The VHF test is clearly the first rule
and maybe the only serious one. You'll make an impression when people hear it. There really are some stupid boat names
out there. If all your fishing
friends have silly names it can become a contest you don't want to win.
Never pick a name while intoxcated. Wait until after you pick the name.
It should be something that isn't hard to pronounce when written or spell.
They don't have to mean anything to any one else but you.
Try not to use a name other boats in the area have. I was once out on a Memorial Day cruise
and there were 3 of us with the same name. I even sailed past one of them. It has not happened since. The VHF test failed for two days for all of us. Some good names van be too good.
Names made up of from parts
of the family's first names are very common. Using several letters from each of three daughters is exceptionally common with mega yachts. The names sound strange but mostly can pass the basic rules above.
Lawyers, doctors, and accountants like puns or silly names more than most other people. Silly names are best for sport fishing
boats. Adding art work that goes on the top sides with the silly name is appropraite too. I like art work added to the boat name a lot.
After three boat names
ours were related to departed pet names that could pass the VHF test. I name hard dinghys but not soft ones.
I like the name the baby book idea. You just have to avoid names like "Bob". The VHF rule
helps with weed these poor names out.
"May Day" would be a bad boat name.
We have a couple in our club that had their grandchildren pick the name. They all wanted various Winnie the Pooh characters with the favorite being:
Given grand pa had opened the door on this whole thing a quick compromise resulted in:
Some times how you come up with the name helps get the best name. As above the first ideea isn't always the best one.