Understanding the Boat Renaming Process

Boat Renaming

There is something liberating about owning a boat that is hard to match. When you are out on the water, all on your lonesome, feeling the wind at your back and the sun on your face, the stresses of land can seem like they are a thousand miles away. With that in mind, it is understandable that boating can attract those with an individualist streak. If you fit that mold, you undoubtedly want to do what you can to put your own stamp on your vessel, which can be done effectively by giving it a name that suits you. What happens, though, when you buy a previously owned boat that already has a name? Or, what if circumstances in your life have caused you to rethink the name that you originally assigned your boat? Well, there are some steps to the official boat renaming process that you will need to understand, especially if your boat happens to be registered with Transport Canada.

If you have spent any amount of time around boats or boaters, you have probably heard rumblings about the bad luck that can occur when someone changes the name of a boat. In truth, this superstition has some ancient roots that date all the way back to Greek mythology. It is said that Poseidon, the God of the Sea, maintains a thorough ledger of all the boats that are on the Earth’s waters. When you change the moniker on your vessel, you are disrupting his ledger, which opens you up to misfortune. The good news is, though, you can appease Poseidon by having a renaming ceremony, which typically involves your closest friends and a lot of champagne. Once you take care of updating the mythical gods, however, you may need to also update Transport Canada, which is the nation’s primary transportation agency for all things land and sea.

How Does Boat Renaming Work?

What goes into renaming your boat will depend largely on how it is documented. For most leisure craft–specifically, those with engines of 7.5 kW or more–a simple pleasure craft license (PCL) is required. When you change the name of a boat with a PCL, you will want to remove any trace of the previous name from your boat, but there are not any official forms to submit to Transport Canada.

Registered vessels, however, are a bit more complicated. When a boat is financed with a marine mortgage, engages in commercial activity, or travels abroad under the Canadian flag, it must be registered with Transport Canada. Because registered vessels are identified by completely unique names, you will need to submit a Form 13 – Application for Change of Name of vessel and/or Transfer of Port of Registry. Fortunately, we can help you do this online with just a few clicks.

Boat Renaming

Process Your Forms Online

Whether you need to change the name of your vessel or register it for the first time, you can use our online forms to file your documents in just minutes. To learn more, take a look around our site, or visit our detailed Frequently Asked Questions page.