What’s in a Name?


Our 42 foot Whitby had the name of Enterprise.  This is an honorable name, one used on tall ships and battle ships alike.  It even reminds us of Captain Kirk and the phrase “To go where no man has gone before.”  But our name needed to have meaning for us and Enterprise was not what we had in mind.

EnterpriseOur requirements for the name is it had be female name with only one or two syllables.  The name should not be a description like “Knotty Boat” (too corny) or have an element like “Comet” (bad luck, lightening might strike).  Then Kelly came up with the perfect name of Trini.  It was his late mother’s nickname and she had always encouraged Kelly’s dreams of voyaging to distant lands.

We ordered the vinyl letters and waited about 3 weeks to apply the name.  What we waited for was a high tide of 6 inches so we could turn the vessel around.  We’re in a shallow marina (that desperately needs dredging) and Trini has a 5 foot draft.  Normally she hovers about a inch over the silty bottom.

backed up
Stern backed up to the dock

Next was to heat and scrape off the old letters.

take off letters
Using a heat gun speeds up the process


After the letters were removed, we discovered a problem.

Letter still visable
Enterprise wasn’t giving up her name

Enterprise was still visible on the stern.  The gel coat around the letters wore down leaving a ghostly image of Enterprise behind.  It felt like embossed letters.  The remedy?  We painted the stern.

repaint stern
A fresh coat of paint creates a new canvas for a new name

Next was to measure the stern and place the vinyl letters with tape.

New name
Blue painters tape doesn’t leave a sticky residue

Removed the backing and carefully apply the letters with no wrinkles.  This is slow work.

apply new name
Reading the instructions on how to apply the letter was helpful

Late in that morning, Trini had her name in place.  Then out of no where we hear, “You got to have a boat christening party for good luck!” from our 80 year old dock-mate Jack.  We agreed, went to the store bought some sparkling wine and cider.

all done

The boat was christened with a few dock-mates sharing in the festivities while Jack had words of praise to Neptune to keep Trini safe in his waters.

So what is in a name?  For us, it gives the vessel personality and makes her part of our family.

well wishers more well wishers