Sir David Attenborough’s Real Name: Boaty McBoatface

Well, it’s happened: Boaty McBoatface has slipped into the water. Though the shipwrights still have a good deal of work to do over the next few months before the ship is ready for its first polar voyage, this is still an important step, and a good excuse to bring up again the wonderful moniker the ship almost had before the fuddy-duddies declared the name Sir David Attenborough to be the winner despite losing the popular vote by a wide margin. We can only hope that this works out better for the UK than a similar voting travesty has been working out for the USA.


  1. blf says

    The “Boaty McBoatface” name lives on. There is (or soon will be?) a train in Sweden named “Trainy McTrainface”. And a race horse named “Horsey McHorseface”, a bridge named “Floaty McFloatface”, and other examples — including the autonomous underwater vehicle that got the “Boaty McBoatface” name as a sort of consolation prize (which the BBC points out is a yellow submarine…).

    And a ferry almost got the name “Ferry McFerryface”, but it turns out that was due to corrupt-as-usual Ozland politicians, and was not the name which won the popular vote (exactly the opposite of the original “Boaty McBoatface” voting results).

  2. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    The SDA will carry a research submersible at (nearly) all times. Though which submersible is on board will change (they have 3 they plan on rotating, whether because of maintenance schedule or whether they have different, specialized applications I’m not sure), the plan is that any submersible carried by SDA and/or launched from SDA and expecting to return to SDA will carry the moniker RRS Boaty McBoatface for the duration of the expedition.

    Apparently they do expect that research published which uses observations made via RRS BMcB will use the name in the resulting papers just as any other submersible’s name might be used (“Alvin” got in a huge number of papers, IIRC). So, yeah, we’ll see Boaty McBoatface in scientific journals applied to the subs, but I still resent this Electoral College travesty.

  3. blf says

    Isn’t the lifeboat still Christened Boaty McBoatface?

    As far as I am aware, it wasn’t and isn’t. There was a petition to do so, which seems to have gotten all of ten signers. As per references in @1, the name “Boaty McBoatface” has been assigned to an AUV, albeit Crip Dyke@5 claims — without providing any sources / citations — the name will be applied to whichever AUV the Attenborough is carrying at the time. (I’ve never heard that, can imagine practicality problems, and the page at the National Oceanography Centre does not mention this “rotating” of the name.)

    Weirdly, whilst checking on the alleged lifeboat, I found Boaty McBoatface rescued by coastguard, which is a classic example of a shite local news report. It seems to have been a manned vessel (reference to “no further medical assistance was required”) that was “rescued”, but that it all that can be worked out; it could be an sodding oversized innertube which was snagged by an enraged swordfish for all the (lack of) information in the report.

  4. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    Oops, sorry. I didn’t source the statement in the comment because it was supported by the BBC reporting in the link provided in the OP.

    From that BBC report:

    Boaty McBoatface lives on in the form of a yellow submarine. The National Oceanography Centre in Southampton has three long-range autonomous underwater vehicles. When one of these is out on patrol, it carries the humorous moniker.

    The intention is that these Boaty-class subs will frequently operate from the Attenborough. They will be asked to go into places the ship itself cannot reach, such as under the colossal floating ice shelves that surround Antarctica

    emphasis added.

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