Boat Names (374)

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Latest additions to the list

18.02.21  -  3338 added
11.03.21  -   2696 added
12.03.21  -   1711 added
26.03.21  -   1999 : 2100 : 2448 : 2487 : 2804 :3009 added
07.05.21  -   2967 amended
03.08.21  -   3741 : 3813 added.   3757 amended.     2604 : 2663 : 3599 : 3650 : 3697 : 3707 : 3796 : 3812 – pictures added
06.08.21  -   1972 added
30.09.21  -   3666 added
09.01.22  -   3629 picture added : 3814 added
04.04.22  -   3560 : 3631 added

#Boat NameOriginal Owners(s) / CrewEtymology
[Person supplying information]
Chris Rathbone
Everyone thought that she was a New Potato design but in fact she was an NSM2. The name came from a character in a musical called “A Little Night Music"
[Chris Rathbone]
Bad Attitude
Tim Bird
Tim named the boat after a Meetloaf album that he liked at the time.
[Tim Bird]
W & W Wright
The design is an 'Uptown girl' so the name speaks for itself
[Jeremy Deacon]
Diamond Smiles
Ian Holt
Diamond Smiles was a song on a Boom Town Rats album.
[Broz (via Forum) / Mike Liggett]
White Whale
Phil King
White Whale arose because of the shock of seeing a gleaming white lump trestled up on the concrete in the Easter sunshine of Spud's yard. There was a distinct sense of betrayal about the way the boat was made (melamine coated ply painted white). However it was meant to be a functional racing boat, not a piece of furniture. Phil joked that it looked like a white whale, and that seemed a good enough name. Phil hoped it would be suitably ironic for a fast boat.
[Phil King]
J. Docherty

[1988 Year Book]
Re-named by:-
N. Brinn
In J. R. R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' there is a wizard called Gandalf and he has many nick-names. One of these is 'Mithrandir'.  In the story, Sindarin is the everyday language of Elves and in this language 'Mithrandir' means grey pilgrim.
The boat was grey.

[Chris Martin]
Who's a Pretty Boy
Alan Jackson
The hull ended up being painted a soft pink. You can't turn up on the start line with a pink boat called Bruce.
[Alan Jackson]
Re-named by:-
M. Candelas
Mark's first Merlin but fancied neither the name nor colour (re-painted pale blue) and being half Spanish thought 'Bandolero', (Spanish for Highwayman) sounded good. A namesake of Mark was, Luis Candelas, Spain's most notorious highwayman (the Spanish 'Dick Turpin').
[M Candelas]
Out of the Blue
Brian Drake
Out of the Blue was named after the immensely successful album by the Electric Light Orchestra.
[Graham Willianson]
Dick Batt
The bat reference is obvious - Dangermouse was a popular children’s cartoon in the mid 80’s, could be a connection.
[Chris Martin]
The Refrigerator
Peter Scott
This was sister ship to the 'White Whale' (3389) so the word play was on the white goods angle. At the same time there was an American Footballer of some girth (and speed) named William Perry whose nickname was 'The Refrigerator' - for some reason this was Peter's nickname in the hockey team for which he played!! ( Also known as the bulk of the team!!)
[Peter Scott]
No limits
Steve Leney
When buildiging the boat, Steve's objective was to view only 7 planks for the hull and use the 8th plank to create a complete half barrel in planks. In order to do this the design had to be based on the maximum exposed limit, a phrase in the rule book at the time which hounded Steve.
[Steve Leney]
Original name:-
Shaun Frohlich

Rising Tsar
Renamed by:-
Graham Williamson & Nick Yeoman
Red was the preferred colour of the weaponry for this duo, and the name is a play on the russian link, and their climb towards stardom and the 1993 nationals which they lost on countback.
[Graham Willianson]
Charge of the Light Brigade
Mike Lennon (& Kevin Driver)
At a time when the perceived wisdom was that 24 stone was needed for successful Merlin sailing, Mike & Kevin weighed in at around 19 stone, unshaven, dressed and wet! Hence the allusion to the famous attack by lightly armed soldiers taking on the heavy guns.
[Graham Willianson]
Love Over Gold
Bruce Mager
Named after album by Dire Straits
[Patricia James]
Simple Minds
Phil Emery
Phil was sailing with David Hawkins so no explanation needed!
[Phil Emery]
Colin Brockbank
A reference to Colin's ancestry.
[Colin Brockbank]
Armed Forces
J Lewis
A well known album by Elvis Costello.
[Chris Martin]
Deep Thought
Chris Rathbone
The design was a 42 and the name came courtesy of the Taylor's and the Blake's via the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (Chris thinks it was mainly Debbie's idea.) The current colour isn’t what Chris envisaged as “a highly intelligent shade of blue”- which was a darker blue than the current shade.
[Chris Rathbone]
About time
Alan Jackson
A boat builder building his own boat, plus a long lead time.
[Alan Jackson]
G. O''Neil

[Mike Liggett]
Smoke Over Water
Re-named by:-

[Mike Liggett]
Smoke on the Water
Re-named by:-
Peter Walker
A song on the Deep Purple album Machine Head (1972). The inspiration was from a major fire at the casino in Montreux with the smoke spreading over Lake Geneva. The group were in Montreux for the recording.
[Mike Liggett]
John Cooper
Name chosen by John's family with reference to an incident in Chaucer's Millers Tales, when a character stuck his bum out of a window and farted like a hunderclappe. (The boat is a Canterbury Tales)
[John Cooper]
Twice Shy
Alan Warren
Named as a follow-on to Once Bitten (3355) - a boat already owned by the Warren family
[William Warren]
Roaring Forties
George Dalby
The boat is a Phil Morrison '42' design and George was in his 40's when he built it.
[Andy Dalby]
Phil King
Named after the Annie Lennox album, my wife's haircuts (also in the style of Annie Lennox) and the perceived attitude needed to win a championship.
[Phil King]
Tony Johnson
Tony's daughter, Louise, had just started sailing when she went to see the musical 'Cats'. This was followed by a school poem project and the subject was 'Skimbleshanks' the railway cat.
[Tony Johnson]
Tales of Marco Polo
Geoffrey Cox
The boat was commissioned by Geoffrey Cox when the issue of new Merlin numbers was approaching those of his childhood Cadet - Marco Polo CK 3476.
Geoff took a keen interest in the appearance of the boat during construction and spent much time making sure that it was going to be a really beautiful boat.

[Kieron Mason]
Rebel Yell
Rob Radbourne
The boat was built by Rob using the first Jon Turner foam sandwich shell which had come out a bit heavy for Jon to use.  It was therefore ideal for using Rob's idea of using a spaceframe to take the loads. The half foredeck was to save weight as it didn't need a full one for stiffness.

The name derived from a variety of sources - a song by Billy Idol - the design being a bit rebellious (the space frame) and the rebell yell ( yee-haw) Rob & his son Jay tended to do when screaming off on a planing reach.
[Rob Radbourne]
The Quickenings
John Harris
Believed to be a reference to the film Highlander. The lead cast member of the television series, Adrian Paul, explained, "The Quickening is the receiving of all the power and knowledge another immortal has obtained throughout his/her life. It is like the receiving of a sacrament or a massive orgasm".
[Chris Martin / Mike Liggett]
Wing and a Prayer
Peter Scott
This was a brand new Phil Morrison design that (hopefully) would be a good weight carrier. (See 3403) It was and this was the 'prayer' element of the name. When the boat was first launched it was rigged with a wing mast that was the same section as used on the Tornado catamaran - a failed experiment - but gave the 'wing' element to the name The design became known as 'Thin Ice'.
[Peter Scott]
Seren Y Mor
H. & W. A. Wright 
Henry & Walter, who sailed at Bala, had a long tradition of giving their boats welsh names. Seren Y mor is welsh for Sea star.
[Chris Martin]
Re-named by:-
Steve Essex
Possibly a reference to the film “The Mask”
[Chris Martin]
Wizard of Odd
Julian Parry
play of the epic "Wizard of Oz". This was an 'odd' boat - a Thin Ice design but without a thwart - which was unusual for a Rowsell boat.
[Julian Parry]
Jamie Seymour
Named by Jamie after an elbow move in the martial art of Tomari-te.
[Graham Willianson]
Alan Markham
Alan had previous boats (not Merlins) called 'Shambles' (GP14) and 'Shammozle' (Moth). The boat name continued the 'Sh...' theme with the word having a meaning of "having a party or having a ball". Furthermore, the family of Sue (his wife & crew) were fans of folk dancing.
[Alan Markham]
Sterling Crisis
Will Rainey
18 years on from The Red Baron (2865), on the 16th September 1992 (Black Wednesday), as Britain saw interest rates hit 15% before deciding to leave the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), Will thought - sod it - it is time for a new boat. So Sterling Crisis it was.
[Will Rainey]
Smarty Pants
Patrick Blake
When Patrick came to order this boat, a Canterbury Tales or Let it Ride seemed to be the option. However, he wanted something different. He went to Laurie Smart and they studied the drawing of the current boats to come up with a new derivative that they considered would beat all. Most of the ideas came from Laurie so 'Smart Pants' as in 'how clever' but there could be another interpretation. (see 3620)
[Patrick Blake]
Red Dragon
Phil Emery
This was a book that was the prequel to Silence of the Lambs
[Phil Emery]
Dick Batt
Again, the bat bit is easy, maybe Dick enjoyed this early 90’s board game?
Heaven Sent
Alasdair Evans
Andrew Mills advises that the story he had about Heaven Sent came from Judith Massey and corroborated by Rob O'Toole, who sailed the boat in her 1st championships.
Alasdair Evans came into a pretty large inheritance and went to Jon Turner, who was turning out foam sandwich CT's at the time for somewhere north of £13,000. He requested him to design and build the best Merlin he could, money no object. The bill was quite large, and the boat was known colloquially as"Evans spent"

[Andrew Mills]
Flying Cloud
Peter Chester
It is understood that the name relates to the clipper ship that set the world's sailing record for the fastest passage between New York and San Francisco. The ship held this record for over 100 years.
It follows on the theme from a previous boat (3483 - Cloud 9)

[Peter Male]
Dick Batt
Following the theme from his previous boats - another species of bat.
[Chris Martin]
Sticky Fingers
Re-named by:-
Nick "Boris" Heginbotham

[Chris Martin]
Slap & Tickle
Phil & Paula Mason
Named after a track on the 1979 'Cool For Cats' album by Squeeze. Musical taste and influence had moved onto a retro stage. The new boat coincided with getting engaged in 1994. The track was a ballad about a couple getting together. It seemed to just fit in a light hearted way if not romantically ... and included the lyric ... "Never chew a pickle with a little Slap Tickle!"
[Phil & Paula Mason]
Shooting Tsar
Graham Williamson & Nick Yeoman
A follow on from Rising Tsar (3408) - continuing the red/Russian theme and the next step along the way.
[Graham Willianson]
Smoked Salmon
Duncan Salmon
Rather self indulgently, named after its eponymous first owner.
[Duncan Salmon]
Do you have more information to add?
We would love to hear it so that the database keeps growing.
To add the thinking behind your boat name - amend an entry - add a photograph - suggest website links - correct a typo please email:- [email protected]


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