Emoji, the pictographic language that started in Japan and derives it’s name from there (‘E’ – picture, ‘Moji’ – character), has landed itself on perhaps it’s splashiest backdrop yet; the stern of a superyacht. More common in the text messages of teenagers and enthusiastic individuals with a flair for the visual, this marks a significant milestone on the road to cultural acceptance for the nascent tongue (or eyeball).
“I really wanted to name my vessel an entire phrase, and there simply wasn’t room on the transom. Emoji offered me a picto-graphical means to represent this in a light-hearted and, what I consider to be, “hip” manner. Plus my kids love it.” Explains the proud owner of the soon-to-be-launched 62m motor yacht, who wishes to remain anonymous for, in his words, “as long as the internet will let me, haha, lol. Which should be about 14 nano-seconds, haha, lol, ;P”
His explanation for the vessel’s emoji-fied name is simple. “It’s my favorite line, from my favorite song, by my favorite artist named Cat, and in large part summarizes my impressions of life. For me ‘Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world’ is more than just a song lyric, it’s a way of life. It’s about exploration, discovery, and that spark of madness we all have. And babies, which everyone loves.” With this as his inspiration, he and his hand-selected team of Japanese high-school students naturally arrived at:
Initially the application to register the vessel using Emoji symbols was declined by the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, but after a review process they reversed their decision because, “Honestly? We didn’t want them to go to the Marshall Islands.” Says CISR spokesperson John J. Johnson.
“Certainly our first reaction was WTF. And as expected the process has presented new challenges. The vessel’s Certificate of Registry had to be completed on an admin’s iPhone as our standard software didn’t offer that particular language, and when the client additionally asked for a dispensation to graphically represent the port of registry, we had to take a good hard look at how far we were willing to allow this to go.”
The debate reached the upper chambers of the Cayman Islands government, and was only resolved when the client’s representative pointed out how easy it would be to represent Bikini, Marshall Islands graphically as:
With a letter of endorsement on hand saying that the competing flag state would be happy to allow this, the CISR quickly agreed that they too would honor the new language.
Difficulties in radio protocol, completion of formalities, and simple conversation regarding the vessel are expected. But as the anonymous owner declared in summarizing his feelings about these logistical hurdles, “If I wanted to be practical, I wouldn’t own a yacht.”