Naming the Schooner

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February 22, 2016

It’s been cold so not too much has progressed, other than ordering planking lumber from Sunes Do It Best lumberyard, and ordering some lead ballast and fuel tanks. Also, I’m starting to restore an old 41″ teak ship’s wheel. It weighs 62 pounds and is quite an example of traditional woodworking.

There have been occasional inquiries as to the name of the new ship, so I thought I’d write about that. We figured that the name should reflect our home area here in the Great Lakes. “Drummond Island” has lots of letters and is perhaps too specific for recognition. “Michigan” doesn’t necessarily conjure up a sailing vision, but we wouldn’t have to spell it out for dockmasters and bridge tenders. It needed to be shorter and to the point. Some of the best ship names in the past have been two-part names including a place name and a valuable thing such as Star of India, Rose of Devon, African Queen, and Belle of Louisville, to name but a few.

“Huron” for part of it sounded good; now what to combine it with? Rose, Star, Queen (or Quean), Mistress or Swift all had their merits, but an additional meaning formed by the initials finally suggested itself. Not “Jewel of the Huron” (too long)but “Huron Jewel” – “H” for my name and “J” for Julie struck an immediate chord and we never looked back. It will balance well across the transom (5 letters on each side) and won’t need much explaining over the radio. If we need a symbol to put in small spaces, either “HJ” or a jewel shape will work well.

A big, long lasting boat needs a big name, and it has always been considered bad luck to change vessel’s name, such as when the Victory Chimes became Domino Effect and they had all that trouble, finally selling the boat and changing the name back, so we had to get it right the first time.

Best of all, it symbolizes our partnership in life and this project.

The ship's wheel in the process of being restored.
The ship’s wheel in the process of being restored.

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