Sydney residents were asked to choose a name for a new harbour ferry and the name "Ferry McFerryface" was chosen

Sydney (AFP) - Sydney has christened a new boat “Ferry McFerryface” on Tuesday, following a public vote that took inspiration from the joke name “Boaty McBoatface” picked in Britain for a polar research ship last year.

The New South Wales government received more than 15,000 suggestions for six cross harbour vessels in a ferry-naming competition.

The public’s suggestions favoured the more traditional custom of honouring respected local figures – with the most popular names including the late doctors Victor Chang and Fred Hollows, and gynaecologist Catherine Hamlin.

Next most popular was “Boaty McBoatface”, followed by “Ferry McFerryface”, the government said.

“We asked Sydney to name their new ferries, and we have listened. Ferry McFerryface will be the harbour’s newest icon, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike,” NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.

“Given Boaty was already taken by another vessel, we’ve gone with the next most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders.”

The ferries, which will ply the harbours around Sydney, will carry up to 400 passengers.

Despite a public vote in favour of “Boaty McBoatface”, the British government last year chose instead to name the new polar research ship “Sir David Attenborough”.

The ship’s yellow marine submarine was given the joke name instead.

A New Zealand-bred racehorse named “Horsey McHorseface” with its own Twitter account has also become a cult hit, after breaking through for his first win in Sydney in June.