Page published 24 May 2023
Back in early March we realised we needed to make a decision on our boat's new name. Supposedly, it was called "Wandering Star" by the previous owners, but the lettering on the transom had not been updated and still only showed "Wandering", the name it had been registered with by the owners before that when still on the Broads. We had no affinity with either variation and partly because the boat has had so many names before us, we had little hesitation in deciding to rename her again.
The issue was then, what should that new name be. Half in jest, I suggested it should be Just 25. It had an obvious connection with Just 17, my SeaHawk, but there was more than a boat length to that name, as you can read.Diana started on another tack. She tried to find a name based on "Chapman". I always recall that the Chaucer's Canterbury Tales include the word Chapman and a footnote in my schoolboy copy said it was a corruption of "Cheapman" an old name for a "pedlar, or itinerant seller of wares". Chapman didn't sound so good but Something Tinker or Tinker Something could be attractive. The trouble was we couldn't find anything we liked that hadn't been picked before.
Then we started on a different tack. If Just 17 was picked for musical reasons, then why not pick a name for the Safari with a musical connection that worked for us. I think we may have mentioned The Surfari's 1960s hit "Wipeout", but that didn't ring with us. Next, because of the colour of the superstructure of our Safari and my band Bar Room Blues the Tommy Steele hit from 1956 emerged as favourite from one of several suggestions. So, there you have it, the new name was to be Singing the Blues. Diana even persuaded me to change the ring tone on my phone. It sounds like this:
The name became fixed when re-registered the boat with the Broads Authority and signed up with an insurance company. The next issue was how it should look on the transom. There is no requirement on the Broads for a name to be displayed near the bows.
We're not football fans and I was vaguely conscious that some who see the name on the transom might not make the musical connection that was in our minds, so I decided that we shouldn't just have lettering on the stern, as with the old name.
The design was sent to the sign printing company as an SVG file.
To ensure the letters could be of a good size and legible from a distance I decided that the words would be spread over two lines with "Singing" bowed. I played around with a number of fonts ending up using the Google's "Bree Serif" font and added the "beamed eighth note" from Times New Roman. The case used was critical too. Early versions used upper case exclusively, but then I decided the descenders on the two lower case "g"s and the mix of upper case "B" and lower "l" of blues filled the space beneath the bowed "Singing" nicely. I wanted the "beam" of the notes to flank the name and follow the curve of "Singing" so had to edit the note to get rising and falling versions. The final issue was deciding how to position the notes and their size, eventually coming up with the design above. Before making a final decision I produced a mock-up of how it would appear on the photo that our surveyor took for his report.
Wandering - The old name.
How the name should look!
Finding someone to produce the sign was a problem. When Just 17 was named I found a printer in Stalham would make up the sign cheaper than an on-line supplier. So I phoned the number I still had in my phone's address book from ten years ago only to discover they were no longer in business. Today, I placed an order for the sign with a company recommended by the marina at Buckden. It was not the cheapest supplier I could find, but hopefully will serve us well.