UK Research Vessel May Be Named 'Boaty McBoatface' By Popular, Awesome Vote

Illustration for article titled UK Research Vessel May Be Named 'Boaty McBoatface' By Popular, Awesome Vote

The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) thought it might be swell to ask the public to vote on a name for its new research vessel. And swell it is, as the vessel may be baptized “Boaty McBoatface.”


From the Independent:

“ Steaming ahead of its rivals, RRS Boaty McBoatface is outstripping the likes of Endeavour, Henry Worsley, David Attenborough, Falcon, and many more offerings.

Some other tongue-in-cheek submissions include It’s bloody cold here, Usain Bolt, Ice Ice Baby, and Notthetitanic.”

The RSS Boaty McBoatface was built for the purpose of exploring Antarctica and the Arctic and will be prepared to take its inaugural voyage in 2019. Costing £200 million, the research vessel is equipped to carry 90.

In the midst of recent news coverage, NERC released an enthusiastic statement regarding Boaty McB’s innovations: “[Ton-for-ton], the ship—together with NERC’s existing two blue water research ships—will provide the UK with the most advanced floating research fleet in the world and will help put the UK at the forefront of ocean research for years to come.”

Clearly NERC has lofty goals for its future research, and so wants the ship’s name to embody that ambition. They seek a name evoking “prowess in the oceans” and the thrill of pioneering. So it followed that communications manager James Hand suggested “Boaty McBoatface.”

He’s since apologized for this suggestion, but others have taken up the cause. Someone has launched a Twitter account to promote the name, and “the website has periodically crashed due to unusually high volumes of traffic, presumably from fans of Boaty McBoatface.”


Yet NERC is giving themselves the option to be totally lame, stating on their website that “the final name will be selected by [their organization].” Come on folks, listen to the cries of your people, which are the cries for Boaty McBoatface. And as for the rest of you, I strongly encourage a quick visit here to vote in support of the name.

Image via screenshot



If they’re wise, they’ll go for it — it will prompt more media coverage and sponsorship opportunities than a traditional name. Who wouldn’t donate money for a Boaty McBoatface research project?