What is "steady boat" in Mandarin?

My boyfriend had his name changed upon receiving American citizenship and told me that his Chinese/birth name had literally meant "horizontal vessel" or, less literally, "steady boat" but did not tell me the actual name. If you could include the pinyin and/or phonetic pronunciation, I’d really appreciate it. Also, if it helps, he did say the character(s) for his name are ridiculously hard to write out, even for someone well-acquainted with Mandarin.

A bonus question: The phonetic pronunciation of his last name is "zo," and I’d like to know the proper Mandarin spelling for this pronunciation, if possible. Thanks!
Thanks for the input, everyone! I really appreciate it. I’m attempting to teach myself conversational Mandarin first, so I suppose I will just have to ask him if I want to know the true pronunciation and spelling of his name. Thanks again, and take care. 🙂

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