with Wayne aboard Journey. Considering our plans, we decided her name fit. We felt keeping her name was good karma, respectful of Ned’s time with her and our appreciation of his willingness to share his knowledge about her. We sold Journey, as planned, in Australia.

Our Last Boat: We Didn’t Have a Choice & the Name Came Naturally

Our last boat: m/v Serendipity in the prettiest place we took her: Princess Louisa Inlet, Canada.

Our last boat, a 37-foot Puget Trawler, also came to us as a gift at a time when we needed it most. After selling Journey in Australia, we returned to the US and found ourselves homeless, unemployed and depressed. Blogging about our woes, out of the blue, my friends and surrogate parents, Larry and Nancy offered us their boat as a transition. They carried forward the Puget Trawler’s name to their next boat and told us we needed to rename the boat. The trawler provided us with a home and a sense of purpose, so we named her m/v Serendipity. We sold Serendipity to Dash and Karrie, who plan to continue her adventures and care, and are keeping her name.

Now: Help Us Name This Boat
We sold Serendipity to begin our next adventure—returning to the West Indies. We needed a sailboat for that. This time, we wanted a boat better suited to hosting friends and family—a boat with two staterooms where we could close our respective doors at night. Our offer on a larger version of s/v Journey just got accepted. This boat, a 1978 42-foot Pearson 424 bears a woman’s name that bears no significance to us. She’s a fixer, so the sale is not a done deal. We’re not sure if there will be showstoppers in inspection, haulout, or in her sea trial. But if the sale does go through, we’ll need a new name for our title and registration paperwork by December 14, 2020.

What Makes A Great Boat Name?
We have some biases about what makes a great boat name (and what doesn’t).

  1. Evocative, inspirational and without “baggage”
    We don’t want to feel like something off a motivational poster, but we would like a name that inspires us and others who do more than dream. The name Imagine conjures up lovely fill-in-the-blank images, but we’ve seen a couple of boats bearing that name racked up on the rocks. We made an offer remotely on a boat named s/v Joy, when we discovered through an inspection how neglected she’d become, tainting a name we’d otherwise embrace. Go or Just Go are contenders.
  2. Easy to spell and easily understood over VHF radio
    Not only do we want the name to be easy to spell, but we also don’t want to use a homophone. For example, Why Knot is a fun double-entendre boat name, but when you hear it over the radio, you don’t know if it’s Why Knot or Why Not. We’ve joked about calling ourselves real bare boaters because we captain our own boat—at least that’s one reason to call ourselves that. But if we called our boat “Bare Boaters,” we believe folks would puzzle over whether to spell it as “bear” or “bare.”
  3. Positive and uncringeworthy for an insurer
    One ad guy I know wrung his hands over a client’s oxymoron request, “Make it provocative but offend no one,” but still . . . No alcohol or drinking-related names, not even Painkiller, Tequila Sunrise or It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere. No disaster names, like Albatross, or names that imply any form of boating incompetence (even if the latter is indicative of my lack of ability).
  4. Not too long
    We never got around to painting Serendipity‘s name on her. One reason is we couldn’t agree on where to put it. Another is we sold Serendipity before giving her a much-needed exterior paint job and it made sense to put her name up after getting painted. Wayne only half-toyed with calling her Bob, so we didn’t need to write or paint many letters. Did the length of Serendipity‘s name make us reluctant to make the effort to put her name up? Perhaps.
  5. Unique
    We ran into challenges at marinas who got confused when more than one Journey at a time called them to reserve a spot. I thought Serendipity was a unique name—until I saw two boats with that name in our same row at Jantzen Bay Marina in Portland, Oregon.
  6. Fits us, the boat, and our plans
    When we saw One Lucky Punch anchored in Manatee Pocket. We couldn’t help but wonder about the story behind the name. We love names that imply a story, invite curiosity, conversation, amuse. One Lucky Punch isn’t our story, but we’d love a name that is, fits us and our boat. COVID Plan #27 might be our story, but we all look forward to that inspiration to being part of our past, not our future. Chasing summer, exploring, enjoying nature, and friends drive us.
  7. Appealing for resale
    The impetus for naming our likely boat-to-be: it currently bears a woman’s name which means nothing to us, nor is it likely to for a future owner. While we respect every boat buyer’s need to make their own decision on their boat’s name, we prefer a name more likely to provide an appealing sense of legacy as much as Journey did for us and Serendipity did for Dash and  Karrie.

What’s the Winning Prize?
That depends on who wins and what they want. Options:
  1. $100 West Marine gift certificate
  2. A feature story on you in
  3. $100 donated to your favorite non-profit
  4. Our undying gratitude and your bragging rights as an outstanding namer of things
  5. Open to other reasonable alternative suggestions

How to Enter
Submit your name either in the comments on this blog or in the Facebook post on this or by emailing us at svJourney365 at gmail by December 1, 2020.

How Will We Pick the Winner?
We may do a poll on what we feel are the top names, mostly based on our criteria of what makes a great boat name and what feels right. Or, we might not. Ultimately, this is our boat; we reserve the right to be totally unfair, illogical, and biased in our final choice of the winning name. If the sale on the boat we have our offer on goes awry, all bets are off and this contest is canceled.

Submit names by midnight, December 1st, 2020, Eastern Standard Time. If you miss that deadline and still wow us with a name before we sign our paperwork, you could still win. 

Location Location

At this moment, we are in Ft. Pierce, Florida. The boat we’ve placed our offer on is in Melbourne, Florida, N28 07.364 W080 37.776, and hour’s drive or a 45nm sail from Ft. Pierce.