What’s The Deeper Story Behind Her Name?


Emily and her brothers

In yesterdays post about Lily and her boat named for her, another comment was posted about “Emily” a wonderful U22 boat named after Jim Miller’s lost child at age 2. What a powerful statement. And joy of positivity to be able and go out with Emily on sunset cruises and a wonderful reminder of the love and warmth that wood boats embody.


It made me think, we all see boats names and just think someone had a name in mind. Aquaholic.. etc. but some names have deep deep stories, and thought it might be nice to have some of those stories here.

My Grandmother who had just passed away at 105 years old. Told be to do something with the money she left us all. Little did I know at the time, she would inspire Woody Boater. 

So, if you want to comment your story, great, OR if you want it blown out into a more complete story, please share with me and we will clean up the photos and butcher your spelling. You can email me at Matt@WoodyBoater.com I am sure we would love to read more. Thanks Wudzgud for the Izgud idea

This one still cracks me up. It was a typo done by the lettering guy and stuck! Sometimes a mistake can be an inspiration and gives the boat a new life. 

Here is the first story we did on the topic back in 2014




39 replies
  1. Syd
    Syd says:

    My 1931 Fay Bow outboard, I had her done but no name yet but dad had some copper letters that I thought would be cool to use. So I made a list of the letters and how many of each. Took the list in to the office there was 4 of us. I told them that I needed a name made from these letters and had to be able to make it twice one for each side. The name Echo worked. Something that makes a comeback.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Though Band-Aids is not a woody she is considered a late classic and now has 4 stories to her name.

    1) PG version: The former owner and long time friend was an ace mechanic and could fix anything with a Band-Aid. (a MacGyver of sorts)

    2) R rated version and the real reason for the name: His wife had protruding (well lets just say it did not have to be chilly for the headlights to be on) so she wore Band-Aids under her blouses most of the time.

    3) Why we kept the name: The Boatress/Admiral, Sandi, has an sister who is 13 months older than herself. In their high school years they were inseparable and with the maiden name Johnson kids started calling them Band-Aids since they were Johnson and Johnson.

    4) More of a side note: We have friends that play at one of our favorite watering holes under the name The Cavemen. When we are there I assist by carrying equipment, getting them drinks, passing around the tip jar, and whatever else they may be in need of, thus we are Band-Aids of a different sort.

  3. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    “In the Mood”

    In the early 1940’s at age 16 my father went to New York Military Academy on a music scholarship [he played the trumpet] so he always loved big band music and especially Glenn Miller. He also loved boating so when we were kids we cruised the great lakes in a 1951 31′ Chris-Craft Express.

    We lost him many years ago but with the legacy of Glenn Miller and wood Chris-Craft’s the name for our 1941 Custom was a pretty easy pick.

  4. Mahogany55
    Mahogany55 says:


    I had some brownie-points to make up from the restoration. And in no way is it supposed to sound like Mistress……..!

  5. John
    John says:

    I saw Emily, met Jim and learned of his daughter’s story a couple years ago at the Lake Geneva show. My boat’s name also has a connection to a deceased relative and more broadly to my family’s heritage. I bought my Lyman in 1994, about a year after my paternal grandfather had passed away. I’d always known that he’d been born in County Mayo in Ireland, but some months after buying the boat and going over possible possible names, I was talking about my grandfather with my grandmother and she mentioned Kilmeena, the town land (basically what we’d call a township) in which my grandpa had been born and raised. As soon as I saw the name written down I knew that it was the right one for my boat. So, she’s been Kilmeena ever since, even during 18 years she languished waiting for time and resources to allow for her restoration. I got her finished and back in the water in 2018 and she quickly became a member of the family.

  6. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    I grew up with five brothers, four older one younger, our mom thought the world revolved around us and she treated our friends as her on. Some called her Ms. Dorothy but her true friends call her Ms. Dot. She passed in 1999, about the same time I purchased my boat. Even though I never told anyone back then, I always knew what her name would be.

  7. Tommy
    Tommy says:

    When aging whisky or beer in a barrel, the part that evaporates is called…… We think perfect for a 1940 barrel back.

  8. Ken
    Ken says:

    My launch came with name R & H saving me the naming task… The Dr. who bought the boat on July 17,1911 ( I have the bill of sale) had two boys aged 9 and 11 Ralston and Harry!

  9. Brian
    Brian says:

    When I bought my 1956 sea skiff it came with the name Na Ga Mo Qua, I figured it was a combination of family names or something. Before changing the name I did a quick internet search and found it meant Whistling Girl and was maned after photographer Lucy Burrows Morley who was named that by a Chippewa Indian chief. I was able to contact the family and share updated boat photos with them. Needless to say the name stayed and has become quite a conversation piece.

  10. Howard Lehman
    Howard Lehman says:

    My parents were both teachers, teaching during the regular school year of course, but the 8 week summer school session as well. They bought an early 50’s Chris Craft 24′ Express Cruiser that they named “Recess”. The name seemed very appropriate. I have a 1960 17′ CC Sportsman that I hope to begin it’s restoration this Fall. I plan to name it “Ryan” or “Patriot” after our youngest son, an Army infantryman who served in Afghanistan. He died almost 3 years ago. The name “Patriot” would be a subtle yet fitting tribute to him, but with great meaning to us. The name “Ryan” might still be too hard for us to see like that. I wish only peace and comfort to others who have experienced similar sadness.

  11. Charlie Berry
    Charlie Berry says:

    My 19′ Custom named ‘WHIZ’ following the name of my Big Boat ‘SHAZAM’ . They said I would be Captain Marvel if I could dock that big boat, thus ‘SHAZAM’ Captain Marvel in civilian life was Billy Batson, cub reported for radio station WHIZ’. Thus Captain Marvel/SHAZAM, Billy Batson WHIZ. If anybody cares!!

    • MikeM
      MikeM says:

      The truth is this boat was shipped from the factory with that name on the back…so I went with it.

  12. David Hughes
    David Hughes says:

    My recently purchased (and nameless) 1959 Shepherd 22′ Convertible with a 331 Chrysler Marine hemi in her was named by a friend when I asked him what the top pop song in 1959 was? Being a sophisticated audiophile he,had the answer in less than 10 seconds; “Lonely Boy” by Canadian singer Paul Anka. It seemed fitting that a boat built in Canada should be named after a song written by a Canadian and so, with a slight nautical twist to the name she is now “Lonely Buoy”.

  13. Briant
    Briant says:

    Purchased a boat that never had a name. Asked the kiddos what we should name her.


    The 4 y/o…”ZOOMER”

    Yeah, I took the easy way out on that one…

  14. Chad
    Chad says:

    Naming a boat after a special woman in your life is always appropriate, and fitting.

    R.I.P. Sweet Emily.

  15. Dean
    Dean says:

    I would be interested to hear if any of the Lake Hopatcong gang know the history behind my 1929 Chris Craft named HOBO?

  16. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    I spent a lot of late nights in the garage when we first got our woody. One night after a long day I was working under the instrument panel and dosed off on the front seat. My wife found me out there at about 2am and woke me by asking if I was going to come to bed or spend the night with my mistress. Hence the name. Just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary so it all turned out well. I always say you won’t get far in this hobby without a supportive spouse.

  17. Randy
    Randy says:

    This once decrepit little 1955 AristoCraft Torpedo was about to be cut-up and burned when I told the owner/friend that I would save her. Thus the name “SavinGrace”.

  18. Mike D
    Mike D says:

    My childhood friends father named their boat “Isle of View”. I’m always on the lookout for another boat with that name but have not seen one in 60 years.

  19. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    When I bought my current Century Coronado, it occurred to me it was out fourth Century over the years.
    My sons convinced me that an appropriate name should be…

  20. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    “Thisuldu” – the name my father gave his first boat, a 1954 21′ Bryant Voyager, bought when I was three months old. He suggested the name be revived when I bought our 1965 38′ Tollycraft. 🙂

  21. Ray and Judy
    Ray and Judy says:

    We named our 38 ft 1929 “all brass” Elco cruiser “KaRaT”, as in the sun, the brass shines like 24 karat gold. More importantly, our kid’s names are Kristen and Ryan and Trevor, and they were born in that order.

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