Be careful what you ask for.  That's always something important to keep in mind.  Back in 2016, the Brits asked and they got it!  The NYTimes told it like this, "a proposal by a British government agency to let the Internet suggest a name for a $287 million polar research ship probably seemed like a good idea at the time.  Now, the agency is the latest group to see what happens when web users are asked to unleash their creative energy: R.R.S. Boaty McBoatface is a clear front-runner."

Good Times Bad Name

I remember cracking up at the time and the basic framework became a running joke in our family for months!  "Look at that dog...it's doggies McDog face" You get the idea.

In the end, the British decided to name the vessel the R.S.S. Sir David  Attenborough.

So now it's our turn, Washington. The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) release is announcing a new addition will be coming to the State Ferry fleet and it's going to need a name. "Construction of a new, hybrid electric Olympic Class ferry is expected to start in 2022. The new 144-car vessel will need a name and the Washington State Transportation Commission has initiated its process to do so by seeking naming proposals from the public."

Keep This In Mind

There are parameters to keep in mind if you want to give it a try.

  • Names should carry statewide or regional significance and represent our state’s image and culture.
  • Names should represent such things as state-adopted symbols, tribal names, names of bodies of water, geographic locations, cities, counties, relate to nautical heritage, etc.
  • Consideration will be given for consistency with existing WSF fleet names.
  • Names should have broad familiarity, be non-offensive, and meet ethical standards.
  • Names with commercial overtones or names honoring or commemorating individuals should generally be avoided, but will be considered upon very careful review.  In these cases, the following guidelines will apply:
    • Individuals must be deceased for at least 20 years.
    • They must have enduring distinction and have played a significant historical role in the region and/or state.

 Naming proposals submitted to the commission must identify how they conform to the above guidelines; provide background on the proposed name, making a case for the proposal; and provide evidence of public support for the name.

Try This For Starters

So look Yakima, we have a history with coming up with some pretty good names. Consider the Sundome, the Sunkings, and the Yakima Pippens....all worthy names, so let's turn our creative energy to the task at hand.

Let's represent the Yakima Valley!

For starters how about: the Buena Barnacle,  the GRAND view,  the Granger Danger Rearranger, the Mabton Mover, the Naches About To Dock,  the Selah Swim For It,  Sunnyside Smooth Sailor,  Tieton Top Decker,  the Toppenish Turnsyle Tripper, the Union Gap Group Hugger, the Wapato Wave Runner, the Zillah Zydeko Zephyer.  None of these are anywhere as good as Boaty McBoat Face.  So Send us YOUR suggestions!

Git 'Er Done

Naming proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, and must be provided in both hard copy and electronic form as follows: Washington State Transportation Commission, PO Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308

Electronic copies are to be emailed to: transc@wstc.wa.gov, indicating “Ferry Naming Proposal” in the subject line.

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