For some reason, we don’t mind naming our boats – it’s part of the PCL registration process in Canada. Therefore, naming your pleasure craft must be done with some care so your boat can be identified in case of emergency. Along with the registration number, the boat’s name and port of entry must be displayed on the boat’s hull.
The naming of boats goes back a long time – to the ancient days of yore. While naming a boat might involve some superstition, it is also part of Canadian marine law. It’s not only idyllic but practical as well.
Naming a boat, when registering it, allows you to use an identifier when making a call during an emergency. After all, it’s difficult to find a boat based solely on its make and color when there are similar boats nearby. Saying that your boat has a red stripe and is made by a certain brand is not enough.
When naming your boat in Canada, you’ll have to have the name for registration. It’s not necessary to name your boat if all you want is a license. A registration or license will assign a number to the boat. While registering your boat makes you searchable internationally, licensing is only unique to Canada’s database of boats.
Remember that a license only keeps track of a boat’s license number. So, if you give your licensed boat a name, you don’t have to display it – just the license number. This identifier goes on each side of the boat’s bow above the water line.
Only the registry will keep track of our boats’ numbers and names. That is why, again, you have to make sure the name can be easily pronounced and understood. Make it catchy and short – something that almost anyone can say. So, if you want to finance your boat or take it into international waters, you’ll need to register it and give it a name for emergencies.
Understanding the Rules of Naming a Boat in Canada
So, if you’re going to register your boat, you have to decide on naming your pleasure craft.
What unique name do you want to christen it with? You may be able to think of something truly distinctive, even kind of quirky. However, there are a large number of registered boats in the world today. So, in some instances, you’ll only make the name unique if you stick a number at the end.
What the Government Says
You also have to remember that the Government of Canada has certain stipulations when naming a boat. Government officials state that your boat’s name:
- Must be original, even when it’s pronounced out loud.
- It can’t come with a registered trademark
- It can’t be confused with a distress signal, such as “Mayday.”
- It can feature acronyms for vessels, such as “FV” (fishing vessel) or “SV (sailing vessel).
- It shouldn’t feature an article like “La,” “Le,” “The,” or “L.” For instance, instead of using the name “The Merry Mariner,” you’ll need to call the boat “Merry Mariner.”
If you want to name your boat after a Canadian city or town or famous Canadian citizen, you’ll need to include an authorization letter (stating the name) with the application.
Getting the Name Right
To ensure you get the name right, choose a name that is;
- Up to 5 letters long (simple to pronounce)
- Phonetically simple, or does not need to be spelled out
- Related to your boating activities
It’s best when applying for a name that you have three names handy from which to choose. If one name can’t be used, another name may work. This will avoid delays in naming your boat and getting it registered. You can also reserve the name for 12 months if you’re not in a hurry to register your boat.
Giving your boat a name is the fun part associated with a PCL registration. If you have a boat with at least a 7.5 kW powered engine (10 horsepower), you’ll need to make naming your pleasure craft a top priority.
Name and Register Your Boat – Apply Online Now
To register your boat easily online, visit the Canadian Vessel Registry today. Familiarize yourself with the application process and you’ll be out on the water in no time.