Boaty McBoatface
Boaty McBoatface

Boaty McBoatface
Boaty McBoatface is the lead boat of the Autosub Long Range-class of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) used for scientific research that will be carried

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For the ship originally proposed as Boaty McBoatface, see RRS Sir David Attenborough. Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for scientific research to be carried on the RRS Sir David Attenborough

History United Kingdom Name: Boaty McBoatfaceCommissioned: 2016[1] General characteristics Class and type: autonomous underwater vehicle (autosub long range)[2]

Boaty McBoatface is the lead boat of the Autosub Long Range-class[3] of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) used for scientific research that will be carried on the research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).[4] Because of its complexity and its extended range, NERC is classing it as an autosub long range autonomous vehicle.[5]

Contents Naming

The name Boaty McBoatface was originally proposed in a March 2016 online poll to name the ship that would eventually be named RRS Sir David Attenborough.[6][7]

Former BBC Radio Jersey presenter James Hand jokingly suggested Boaty McBoatface, a name the public liked and that quickly became the most popular choice. The name has been described as a homage to Hooty McOwlface, an owl named through an "Adopt-A-Bird" programme in 2012 that became popular on the internet.[8]

Although Boaty McBoatface was the most popular suggestion in the #NameOurShip poll,[6] the suggestion to use the name for the mother ship was not followed,[9] and the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, announced that the Boaty McBoatface name would be used for one of the submersibles aboard Sir David Attenborough instead.[10]

The results of the poll inspired similar results in other naming polls.[11][12][13][14][15] These incidents suggest there is still a clear deficit in understanding how to engage crowds and avoid failures and demonstrate the backlash from NERC’s neglecting the crowd’s choice, which resulted in a sophisticated reaction in other campaigns.[A]


The boat underwent advanced sea trials in 2016.[1] Its maiden voyage was on 3 April 2017, to research how Antarctic Bottom Water leaves the Weddell Sea and enters the Southern Ocean through Orkney Passage, south of Chile.[19][20][21]

Similar Experiences

Bjorn Baker's team at Sydney's Warwick Farm Racecourse caught wind of the crowdsourced name Boaty McBoatface and decided that they would pay homage to them by naming their new racehorse Horsey McHorseface.[22] The news of Horsey McHorseface broke out on social media after his win at the Lathan Arthur Thompson Memorial Maiden in Cessnock, Australia.[23] Horsey McHorseface was put to auction and sold for $17,325, but in 2017 was destroyed due to bone disease.[24][25]

Swedish transport company MTR Express conducted an online poll, not long after the one involving Boaty McBoatface, to name a new train on the Stockholm-Gothenburg line. Trainy McTrainface won the poll, and the train was named accordingly.[26]

Sydney Ferries allowed the public to name its fleet of Emerald-class ferries through a naming competition.[27] The most popular name was Boaty McBoatface but, as it had already been taken, the judges opted to go instead for the second-place choice, and one of the ferries was thus named Ferry McFerryface.[28] After the Maritime Union of Australia refused to crew the vessel in protest at the name, it entered service named Emerald 6 with a Ferry McFerryface sticker below the bridge.[29][30][31] It later emerged that the name Ferry McFerryface had received fewer than 200 votes in the poll; it had been selected by the New South Wales Transport Minister out of his personal preference for the name, which was subsequently changed.[32]

Megabus' United Kingdom operation hosted a Twitter poll in late 2017 to name some of their brand-new Plaxton Elite bodied Volvo B11RT interdeck coaches. Mega McMegaface won, and the name was applied to one of the vehicles.[33]

In March 2017 the Isle of Wight Council, which operates the Cowes Floating Bridge (a chain ferry across the Medina between Cowes and East Cowes), stated it was open to suggestions from residents for a new name for the vessel after originally registering it as Floating Bridge No.6. Despite council officials ruling out "Floaty McFloatface" as a name,[34] a petition was later created to name the vessel Floaty McFloatface, attracting over 2,000 signatures[35] and even caused the council to rescind its decision to veto the name.[36]

In 2016 Google released a grammar parsing software package, which they named Parsey McParseface.[37]

In December 2018 Formula E team Mahindra announced the name of their new car, which was called Electro McElectroFace

In 2018 a naming contest for a sculpture of a Muskox took place in Yellowknife, NWT Canada. Musky McMuskoxface was a name in the running, but did not win. The successful winning name was instead Elon Muskox.[38]

In October 2018 Shropshire Council named a gritter Gritty McGritface after a public vote.[39]

References Notes
  1. ^ This highlights the importance of meaningful engagement with the crowds.[16] The literature suggests, however, that when the public are meaningfully engaged, they feel valued and provide more productive inputs.[17][18]
  1. ^ a b Amos, Jonathan (17 October 2016). "Arctic crossing planned for 'Boaty' sub". BBC. BBC News. Retrieved 13 March cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ Slawson, Nicola (21 July 2018). "Boaty McBoatface to go on its first Antarctic mission". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  3. ^ Amos, Jonathon (2017). "Boaty McBoatface submarine set for first voyage". London: BBC.
  4. ^ Amos, Jonathon (2016). "Arctic crossing planned for 'Boaty' sub". London: BBC.
  5. ^ "NOC's Autosub Long Range is Boaty McBoatface". National Oceanography Centre. NOC. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b Anon (2016). "#NameOurShip". Swindon: Natural Environment Research Council. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016.
  7. ^ "£200m polar research ship named in honour of Sir David Attenborough". NERC. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  8. ^ Whipple, Tom (16 April 2016). "Boaty McBoatface tops poll but will vote be scuppered?". The Times. Retrieved 11 April 2018. Yet the runaway winner was RSS Boaty McBoatface, itself an homage to the owl that was named Hooty McOwlface after a similar exercise.
  9. ^ Anon (21 March 2016). "Boaty McBoatface instigator 'sorry' for ship name suggestion". London: BBC. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  10. ^ Knapton, Sarah (2016). "'BoatyMcBoatface' to live on as yellow submarine, science minister Jo Johnson announces". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  11. ^ Eastaugh, Sophie (15 April 2016). "Racehorse named Horsey McHorseFace because 'hey, why not?'". CNN.
  12. ^ Alex Hern (19 July 2017). "Trainy McTrainface: Swedish railway keeps Boaty's legacy alive". The Guardian.
  13. ^ "Ferry McFerryface to be name of new Sydney ferry after public vote". ABC Australia. 13 November 2017.
  14. ^ Washington, Boer Deng (17 May 2016). "Stealthy McStealthface reports for service". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Footy McFooty Face Is Stomping Competition In Vote For MLS Team Name". National Public Radio. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  16. ^ Taeihagh, Araz (8 November 2017). "Crowdsourcing: a new tool for policy-making?". Policy Sciences. 50 (4): 629–647. doi:10.1007/s11077-017-9303-3. ISSN 0032-2687.
  17. ^ Aitamurto, Tanja (16 January 2012). "Crowdsourcing for Democracy: A New Era in Policy-Making". Publications of the Committee for the Future. Helsinki, Finland: Parliament of Finland. 2012 (1). SSRN 2716771.
  18. ^ Landemore, Hélène (25 February 2014). "Inclusive Constitution-Making: The Icelandic Experiment". Journal of Political Philosophy. 23 (2): 166–191. doi:10.1111/jopp.12032. ISSN 0963-8016.
  19. ^ "Boaty McBoatface sent on first Antarctic mission". LBC News. 13 March 2017.
  20. ^ "'Boaty McBoatface' submarine returns home". BBC News. 28 June 2017.
  21. ^ Naveira Garabato, A. C.; et al. (2017). RRS James Cook Cruise JR16005, 17 Mar - 08 May 2017. The Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow (DynOPO) (Technical report). National Oceanography Centre. 47.
  22. ^ "High hopes for Horsey McHorseface". BBC News. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2017 – via
  23. ^ "Horsey McHorseface wins first ever race after being named after Boaty McBoatface". 5 June 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  24. ^ Sheehan, Luke (30 June 2017). "Horsey McHorseface for sale". Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  25. ^ Sheehan, Luke (22 October 2017). "Sad end to McHorseface tale". Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  26. ^ "It's official! Sweden names new train Trainy McTrainface". 17 October 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  27. ^ Visentin, Lisa (22 July 2016). "Ferry McFerryface? NSW government launches naming competition for new ferries". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  28. ^ Transport NSW. "It's official. We have named the final ferry in the new fleet. Welcome to Sydney, Ferry McFerryFace". Facebook. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  29. ^ Ferry McFerryface to be the name of new Sydney ferry after public vote ABC News 14 November 2017
  30. ^ Ferry workers to boycott Ferry McFerryface SBS World News 14 November 2017
  31. ^ Ferry McFerryface sets sail as union, government agree to name change Seven News 17 December 2017
  32. ^ "Ferry McFerryface saga not over yet for Transport Minister Andrew Constance".
  33. ^ "megabusUK on Twitter".
  34. ^ "Council torpedoes 'Floaty McFloatface' idea". Newshub. 4 March 2017 – via
  35. ^ "Floaty McFloatface? Petition launched to name the new Isle of Wight floating bridge - YBW". 29 March 2017.
  36. ^ "Floaty McFloat Face 'still an option' as council looks for new bridge name". Daily Echo.
  37. ^ "Announcing SyntaxNet: The World's Most Accurate Parser Goes Open Source". March 2016 – via Google.
  38. ^ "Meet Elon Muskox, the Yellowknife sculpture named after Tesla CEO". CBC News. 21 December 2018.
  39. ^ "'Gritty McGritface' wins naming ballot". BBC News. 27 October 2018 – via
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