How Can I Rename a Boat Legally?

You can rename your vessel using the vessel documentation form for Change of Vessel Name or Hailing Port. 

You can complete this form at this national vessel documentation link.

In terms of the name itself, according to “Vessel name designation” from the Code of Federal Regulations 46 CFR 67.117, “the name designated must be composed of letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals; may not be identical, actually or phonetically, to any word or words used to solicit assistance at sea; and may not contain or be phonetically identical to obscene, indecent, or profane language, or to racial or ethnic epithets.” 

Title 46 Subchapter G of the Code of Federal Regulations for Coast Guard Documentation – Subpart A

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) details the general and permanent rules of Executive departments and agencies which have been published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register contains two publications, the annually revised Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the daily Federal Register (FR).

These are the pertinent parts of the Code of Federal Regulations as it relates to the Documentation and Measurement of Vessels within Title 46 Subchapter G – Subpart A:

67.1 – Purpose
67.3 – Definitions
67.5 – Vessels Eligible for Documentation
67.7 – Vessels Requiring Documentation
67.9 – Vessels Excluded from or Exempt from Documentation
67.11 – Restriction on Transfer of an Interest in Documented Vessels to Foreign Persons; Foreign Registry or Operation
67.12 – Right of Appeal
67.13 – Incorporation by Reference
67.14 – OMB Control Numbers Assigned Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act

When choosing a vessel name, remember that this name will be associated with you, so choose something that you would be comfortable being associated with.

Beyond USCG Documentation Search by Name1

What is needed to rename your boat 

To rename your boat fill out the form Change of Vessel Name