Can You Rename a Boat? Get the Answers

Can You Rename a Boat

Do you march to the beat of your own drummer? Do you appreciate being able to put your own stamp on things? If the answer is yes to both of those questions, then you probably are drawn to boating as a pastime. After all, when you have a boat of your own, you make your own rules when it comes to when you can head out on the lake. Whether you like to go out fishing in solitude, or you prefer loading up family and friends for a sunny day out on the water, boat ownership offers you a degree of freedom that is hard to match. Owning your vessel also allows you to choose the name that ends up emblazoned on its exterior. What happens, though, if you purchase a previously owned boat that someone else named? Or, what if certain circumstances in your life have made you reconsider the original moniker on your boat? You may find yourself curious: can you rename a boat? Well, at the National Vessel Registry Center, we can help answer that while also providing you with online forms to take care of updating your Transport Canada vessel registration.

If you are an avid boater, or you have an awareness of the culture that surrounds maritime life, you have probably heard more than once that it is bad luck to change the name of a boat. Do you know, however, the origins of this superstition? It happens to date back to the Ancient Greeks, as a matter of fact. Poseidon, the God of the Sea, was said to maintain a ledger of all the vessels on the waterways of the ancient world. Any changes that would disrupt said ledger were thought to bring about grave misfortune to those who dared alter his continuity. The good news is, if you do decide to change your boat’s name, you can hold a small ceremony to appease Poseidon. All you need to do so is a group of friends and family and a bottle of champagne–doesn’t sound bad, right? In the modern world, however, you will also have to process some paperwork, and that is where we can help.

Can You Rename a Boat? Short Answer: Yes

Technically, there is nothing stopping you from changing the name of a boat. The forms you will have to file with Transport Canada, however, will depend on how your boat is documented. If your boat is a leisure craft with an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more, it must carry a pleasure craft license (PCL). Boats with PCLs can have their names changed without processing an official form.

Registered boats, which are typically commercial vessels or boats that travel abroad under the Canadian flag, must process a Form 13 – Application for Change of Name of Vessel and/or Transfer of Port of Registry. The good news is, we have an online version of this form you can complete with just a few clicks.

Can You Rename a Boat

File Your Forms Online

Ready to change your boat’s name? Click the correct option on our navigation menu and you will be well on your way. If you would like to learn more, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.