I need a little help…


For the past ten months I have been working on a new novel tentatively titled ‘The Last Iceberg’. I’m now on my third full draft and I need to make a very important decision, that frankly I’ve been putting off. It was an easy one to avoid in the past two drafts, but the time has come, and seriously, I need a little help here.

I need to name three tugboats. 

Wait, why are you laughing? I’m serious. I need help coming up with the names for three tugboats for my novel. Maybe it won’t be so funny if I tell you a little more.

The Last Iceberg is a near future Eco-Thriller about a washed out Coast Guard Pilot who has to chase her best friend across the Pacific on a flying iceberg …

You’re still snickering! Folks, this is a serious matter. Those tugboats aren’t going to name themselves. Oh, I see, you don’t think this is going to be a serious novel. You are expecting some hack job thriller out of me. I get it. Let me show you more:


Maggie ‘Falling Leaf’ Foley is running away from one terrible mistake in an otherwise perfect flying record. As a Coast Guard SAR pilot, one mistake might mean losing a soul at sea, but when that lost soul is her rescue swimmer, and her fiancé, Maggie loses a part of herself too.

Ricki Munoz didn’t start taking pictures to try and save the whales, but he did come to the Sea of Alaska to shame corporations who treat Mother Earth like an ATM. He convinced his best friend Maggie to join him on the Narwhal’s Tusk, an eco-protest ship, as the ship’s only chopper pilot. Maggie figures as long as she isn’t responsible for any rescues she’ll be able to pull herself back together.

Brothers Walter and Jaxson Breugmann need a score. They have come up with a crazy plan to cut ice in an abandoned national park, and fly it to a thirsty American southwest. The plan works, too well, and the brothers Breugmann blow up an entire Alaskan glacier. The Narwhal’s Tusk arrives in time to witness the environmental carnage. Maggie and Ricki take to the sky.

In his brashest move yet, Ricki jumps from the helicopter onto the Breugmann’s score. Untethered and unable to communicate, Maggie isn’t sure if Ricki just made the stupidest mistake of his life, or if he really has a plan to hijack the world’s first flying iceberg! Either way Maggie must choose to swallow her grief and chase her best friend across the Pacific, or risk one more terrible mistake.


See. This is a serious novel, full of drama and action, something I hope you’ll want to read once it’s out.

So back to the tug boats! I really do need your help. It might seem minor, but these tugs play an important role in the story (I’m not giving everything away here, so don’t ask). Their mother ship is named the Sea Fox and in my current draft I named the tugs Larry, Curly and Moe as a placeholder. Their names are too cute and I am looking for three names that will remind the reader that the tugs are all the same type of boat, essentially siblings. I’ve been looking at names of authors, explorers, stars, but nothing is sticking.

Have an idea? Send me some names in the comments. Remember, they should be three of a kind. If I use them in the final draft of the book I will be sure to credit you in the acknowledgements.

Also, if THE LAST ICEBERG or my short stories sound interesting be sure to follow this page for updates.

Thanks for all your help!



23 thoughts on “I need a little help…

  1. Erin Fletcher says:

    Hewey, Dewey, and Louie! 1. They ARE brothers. 2. They are ducks. Ducks swim/float. (Yes, they’re still cute, but would you expect a different kind of suggestion from a YA author?!)

    1. Dianne Gardner says:

      They’re brothers, but they are also sons, so if their mom’s name is Sea Fox, stay with the canine and name them something like, Sea Cub, Breaking Wolf, and Shepherd’s Prey or whatever.

  2. edziver says:

    Jackson, Joel and John (based around Michael Jackson, Billy Joel and Elton John)

    Name them after birds depending on colours? Robin, Cardinal, Starling? Or Blue Jay if any of them have a splash of blue paint.

    Slippy, Peppy and Falco (after the Star Fox characters, since you’ve got the ship named the Sea Fox)

    Name them after some famous sunken ships if there’s anyone with a dark sense of humor in the book? Titanic, Lusitania etc

    Cordelia, Goneril and Regan from King Lear?

    Harry, Ron, Hermione.

    Rock/metal bands: Sabbath, Nirvana, Maiden etc.

    I’m all tapped out. I doubt any of these will work, but hopefully they narrow the field a bit!

  3. Matt G says:

    Emily, Anne and Charlotte

    Generally have women’s names for tugs. Its the Bronte sisters which may be a little over the top.

  4. Matt says:

    Nina, pinta, Santa Maria seems obvious, but has some fun parallels. Gup-E,F,G is an Octonauts reference. You could have a hidden religious reference by naming them some derivative of father, son, Holy Spirit, like Egon, Venkman, and Slimer. You could have one be Rocinante for Don Quixote’s horse but I’m not sure what the other two should be. Just spit balling

  5. Mary says:

    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (from the Bible) Youtube has some nice videos explaining their story. Winkin’ Blinkin’ and Nod, (check copyright); Hedid, Shedid and Notme… Try, Try and Tryagain… or Types of sharks: Wobbegong, or Lamniformes. Hexnchiformes, Squaiformes (maybe shortened without the formes at the end?) Types of sand: Coral, Gypsum, Ooid, Olivine, or Lythic,

    Best wishes on your story.

  6. Terry says:

    How about 3 Antarctic sea explorers whose connection is exploration? Shackleton, Scott & Amundsen. They are not brothers, but are connected by polar exploration. From Wikipedia: FromShackleton was “rediscovered”,[3] and rapidly became a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in a survival story described by cultural historian Stephanie Barczewski as “incredible”.[4] Sir Raymond Priestley, one of his contemporaries, said “For scientific leadership, give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems to be no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.”[5]

  7. Wayne says:

    First, your novel sounds awesome!

    The mother ship is the Sea Fox. I think the other three should be types of foxes. Maybe Darwin, Falkland, and Blanford after the Darwin’s Fox, Blanford’s Fox and Falkland Island Fox.

  8. Matt Malone says:

    Livingston, Shackleton, and Fawcett. Three world renown explorers, part of the British Exploration Society or something. Livingston explored Africa, Shackleton the Arctic, and Fawcett the Amazon.

  9. Lori Twining says:

    Ralph, your Eco-Thriller sounds awesome! Can’t wait to read it.

    Here are a few ideas centring around the number “3” for your ship names:
    Named after the 3 Fates in Greek Mythology: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos.
    Named after the 3 Arctic Explorers: Shackleton, Amundsen and Falcon Scott.
    Named after the 3 Musketeers: Athos, Aramis and Porthos.
    Named after the 3 Wise Men: Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior.

    If you would prefer to stick with the “fox” theme after the mother ship, Sea Fox, you could go with:
    Names of Foxes: Culpeo, Darwin and Pampas.
    Names of Foxes (Places): Bengal, Blanford and Corsac; or Falkland, Cozumel and Arctic.
    Names of Fox Characteristics: Tracker, Hunter and Predator; or Hunter, Pursuer and Destroyer.

    Good luck!

  10. Marit says:

    Something about the sturdiness of tug boats gives me the image of trees. Maple, Chesnut, Birch, Olive, Cherry….
    I also like the idea of linking it to Sea Fox but all my thoughts there are too obvious.
    Good Luck 🍀

  11. Chuck Rothman says:

    If you noticed, tugboats,and other commercial craft have names of people, usually with some connection to the boat. They do NOT have cute names, or clever ones. Realistic names would be “The Robert G. Morrison,” “The Madelyn K. Sweet,” and “The Roger J. Smolinski.”

  12. Ashlen Duhon says:

    I first thought of the Fates, but since I see they’ve been listed I came up with some other options.

    Since tugs assist:
    Redeem / Redeemer
    Deliver / Deliverer
    Save / Savior

    Started thinking about mirrors and veils…I’ve been reading a lot of Baldwin:

    Obvious use of ocean terminology:

    Types of tides:
    Diurnal – occur once a day
    Neap – sun and moon form right angle
    Spring – moon, earth, and sun in straight line

    These came together while thinking of names with similar meanings to savior, deliverer, redeemer:
    Idony/Idona – renewal
    Galia – redeemed
    Nyssa – goal

    New novel? New names.
    Nova – new
    Neoma – new moon
    Neo – new

  13. Rachel Luann Strayer says:

    I keep wanting to relate them back to Sea Fox in some way (though I don’t know if that’s what you want). Here are my suggestions, regardless:
    Wolf Runner
    Ice Jackal
    Coyote Dawn
    …or some such combination of things. 😉 Good luck!

  14. Ron Delaney Jr says:

    Who named them in the story? What did that person care about? Naming them after the Fates won’t make sense if the person who named them never studied Greek mythology. Same goes for constellations, titans of literature, etc. Ask the character who named them what they’re called.

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