It’s about time we wrote a post as many folks have asked – how did we chose to name the yacht Aravilla? The source of the name is simple enough – Aravilla was the middle name of Derek’s paternal grandmother — Nellie Aravilla Alldritt. The choice to use this name has many apects we will explain below.
There are, of course, a lot of boats around and almost as many ideas for naming boats. Everyone has their own background story typically and in cases, it can be highly creative. For us we thought our yacht name should be fairly unique. Unique to us meant a name that was not generally associated with nautical or marine experiences. Wasn’t specifically or tangentially already a popular boat name (2016 Top-10 Boat Names). We didn’t want to involve anything related to our multihull or sailing design (sail/sale/dual/cat/two based names). And we weren’t happy suggesting living life in a specific way. That removes a LOT of plausible names right out of the gate, so we did need to get creative ourselves.
The second piece of the puzzle was the amount of customs and immigration work we would be undertaking for chartering. We really wanted something short and easy to write out on the myriad forms we need to complete (sometimes online with different keyboard sets which can be mind-numbingly frustrating). Another consideration for the short-and-sweet approach is VHF or radio traffic needs – imagine trying to hail 3 times or spelling phonetically, a long convoluted name. Finally, we were considerate of the fact that a lot of our sailing would be done in non-English locations and language can sometimes be a barrier. In St Maarten/St Martin/St Barths for example, we deal with Dutch Coast Guard, Dutch/French bridges, French Douane, Maritime Gendarmerie, and the French Search and Rescue units. Simplicity is key to effective communication.
Finally, marketing and advertising is of course a large consideration. The uniqueness of the name helps to differentiate our boat and product from other similar ones. This is a benefit we hope pays off long term as we build the brand further. Along the way we considered a lot of names, chewed on them for a while, and discarded a bunch. It was a friend of ours that initially put us onto the idea of using a family members name, almost in memoriam, of that individual. One name stuck out for me, and that was my dad’s mothers middle name. Unique, elegant, simple, short, and best of all, a reminder of a great woman.
Who was Nellie Alldritt? Basically, a wonderful, independent, old-school woman who lived to the age of 102. Her good genes run in the family as her brother just turned 100 years old as well!! Nellie lived on her own for many years after her husband passed away in the late 1970’s. She was a long-term member of the Windsor Yacht Club where she was awarded the member of the year award upon turning 100. She always cared for her grandchildren a great deal and had the postal system down to a science when cards needed to be sent. However, living over 3 hours away, the time spent with her was frequently limited to birthday’s, holidays, and occasional trips to see her. One reason the yacht being named after her is a fitting tribute is, she was always there to promote the idea of “do what love”. If you wanted to take a vacation Australia because you wanted to see koala bears in person, then make the trip. And that’s exactly what she did in her 80’s. There are a ton of these stories about the feisty little lady. We hope to continue her proud legacy and provide a product to clients that aligns with the ideals she lived by. And maybe even serve some amaretto on board in her honour too 🙂