You see, boats, like cars and other mechanical sweethearts, have long been referred to as "she" by men who've made them central characters in their lives. It's a relationship thing! The emotional bond between a person and their vessel is a poetic saga that transcends metal, wood, and sail. It becomes part of the family, sometimes even named as if it were. And who wouldn't want to romanticize something so deeply adored?

Cameron Chittick
Part of this story

A Nod to the Special Women

Naming Those Who Sail in Our Hearts

This romance often moves beyond the abstract. It's not just love; it's an expression of affection for the significant women in the owners' lives.

Many vessels bear the names of mothers, wives, sisters, or daughters, and each name represents a story, a legacy, a lifeline to someone cherished.

When you're sailing through the rough and calm alike, knowing that you're guided by a ship named after someone special is like feeling their supportive hand on your shoulder.

Ships as Nurturers

The Motherly Embrace

The notion of a ship as a nurturer is as old as the ocean tides. Sailors, those travelers in the sea of fate, have often seen their ships as mother figures—protective, nurturing, and ever so comforting.

Imagine being wrapped in a cocoon of safety as you traverse uncharted waters. Your ship, or shall we say "she," takes care of you, providing shelter and calm amidst the storm, almost as if cradling you in her womb until you reach your destination.

This nurturing symbolism adds another layer to why boats have long been considered feminine.

The Age-Old Superstitions

An Ode to Goddesses and Guiding Spirits:

Ah, the mystic waters and the legends they've borne. In days of yore, sailors often dedicated their ships to goddesses or influential women, hoping for a dose of divine intervention on their high-seas adventures.

Think about Christopher Columbus' Santa Maria, named after the Virgin Mary—a ship steeped in the belief that a higher power would guide its journey.

This practice has deep roots, bridging the gap between celestial beings and earthly travels, making every voyage a pilgrimage of sorts.

The Linguistic Details

A Brief Dive Into Language's Role

But hey, let's not forget the power of language!

English, like many other languages, once had a system of grammatical genders.

Boats, in these old linguistic traditions, were considered feminine.

So, when you refer to a ship as "she," you're actually partaking in a rich and storied linguistic history, making your seafaring adventures feel like chapters in an epic saga.

A Modern Take

The Changing Tides

Traditions are beautiful, but they aren't set in stone. Language is a living, breathing entity, ever-changing like the ocean itself.

While the practice of calling ships "she" may fade over time, it's a tradition that has captured hearts and will continue to do so for years to come.

Because, at the end of the day, it's not just about a boat—it's about the love, lore, and linguistics that make every sailing trip an unforgettable chapter in life's journey.

So, next time you're out on the azure waves, appreciate not just the ship you're on, but the depth of romance, history, and cultural richness she carries. Anchors aweigh, my friends!


When did ships start being called "she"?

The practice of referring to ships as "she" has deep historical roots that date back to ancient times. The tradition often finds its roots in sailor superstitions and the historical dedication of ships to goddesses for protection. Over time, this evolved into the linguistic and romantic customs we recognize today.

Are ships with male names still called "she"?

Absolutely! The gender of the name doesn't change the tradition. Whether it's the "USS John F. Kennedy" or the "Queen Mary," ships are generally referred to as "she" in maritime custom and language. It's all part of the romantic lore that turns every voyage into an epic tale worth sharing.

More Like This