Yes, I like it: Boaty McBoatFace

The good news for the Natural Environment Research Council’s decision to crowd-search a name for its latest polar research vessel is unprecedented public engagement in a sometimes niche area of scientific study. The bad news? Sailing due south in a vessel that sounds like it was christened by a five-year-old who has drunk three cartons of Capri-Sun.

Just a day after the NERC launched its poll to name the £200m vessel – which will first head to Antarctica in 2019 – the clear favourite was RRS Boaty McBoatface, with well over 18,000 votes.

As and when the site recovers you can vote here.

We may have lost India, those bastards over the Pond have been ungrateful little shits for over 200 years now but we are still British and proud of being eccentrics. Noble Britons, do your duty, vote early and vote often!

26 thoughts on “Yes, I like it: Boaty McBoatFace”

  1. It’s an expensive website built with our tax money and yet it hardly ever works properly.

    Either that or someone keeps sticking a spanner in it to keep the numbers down.

  2. It’s an expensive website built with our tax money

    It’s something cobbled together by a student (possibly even an undergrad) on a unix box ( hosting at least 40 other websites.

  3. heh.. 😉 It’s the Lördy-effect..

    And honestly.. I like it.. It’s a change from the pretentious/businesslike/traditional naming.
    Mind.. the name should be flanked by a smiley on both sides..

  4. hmmm.. must see if Furriners can vote on it as well.. O:)

    If so.. a little exercise in virality may just be the thing…

  5. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Tsk, again we pass up the opprotunity to use one of the great traditional Naval names. It should have been the new aircraft carrier, but this would have been a good alternative. I am talking of course of

    HMS Saucy Mrs Flobster

  6. If you asked any MOTP what the current vessels are called the most common answer would be “haven’t a clue”, you might get “the clark kent” or “that ship from the falklands (crisis)”. If they go with Boaty McBoatface, everyone will know its name and what it does.
    Some pretentious wonk was just on R2 saying that it’s a serious boat with a serious purpose and so needs a completely forgettable name.
    If the site ever comes back up, I’ ll be voting #BOATY
    (it’s almost as good as Spazzie McGee for the name of an emu)

  7. wtf?

    I’d just love to be an officer on that ship calling someone on the VHF using that name. Not.

    We trivialise the serious, while treating complete nonsense as if it really mattered; our civilisation is basically doomed, isn’t it.

  8. Andrew, just think what a ‘HIT’ The Adventures of Boaty McBoatface would be including all the merchandising and educational opportunities. As for the the crew, just imagine the kind of welcome they are going to get on any port visit, crowds of children and young mums lining the dockside, local dignitaries and celebs wanting to get in on the action.

    A world recognisable brand for a world class boat that does world class science.

    Or we could just name it after some dry dead bloke/woman.

  9. “The name General Belgrano is currently available.”

    The official branded merchandise is a bit wet though….

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Come on, we all know it is going to end up being called the Mary Seacole or the like.

    If they don’t take it seriously, I don’t see why we should.

    (I would recommend naming it after Scott of the Antarctic. But his woeful son went on to found WWF – and not the good one involving wrestling. Must be something wrong with the family DNA)

  11. Bloke not in Cymru

    unprecedented public engagement

    You would think they would know how Scott funded his expedition and why it sailed from Cardiff

  12. That’s interesting….boats are normally only named after dead people, no?

    Nah. Chevron had a tanker named Condoleeza Rice, and I worked on a Russian tub named after some Gazprom dude.

  13. Those oil tankers are ALWAYS named after board member. Condoleeza Rice was a board member at the time when the tanker was named.

  14. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    boats are normally only named after dead people, no?

    One would think so, but the USofA has an aircraft carrier named George HW Bush and judging by the lead time for such boats, I expect Gerald Ford was still alive when they planned the one named after him.

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