8 September 2015

‘What’s in a Name?’ revisited: Tell us about the moniker on your stern

Seven years ago, we asked you to answer this question about your boat: “What’s in a Name?” We quickly found out that when it comes to the perfect moniker for your vessel, the answer is: plenty. So we’re asking again. What went into deciding the name you put on your transom?

The last time around, we received more than 100 stories, and our favorite was from Covert and Beth Murphy, who named their 1964 Chris-Craft Murhpy’s Law. Here’s their story:

“Many years ago my husband’s brother, Dix Murphy, bought a used 1964 Chris-Craft named Darbo and renamed the boat Murphy's Law, but why he tempted fate, no one knows. Combine the notorious “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” law with a bit of nautical lore that says it isn’t wise to change the name of a boat, and you have a recipe for trouble. Sure enough, one summer the renamed boat sank in Donner Lake (Calif.).

Fortunately, Murphy’s Law was saved and still wends its way around Lake Tahoe.

Dix died in 1994 and my husband inherited the boat. In spring 2000, he did a lot of work on it and decided that it was time to redo the lettering of Murphy's Law on the stern. By then, the infamous name had become beloved by the family. The two of us selected bright white classic lettering and had it professionally done at a local sign shop. When the proofs were ready, we approved the letters and together we applied them, making sure they were perfect. So pleased with the effect, we admired how wonderful the boat looked, all spiffed up, and we took several pictures.

In June, we launched the boat on Lake Tahoe and enjoyed cruising around. Two months later, in August, my husband’s mother, Midge, died. On the day of her funeral, I showed some recent photos to our son, who had come home to be with the family. As we looked at pictures of the boat, I noticed that the name on the stern was misspelled as Murhpy’s Law! How we missed it all that time is a mystery, and it's such a good cosmic joke that we have left it that way. Quite frankly, I think that once Midge got to Heaven, she and Dix plotted the whole thing!”

So “What’s in a Name”? Tell us your story and we may feature it in an upcoming edition of the Hagerty Current.

4 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Chris Holmes Hancock, Me September 15, 2015 at 13:08
    My cabin cruiser is named, after my 2 favorite things , Building models, and firefighting. Its name is Sprue Chief. , Sprue is the plastic runners that hold model parts together when you open the box, Chief, because I am the fire Chief for my town. I've been building models since I was a kid, and firefighting since 1992.
  • 2
    John Macdonald Tampa Fl September 15, 2015 at 14:58
    Own 1946 Garwood Coomodore named "Gar Gantua"
  • 3
    Chris Holmes Hancock, Me September 15, 2015 at 11:28
    My cabin cruiser is named, after my 2 favorite things , Building models, and firefighting. Its name is Sprue Chief. , Sprue is the plastic runners that hold model parts together when you open the box, Chief, because I am the fire Chief for my town. I've been building models since I was a kid, and firefighting since 1992.
  • 4
    John Raschi Wilbraham Ma. September 17, 2015 at 12:19
    My 41 year old classic 23' Seacraft TsunamiI is named King Temper. I did a total restoration to it from the ground up,and it's now basically a brand new boat.It took three years of hard work,and I don't regret a minute of it. It always draws a crowd at the launch ramp,and people can't believe that it's forty five years The admiration and thumbs up from other boaters is almost embarrassing,but have to admit that I like hearing them. When it came time to give it a name,I,(and several friends) tossed around all kinds of names yet none felt right. We fish almost exclusively for King salmon,so we thought about all kinds of names related to salmon,but just couldn't come up with anything. During the restoration there were several four letter words screamed out,and several tools thrown due to the temper tantrums that me and a friend had.You might say we are both type a guys with tempers quick to flare. One particular day at the launch when the wind was howling we were having some difficulty getting the boat to load on the trailer correctly.My temper got the best of me and I started with a stream of four letter words. That's when a random person watching this fiasco said to me "Wow! you have the king of all tempers" So,that was it,out of the blue,an unknown person gave me the name of the boat I named the boat "KING TEMPER" It's fitting as I and my friend who helped with the restore also has a bad temper.We also fish for king salmon,so the name king temper fits perfectly.

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