Your Ultimate Boating Resource

What Is The Origin Of Using ‘S.S.’ In Boat Names?

The use of the initials “S.S.” in boat names is a common practice, but the origin of this convention is not widely known. The letters “S.S.” stand for “steamship” and were first used in the 19th century to distinguish steam-powered vessels from sailing ships.

The use of steam power to propel ships was first developed in the early 1800s, and by the mid-1800s, steamships had become commonplace on the world’s oceans and rivers. At this time, sailing ships were still widely used, so it was important to be able to distinguish between them and steamships when referring to a particular vessel. This is where the use of “S.S.” came into play; it was used as an abbreviation for “steamship” when referring to a vessel powered by steam engines rather than sails.

The use of “S.S.” as an abbreviation for steamship has been in continuous use since its introduction in the 19th century and is still commonly seen today on boats around the world. It is also used as part of many boat names, such as S.S. Queen Elizabeth II or S.S. United States, which helps to identify them as steamships rather than sailing ships or other types of vessels such as motorboats or yachts.

In addition to being used in boat names, “S.S.” can also be found on other items related to boats such as life jackets and lifeboats, which helps to indicate that they are intended for use on steamships rather than sailing ships or other types of vessels.

Overall, the use of “S.S.” in boat names has its origins in 19th century maritime conventions which were designed to distinguish between steam-powered vessels and sailing ships when referring to a particular vessel or item related to it such as a life jacket or lifeboat

Have something to add or correct? Please let us know by clicking here.
* See disclaimer in the footer of the site for use of this content.

Related Questions


Latest Posts

Don't Miss

Our Newsletter

Get the latest boating tips, fishing resources and featured products in your email from!