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What's In A Name? 

Following introduction of a similar page on the Aloha Owners Association website, I thought it would be fun to give Matilda owners to share with others how they came about and the meaning of their boat names. 

If you would like to add your explanation, please 

Algicake - Ronald Pond, Newfoundland, Canada

The name "Algicake" is the first two letters of our granddaughters names - ALanna, GIllian, CAssie and KElia.

Bluebottle - George O'Brien

The name on the Matilda 20 that I acquired a couple of years ago is “Bluebottle”. My daughters initially wanted to change the name until my oldest daughter, a big Harry Potter fan, noted a Harry Potter reference to a broom that was suitable for a whole family. So we retained the name. I have since googled the term and see that it is an Australian term for a Portuguese Man-of-War that has the ability to affect its direction of motion using its shape and the wind. This is the more likely origin of the name. My daughters like it and I wasn’t required to change it so all’s well and we’re happy with our boat.

Escape - Lenore & Chris Holderness,
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Escape was named by her previous owner; sorry we don’t know the exact reason.  He was a GP and we guess he most likely needed an escape from his busy practice.  We weren’t completely sure we wanted to keep her name but, once we started working on bringing her back to her former glory from a year or two of neglect, we certainly found the name suited her, and she most definitely became “our escape”.  We toyed with the idea of simply adding an R’ (for our escape) to the lettering but not wanting to tempt fate we left her name as we found her. 

Fair Dinkum - Katherine & Shawn Blackwood, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Fair Dinkum was named by the original owner (2 before us), it is Australian for ' Honest and True '. A very proper name for such a stiff sailing little boat.

Franchacarlula - David Ponting, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England 

Franchacarlula is a bit of a mouthful but . . . Fran - my Aunt Francis who sadly died a short while ago and left my a small amount of money which allowed me to buy and refurb the M20, then cha (charlotte) car (Carla) lu (Lucy) la (Laura), the 4 barmaids who regularly work in my
wife's pub!! Carla is a lovely South African young lady and she came up with the germ of the idea, following the old-time chief Sharka Zulu, and before you know it we had Franchacarlula, and everyone is happy because they have a yacht named after them. Except my wife, of course!!!

Great Debate - Dave Cole, Chippenham, Wiltshire, England 

Perhaps a bit corny but the boat had been under construction for many years (1970 - 2006), and lots of different names have been suggested but not allowed by the "boss". However as it was recently surveyed one of the things required was to have a name fixed to the boat, so having spent so much time talking about it  the name was born, the GREAT DEBATE,  which we thought was quite fitting .

Storm Petrel - Philip Merchant, Lake Laberge, Yukon, Canada 

I have always loved birds and especially admire these tough little petrels. They are important in sailing lore and are seen often when the ocean gets rough. Turbulent seas churn up food and petrels can be seen skimming the surface feeding. The old time sailors believed that storm petrels contained the spirit of a sailor lost at sea. They were also known as Mother Carey's Chickens.

Why did I chose the name? I admire the bird. It is small tough and "shallow draft". It likes wind and is happy in rough water and I like to think my boat contains the spirit of a sailor. Last but not least, we have kept about a dozen chickens over the years and I sell the extra eggs at work. The egg money I put into a can paid a third of the price of the boat. Hence the connection to chickens. When I told one of my sons I was looking for a name with an "egg connection" he said, "Why not call it the "Eggs-on-Valdez". I went with Storm Petrel instead.  

Wing Ding II - Brooks & Shirley Northern, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

My original "Wing Ding" was a 13 foot MiniSail board boat, similar to the later Laser. The two-inch-high lettering of her name was a tight squeeze on her tiny transom; but her 80 foot sail made for very lively performance, which ideally fit the definition of "a lavish or lively party - a celebration."  I often laughed out loud as I skimmed across the lake, even though the continual hiking out may have contributed to my subsequent L4-L5 laminectomy.

I first saw the Matilda in an English sailing magazine while stationed in Turkey and arranged my reassignment so as to visit the 1975 Earl's Court Boat Show in London on the way home.  It was love at first sight. After toying with several names, we finally settled on  "Wing Ding II."

Wing Ding II has been up on some sort of a plane a few times, though nothing like the plane of the Mini Sail - which often threw spray about 10 feet out to either side, frequently drenching the crew.  Wing Ding II has a more dignified gait and treats her crew much more gently. She still moves along nicely and makes every sail a "celebration."  What's more, there's room below for a bottle of bubbly and a snack or two at journey's end - with the potential for further "celebration." 

Last updated  26 February, 2007 - © Matilda Owners Association.