Why Is a Yacht Called a “She”?

Feminists beware!! This wonderful post is written by Shelley & Randy, proud owner/operators of the beautiful yacht THREE MOONS. They have been chartering for almost 20 years and can tell you everything you want to know about boating and and the Virgin Islands.


Three Moons Crewed Charters
Three Moons is “lifting her skirts”

A yacht is called a “she” because there is always a great deal of bustle around her; there is usually a gang of men about, she has a waist and stays; it takes a lot of paint to keep her good looking; it is not the initial expense that breaks you, it is the upkeep; she can be all decked out; it takes an experienced man (or a woman who understands her needs!!!) to handle her correctly; and without a man at the helm, she is absolutely uncontrollable. She shows her topsides, hides her bottom and when coming into port, always heads for the buoys!


According to Yarns of the Sea, Legends, Myths, and Superstitions: Although women were considered to bring bad luck at sea, mariners always use the pronoun “she” when referring to their ships. Whether its proper name is masculine, or whether it is a man o’war, a battleship, or a nuclear submarine, a ship is always referred to as “she.”


This old tradition is thought to stem from the fact that in the Romance (Latin) languages, the word for “ship” is always in the feminine. For this reason, Mediterranean sailors always referred to their ship as “she”, and the practice was adopted over the centuries by their English-speaking counterparts.


One source suggests that the ships of old “were nearer and dearer to the sailor than anyone except his mother.” What better reason to call his ship “she”?


To be a success at sea, you must collaborate with your vessel. If you call her “it”, how friendly a relationship are you going to have? “She” seems to acknowledge the intimate relationship you need in order to address the vulnerability you have to the mercy of the ocean and its tempers.


Lucky for us, the waters of the BVI are calm AND Three Moons is a happy gal!


….and just to ad another reason: When the wind fills the sails “she” is said to be “lifting her skirts”. …..



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *