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22 Impressive Ship Tattoos To Wake Your Inner Sailor

22 Impressive Ship Tattoos To Wake Your Inner Sailor

If you love marine life, pirates, sailors, and ships—you’ve come to the right place! I have 23 impressive ship tattoos that’ll make you raise your sails.

Not only do they look incredible but some of them have great meanings and symbolism. Keep scrolling for inspiration!

1. Chilling pirate reaper

The sea and ships were always connected to the pirates who are known as robbers on the ocean. Though ship tattoos stand for good luck and new beginnings, the reaper usually symbolizes death.

These two motifs on this particular tattoo give off spooky and dark vibes and could mean a new beginning—afterlife for all the pirates that have been sailing out there.

2. Traditional ship tattoo

2. Traditional ship tattoo
Credit: framed_ink_

Traditional clipper ships symbolize home, new journeys, and adventures that all the sailors, back in the day, aspired to. This piece is bold and colorful with beautiful framework and flowers around the ship.

You can, also, see two names written on the frame—Mia and Lea—that probably represent two special women in the life of this gentleman and are his metaphor for home. Such a beautiful way to honor people who mean the most to you.

3. Fine line ship

3. Fine line ship
Credit: mabi_tattooer

This cover-up ship tattoo is full of details that make it look so realistic and impressive. The freedom this ship represents while crossing the sea is a freedom that everyone is looking for in their life.

The sea is big and can sometimes be full of obstacles but we need to be brave and cross those obstacles to continue our journey and get to the goal we set.

4. Once a sailor…

4. Once a sailor…
Credit: minoskeem

This interesting tattoo shows us a hand with a rope around its wrist while it holds a sailing ship. But, if you look closely, this old hand almost looks like it’s made out of the waves on the sea which perfectly symbolizes the eternal connection between sailors, their ships, and the ocean.

Sailors are always tied to their ships and are always looking for new adventures, no matter what. The ocean is their safe place and they’re in peace while they’re sailing.

5. Cool ghost ship

5. Cool ghost ship
Credit: adam_ruff

This piece shows us a cool ghost ship that still sails on the ocean and its flags are all the way up reaching the night sky. The colors on this piece make it fun and eye-catching and definitely worth the patience with your tattoo artist while he/she works on this piece of art.

6. Stunning sailing ship tattoo

This stunning tattoo looks otherworldly with a beautiful golden frame of the mirror that shows a sailing wooden ship on a cloudy night. The ship is fragile and barely defies the storm but the little red-headed woodpecker flying over it symbolizes determination and resourcefulness that gives hope for the next adventure that’s coming.

7. Let’s catch some fish!

Here is something different and more playful when it comes to the ship tattoos—cats floating on a fishing boat. Most cats love the taste of fish and would do anything to get some. They would even float on a boat even though they don’t like water.

This cute dotwork tattoo is so fun and reminds me of cartoons I used to watch as a kid. It shows us that we should always stay playful and childlike so that we can go through this life with fewer worries and more smiles on our faces. I hope you keep that in mind!

8. Broken lady

8. Broken lady
Credit: xstark_tattoo

A broken lady backing the whole ship symbolizes all the sailors’ wives who were their biggest support. Those women always took care of their kids and the household by themself waiting for their men to come back.

This beautiful tattoo stands for all those strong ladies showing that femininity and braveness go hand in hand.

9. Remarkable sailing ship tattoo

This piece is done with such precision and the shading is done perfectly. It’s such a complex arm tattoo that deserves to be seen since it’s full of amazing details and symbolism.

As I told you before, ship tattoos symbolize bravery, new journeys, and good luck, so it’s no wonder why ship tattoos are so popular among many.

10. Line and color tattoo

Ship tattoos usually tend to be medium to big size but this design shows us how cute a smaller ship tattoo can actually be. Fine lines and colors make it unique while the compass symbol has a personal meaning with some special dates written near the north and south parts.

In general, a compass shows us directions where we need to go and it helps us orient, just like it did for the sailor on the sea.

11. Brilliant ship tattoos inspo

11. Brilliant ship tattoos inspo
Credit: mickgore

These two brilliant tattoos show you a sailing boat on the right leg and a lighthouse on the left leg which have a beautiful and deep meaning to them.

A lighthouse is used to guide the lost boats and help them get back on track which shows us that there’s always a way out of the bad situations life puts us in and you just have to believe and follow the light.

The lighthouse can be a metaphor for your friends and family who are always there for you and guide you on the right path. Therefore, I hope you always have your lighthouse near you!

12. Great clipper ship tattoo

12. Great clipper ship tattoo
Credit: nizi_tattoo

Here is one more traditional clipper ship tattoo but this time in black and grey. Traditional ship tattoos are very popular in America since they honor a rich heritage that goes back to the days of Western tattooing.

For many, these tattoos aren’t just decorative but they symbolize adventurous discovery of the world and navigating through life’s restless waters.

13. Cute little ship

This little and colorful ship tattoo is so cute yet powerful because of the meaning I’ve already mentioned. It’s placed on the wrist and it’s a perfect addition to any arm sleeve.

So if you are looking for some small but meaningful arm tattoo to add to your collection, this one could be a great choice!

14. The mermaid and the ship

14. The mermaid and the ship
Credit: ninja.v.herr

A mermaid—”maid of the sea”—was a popular tattoo motif for many sailors and the sailing community. These tattoos date back to the early 1900s and symbolize magic, the ocean, and beauty.

They’re reminders of the dangers of the sea since they’re believed to lure sailors to their doom with their enchanting songs and sensuality. So, no matter how much the sailors loved the sea it could be dangerous and very unpredictable.

15. Scrimshaw girl

15. Scrimshaw girl
Credit: kelpiebat

The Scrimshaw Girl is a folk art practiced by many whalemen in the 19th and early 20th centuries and the name is of British origin, meaning “the one who wastes time”. The work of whaling was very dangerous and usually lasted for a few years and only the brave ones were ready to rise to the challenge.

My message to you is to always be brave and bold but never to waste your time on the things you can’t change!

16. Impressive ship tattoo

This piece is placed across the chest and the stomach, showing you a sailing ship scene with many amazing ornaments and symbols around it with a compass being on the top center part of this tattoo.

It reminds you to never lose your focus and always keep reaching your goal no matter the threats and obstacles you face in life.

17. Amazing etching tattoo

17. Amazing etching tattoo
Credit: guzmanelmalo

Etching tattoos also called woodcut tattoos are a specific print medium that goes way back in time and they became popular because of their ability to render exquisite details like no other medium.

A great example of an etching tattoo is the one shown in the picture where you can see an amazing ship design that almost looks like it’s drawn on paper. If you’re looking for some pirate or marine inspiration for your next tattoo, this is the one!

18. An ode to sailors

In this piece, you see the famous sailor proverb—”Fail we may, sail we must!” that represents the persistence and resilience of the sailors.

We could all look up to them sometimes and not take life so seriously. We should be courageous and spontaneous and life will bring us the unexpected!

19. Family on board!

19. Family on board!
Credit: by_vas

This cute paper-ship tattoo is a beautiful symbol of a family that is always together and stays together through thick and thin! Family is the most important thing in life and we should protect it at all costs.

I just can’t keep my eyes off of this brilliant ink art that’s so simple and small yet so meaningful and powerful!

20. Powerful waterscape tattoo

This tattoo is a masterpiece of its own. It’s placed all over the back and it represents an old sheep that keeps sailing through the night defying the storm and big waves that befell it.

Even throughout this storm, the ship keeps its sales up just like we should keep our heads up when we come across hard times in life. What a great and motivating ship tattoo with a strong message behind it.

21. Salvador Dali inspo

21. Salvador Dali inspo

Salvador Dali’s “Ship With Butterfly Sails” was painted in the middle of the Spanish Civil War and the butterfly sails stand as a symbol of freedom and transformation which is exactly what this unique tattoo represents.

I think this is a piece of art that you’ll want to show everyone and share its story with them as an inspiration that many will find interesting.

22. God of the sea

One of the most popular gods in Ancient Greek mythology was definitely Poseidon—a god of the sea, storms, earthquakes, and horses. His weapon and main symbol was the trident that you can see on the tattoo in the picture above.

He symbolizes strength, wisdom, and power and serves as a reminder for the sailors that there is someone greater than them, so they always have to be careful while sailing on the ocean.

If you are a ship tattoo lover and feel connected to the marine life and sailors, I think these tattoos will make a perfect option for you to choose from.

22 Impressive Ship Tattoos To Wake Your Inner Sailor

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