23 Amazing Ship Tattoos and Their Meanings

Ship tattoos have a long history of popularity among sailors and other seafaring professions. Although it is traditionally worn by men, at this time they are also very popular among women. They can be depicted with a variety of different elements and symbols, including pirates, swords, ship, wheels, anchors, stars and compasses. Although they can be worn in any scale, because of the shading and detail, they usually end up being medium to large in size. They are not considered a mainstream design, but they are always popular and represent far more than just the sea.

nautical tattoo

History of The Ship Tattoo

When it comes to a ship tattoo, it is one of the best and most popular nautical tattoos of the sailors, it is one of the things with which the sailors are identified and that makes them unique. For sailors and fishermen, it represents their way of life and their way of being. They are on the seas to survive and to take care of their families. In a sense, the ship tattoo is a symbol of that.

ship tattoo
sailor tattoo

Also, many cultures have a long history of pirate ship tattoo art, but in European culture, seafaring has developed its own unique style of tattooing. The tradition can be traced back to the 1700s, where Captain James Cook visited the Maori of the South Seas and his tattoos were often very sweeping.

ship tattoo ideas
arm tattoo ship idea

The Sailing Ship Tattoo Designs

The most popular nautical design is the sailing ship. These tattoos can be designed with a realistic look, or like a caricature, sometimes with only a few sails, and sometimes with many. Some are extremely detailed, while others look s very stylistic or abstract. Most are drawn in water and with waves, but some are not. You can also use ropes, flags, anchors, bow figureheads, crow nests, or other details. Some have blown sails, while others have empty masts. You could also choose birds, lighthouses, rocks, mermaids, thunderstorms, sirens, the sun or moon, or perhaps a coastal landscape.

ship idea tattoo

You can add what you want and make your design meaningful and very personal you have seen yourself how many examples are possible if you research properly. So you will have a better idea and you will know what you want exactly as said take time for your own inspiration and innovation.

Ship Tattoo Meaning and Symbolism

Meanings may vary depending on which design you choose. In the end, your tattoo symbolizes what you want. But for someone who wants to know more about what do ships really symbolize, here is a list of the most common meanings of ship tattoo:

  • New journey
  • New beginning
  • Good luck
  • Embedded in nature
  • Way of life
  • Independence
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Honor
  • Bravery
  • Direction
  • Troubled past
  • The challenges of life

They can also serve as a memorial to friends and loved ones they have lost at sea, lost in our lives. This is a way to honor someone who lived on the open sea or near the open sea. Maybe the person has no connection to the sea, but you just want a ship as a memorial.

arm ship tattoo

As you can see, these designs vary from one person to the next. Some believe it represents life. For some, it embodies the idea of you carrying your world with you through the storm. Maybe anger and turmoil has been a part of your life lately, and you want to embark on a new journey: and symbolize that with a ship no matter what you want you can do anything with the traditional ship tattoo and below you can find photo examples that can help you make a decision easier.

sailor tattoo idea
sailor tattoos
arm tattoo ship and sailor
colorful ship tattoo
arm unique sailor and ship tattoo
back tattoo ship
back blue ship tattoo
ship tattoo drawing
blue drawing ship tattoo
yellow ship tattoo
leg sailor tattoo design

Although it looks like a masculine tattoo, there are also ship tattoos preferred by women that can look feminine and sexy at the same time.

fine line ship tattoo
minimalistic ship tattoo
ship tattoo with red ink
hand ship tattoo
neck tattoo ship design

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