By Brian Watkins
The tradition of naming boats has been around for thousands of years. It was once believed that a boat’s name was entered into the “Ledger of the Deep”, kept by Poseidon (god of the sea). It was proper respect to name and bless the boat before sailing Poseidon’s seas. In one form or another this tradition carries on today—it’s tough indeed to find a boat without a name.
In all the boats we’ve all seen cruising the waters or docked at marinas, most people have probably never given much thought to the names found everywhere.
Linda Sturgill was moved by this very phenomenon on a visit to Ft. Meyers, FL. She began asking boat owners about their boats’ names, and was surprised at what she found. “Some boats have a girl’s name on them, so you assume it’s a wife or love,” Sturgill says, “but I was surprised hearing the stories; they went much deeper than that.”
She spoke with the local newspaper in Ft. Meyers and got some ideas about writing a book about boats and their names. She then met with Henderson Publishing to pitch the book idea and found they were very interested. She’d already taken some pictures, and was told to keep it up. She ended up with thousands of pictures—some in Ft. Meyers and the rest when she got back to Smith Mountain Lake.
All this work would eventually culminate into the coffee table book entitled “Boats, Their Names and Why”. It’s a beautiful book with color pictures, and the cover even features a marina shot from Ft. Meyers.
You can pick up a copy of the book at local SML shops, or order it directly from the author at email@example.com.
You can also find the book at the following upcoming book signing events:
- July 10, Regetta at the Pointe
- August 19, Westlake Library
- September 18, SML Chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society boat show