Three masted traditional ship tattoo on the arm

Ship Tattoo: These 40 Ship Tattoo Ideas Will Be The Best Ones You’ve Seen

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Ship tattoo was once a trendy choice among the sailors. But today, they represent a much larger group of people. If you have any connection with the sea or the boats, this type of tattoo is a perfect option for you. There are many different types of ships so that you can choose from a vast variety. If you want to get a ship on your body, keep reading – we gathered a beautiful collection of these tattoos.

Traditional ship tattoo on the arm
Traditional ship tattoo on the arm
Black ship tattoo on the arm by christian lanouette
Black ship tattoo on the arm by Christian Lanouette
Ship and flower tattoo on the right hip and thigh
Ship and flower tattoo on the right hip and thigh.
Black tattoo of a ship in a bottle
Black tattoo of a ship in a bottle
Dotwork sailing ship and lighthouse tattoo on the right arm
Dotwork sailing ship and lighthouse tattoo on the right arm

Ship tattoo meaning

Ship and boat tattoos have several meanings. Apart from the clear associations with the sailing and sea, these tattoos also have other symbols. Let’s take a closer look at those.

Traditional ship with a rose and two swallows tattoo on the arm
Traditional ship with a rose and two swallows tattoo on the arm

The sailors used to get a ship tattoo only when they crossed the Cape Horn, one of the most dangerous sea crossings. So, the ship symbolizes overcoming the difficulties. Therefore, if you had dealt with a severe problem in your life, this is an ideal choice for you.

Ship in a rhombus dot work style tattoo
Ship in a rhombus dot-work style tattoo

Adventures are another symbol of the boats. The sailors used the boats to discover and conquer new territories. But they did that without any guarantee that they will return home. Also, many of them have lost and died in the seas, so it can also be a sign of respect for them.

Full rigged black ship tattoo on the right upper arm by anem
Full-rigged black ship tattoo on the right upper arm by tattooist Anem

The ship must face the difficulties of the sea: the storms, the winds, and the huge waves. So, it is also a symbol of strength and resistance.

Carrack tattoo in a triangle sailing at night by tattooist doy
Carrack tattoo in a triangle sailing at night by tattooist doy

Returning home is another symbolic theme of the ship tattoos. It may also represent a return home or to your origins after a long search for yourself or a great trip.

Neo traditional black three masted sailing vessel tattoo on the right bicep
Neo-traditional black three-masted sailing vessel tattoo on the right bicep

A sign of luck. Tattoos of ships and anchors are the amulets for the sailors. They protect them from the dangers of the sea and help them to return safely back to their homes.

Types of ship and boat tattoos

There are many different types of ships, so you have a wide variety of choices here. Although, the most popular style of ship tattoos are the traditional brigantine ships. The modern ship types such as yachts and huge warships are less popular. However, we can see the rising popularity of small and minimal ship tattoos among the ladies.

Small black ship tattoo on the back of the upper arm
Small black ship tattoo on the back of the upper arm
Traditional american ship tattoo on the left inner arm
Traditional American ship tattoo on the left inner arm
Ship tattoo in a linear style on the left upper arm
Ship tattoo in a linear style on the left upper arm
Traditional sailing ship tattoo on the left hand
Traditional sailing ship tattoo on the left hand
Another realistic black tattoo of a ship on the left upper thigh by tattooist grain
Another realistic black tattoo of a ship on the left upper thigh by tattooist Grain

Regarding the size of the ship tattoos, we recommend mid-size or larger pieces. Mainly because with the smaller designs you will have to sacrifice many details. It’s okay if you want a tiny symbol of the ship, but if you want it to have the sails and other things, you should go with the bigger tattoos.

Ship tattoo ideas

To feel the beauty of the ship tattoos, you have to see them yourself. That’s why we leave you with the best ideas below. Take a look, and we are sure you will find your dream tattoo!

Black sailing barque ship on the side
Black sailing Barque ship on the side
Three masted barque ship tattoo by drew cottom
Three-masted Barque ship tattoo by Drew Cottom
Black dead ship and watercolor splash tattoo on the right arm
Black, dead ship and watercolor splash tattoo on the right arm
Ship and the tides tattoo on the left arm
Ship and the tides tattoo on the left arm
Black caravel tattoo on the right inner arm
Black caravel tattoo on the right inner arm
Three masted traditional ship tattoo on the arm
Three-masted traditional ship tattoo on the arm
Circular dot work three masted sailing vessel tattoo on the left arm
Circular dot work three-masted sailing vessel tattoo on the left arm
Ship with a word homeward ribbon tattoo on the right upper arm
Ship with a word ‘homeward’ on the ribbon tattoo on the right upper arm
Tiny traditional ship tattoo on the index finger by ben grillo
Tiny traditional ship tattoo on the index finger by Ben Grillo
Tattoo of a ship on the right arm with the words sailors grave below
Tattoo of a ship on the right arm with the words sailors grave below
Realistic black ship tattoo on the right forearm
Realistic black ship tattoo on the right forearm
Fine line realistic tattoo of a ship on the right upper arm
Fine line realistic tattoo of a ship on the right upper arm
Simple black and red ship tattoo on the bicep
Old school black and red ship tattoo on the bicep
Two masted barque ship and huge waves tattoo on the left bicep
Two-masted bark ship and huge waves tattoo on the left bicep
Circular dot work style tattoo of a ship
Circular dot work style tattoo of a ship
Dot work style tattoo of a sailing three masted vessel
Dot work style tattoo of a sailing three-masted vessel
Black sailing three masted ship tattoo on the left inner thigh
Another black sailing three-masted ship tattoo on the left inner thigh
Two masted sailing ship black tattoo on the right upper thigh
Two-masted sailing ship black tattoo on the right upper thigh
Blackwork style tattoo of a ship on the arm by marco c matarese
Blackwork style tattoo of a ship on the arm by Marco C Matarese
Small black ship tattoo on the right hand
Small black ship tattoo on the right hand
Small black ship tattoo with inspiring words explore dream discover
Small black ship tattoo with inspiring words: explore, dream, discover
Two masted barque ship with a flower tattoo on the left inner arm
Two-masted bark ship with a flower tattoo on the left inner arm
Old school ship tattoo with a rose by asher vallen
Old school ship tattoo with a rose by Asher Vallen
Three masted barque sailing vessel tattoo on the right bicep
Three-masted bark sailing vessel tattoo on the right bicep
Four masted ship and a mandala tattoo on the right inner arm by kirk jones
Four-masted ship and a mandala tattoo on the right inner arm by Kirk Jones
Ship Tattoo: These 40 Ship Tattoo Ideas Will Be The Best Ones You’ve Seen
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