Nautical Tattoo Meanings

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

Once upon a time sailors marked their bodies with tattoos as badges of honor that marked personal and professional milestones. The life of a sailor was full of mystery and adventure. The lure of the sea brought with it risk, danger, and superstition. Symbols permanently inked on their bodies bolstered them to cross seas, sail to the ends of the earth and discover new adventures in the face of death.

Though most of us are not sailors, we still navigate the stormy seas of life, counting distances, marking achievements and defying the odds.
To inspire your next tattoo design, consider the meaning and symbolism of sailor and nautical tattoos. Here is a list of the meanings behind the most common sailor tattoos.