Nautical tattoos are not just popular among sailors and navy men but also popular among boys and girls who admire sea life. Most guys opt for simple or small nautical tattoos but trust me a traditional or a large size nautical tattoo will look brilliant on the sleeve.
There are many different designs among nautical tattoos and each design holds a unique meaning. Here we show you the 50 best nautical tattoos with meaning behind each tattoo –
Nautical Star Tattoo Meaning
1. Many people look for nautical half sleeve tattoos. One very good design is to include almost all important navigation tools such as a compass, a world map and an anchor like this.
2. The artist cleverly inked this nautical tattoo design on chest. The artist showed a ship wheel along with a ship and sea waves in such a brilliant way.
3. Instead of trying any new nautical tattoo you can always opt for old school or traditional nautical tattoos. Here is a traditional ship wheel tattoo design along with a quote and a landscape in the background.
4. Another cool nautical tattoo idea would be to opt for a traditional or old school compass tattoo design which is inspired from the nautical compasses of the Victorian era.
5. You must choose the size of your nautical tattoo wisely. If you are trying for a large size nautical tattoo then it will look good on the chest or back.
raven feather tattoo meaning
6. Most people and artist ignore lighthouse in nautical tattoos but believe me they are very meaningful in such tattoos. You can try a lighthouse tattoo shining in a sea storm and it will represent hope.
7. Choosing just one pattern or design for nautical sleeve tattoos is really difficult. What you can do is opt for a compass or anchor tattoo in large size and get it inked over a sea tattoo background.
8. Instead of showing a stormy tattoo design you can try a tattoo that gives positivity. Go for a calm and peaceful nautical tattoo that shows a ship sailing in a calm sea.
9. Nautical tattoos don’t have to be limited to ships and sailors. Let’s not forget that the sea is also sailed by pirates. You can try a unique pirate tattoo design like this.
10. Or you can try a marine animal tattoo. Usually, people try shark tattoos but why not try a mystic sea animal tattoo such as a large squid tattoo or an octopus tattoo design. You can also use terms and words from glossary of ship man.
quarter sleeve tattoos with meaning
nautical tattoos for guys
11. You can give a realistic look to your compass tattoo design by trying it in a neo-tribal style. Here the artist tattooed the compass tattoo on the wrist of this guy using solid black ink and made it look like a wristwatch.
12. As I said lighthouse tattoos give positivity and hope so if you are trying for a good nautical tattoo then there would be no better design than a lighthouse tattoo.
13. If you want a nautical bird tattoo design then try a swallow tattoo. Swallows are known for their distinct quality of returning home no matter what. This is very meaningful for a sailor.
14. Nautical tattoos can be a really good cover up tattoos. You can show a stormy sea along with a mythical creature that is attacking a ship and killing the people.
15. I don’t know why the artist added a spider web in this nautical tattoo design but I think lighthouse tattoos can make a really good sleeve tattoo. See it yourself.
16. Many people opt for feminine tattoos and a very good girly nautical tattoo would be the mermaid tattoo design. Try an animated mermaid tattoo or a sea siren tattoo.
17. Nautical tattoos can be made even better with an inspiring or motivational quote. For example this average anchor tattoo design is made special with the ‘Sink or Swim’ quote.
18. One thing that sailors miss on the sail is family and beloved ones. You can get the name of your beloved one inked on an anchor tattoo which will represent that they are your strength.
19. This nautical lighthouse tattoo seems to be inspired from the world war 2 days. This is the reason why the artist added fighter jets to it.
20. Another popular nautical tattoo design is the nautical star tattoo. In old days of sailing, sailor depended on stars for navigation and there for nautical star tattoos are very meaningful.
nautical memorial tattoos
21. A Genius tattoo artist can come up with a brilliant tattoo design where everything is shown in one big tattoo. Such as here is a mix up tattoo that shows an anchor, a lighthouse and a ship wheel along with ropes.
22. An interesting part to have nautical tattoos is fingers. You should try nautical knuckle tattoos where various nautical tattoos are inked on fingers like this.
23. The hand is an ideal part to have nautical tattoos as it can easily be linked with either a compass tattoo or a ship wheel tattoo. The choice is yours and you can make it even better with a 4 letter word tattooed on knuckles.
24. One unique nautical tattoo idea would be to get tattooed with your favorite sea animal and that too wearing a sailor uniform or how about a Pirate uniform?
25. If you are a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean movie series then you might have seen various skull references in the movie. You can opt-in for a pirate or a sailor skull tattoo design like this.
26. If you are opt-in for a nautical sleeve tattoo design then you will surely be advised for a design that includes everything related to sailing. I would recommend you to have the ship tattoo on inner bicep in such designs as it will perfectly suit.
27. A Cool combination for nautical tattoos would be to try some part of the tattoo with neo-tribal tattoo art and another part with just outlines just like this.
28. If you wish to have a deeply meaningful tattoo design then you can try a ship on fire nautical tattoo that will represent the difficulties you face in your life.
29. If you wish to show that you have a strong attitude and are always prepared for tough situations then I would recommend you to try a ship tattoo design that has multiple sails in it.
30. One really cool fact in this ship tattoo design is that the artist showed the rising sun just near the frontend of the ship. Also, the use of colors in this tattoo is perfect.
small nautical tattoos for guys
31. You can have a full chest or full back nautical tattoos as it will give a huge space for large size tattoo designs. Here the artist perfectly utilized the space and showed a giant squid, a ship and a lighthouse in one tattoo design.
32. People are more attracted to Victorian-era ship tattoo designs then modern ship tattoos. Here the artist also added a subtle mermaid tattoo design. Can you find it?
33. One of the most popular novels in the world is Moby-Dick or The Whale. You can have a tattoo inspired by the novel which tells the tale of a sailor who is on the hunt of a Whale.
34. Most artists focus only on ship wheel tattoo design but such tattoo will get even more meaningful if you add a captain’s hat to it. How about one inspired by Captain Jack Sparrow?
35. I really liked the dot work on this compass tattoo design on the forearm of this guy but I do not understand the logic of 4222 kings on this tattoo.
36. Whale tattoos have the popularity of their own. So why not try a huge whale tattoo design along with a ship tattoo or a lighthouse tattoo?
37. People usually opt for black and grey octopus tattoo design but you can give try to a colorful giant octopus tattoo and can make it even better with an anchor tattoo design.
38. The imagination of the tattoo artist ran wild in this tattoo design as the artist showed a bird attacking a giant octopus or probably a Kraken or a loch ness monster.
39. Instead of opting for obvious nautical tattoos you can opt for offbeat tattoo design one that is inspired by animated movies or tv series. Here is a Popeye the sailor man tattoo design along with his lady love olive.
40. A small boat tattoo design sailing in a violent sea storm is a cool idea. Get it tattooed on your hand you will feel proud to show it to the world.
nautical half sleeve tattoo
41. If you have a huge bicep then there is no better tattoo design a than a huge ship tattoo. You can try it either in black and grey style or in neo tribal tattoo art.
42. One heart touching nautical tattoo idea would be to get tattooed with the map of your country and adding a compass to it where the pointer always points towards home.
43. If you opt for nautical outline tattoo then make sure the tattoo design is easy to understand and there is no confusion at all. Most artists mix up outline tattoos thereby ruining them.
44. This rope tattoo design alone will not be much meaningful but you can modify it by adding an anchor on the other end. It can be shown as if the rope is tied on the elbow and the anchor is hanging on the wrist.
45. This small size nautical tattoo has many subtle tattoos in it. The artist showed a pirate skull along with a nautical star along with swallow bird.
46. There are many paintings and drawings of popular ships on Pinterest, Tumblr and DeviantArt. You can use them for your tattoo design.
47. Have you read the novel ’20 thousand leagues under the sea’ by Jules Verne? If yes then you would probably love this submarine tattoo design.
48. Nautical star tattoos are usually not much detailed but trust me a detailed nautical star tattoo design will look much more attractive than small boat or ship tattoos.
49. You can try an ancient whale tattoo design all you have to do is to pick up a giant whale that existed in ancient history. You can get it tattooed on inner bicep like this. The artist gave a double exposure to this tattoo by adding a traditional nautical sketch tattoo to it.
50. This tattoo design on the calf of this boy is very interesting as the artist added a ship in a bottle and showed a giant squid holding it.
Which nautical tattoo design you liked the most from the above photo gallery?