Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

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  • 17 Sep, 2021  |
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King Neptune
Another badge of honor for crossing the Equator, King Neptune signifies that a Sailor is a part of King Neptune’s court.

1 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Fully-Rigged Ships
A tattoo of a fully rigged ship means that a Sailor has been around Cape Horn. The rough and stormy water around South America made for a dangerous passage for early ships and the tattoo signified that the Sailor had survived the journey.


2 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Nautical Star
The nautical star is a symbol that a Sailor will always find his way back home. The nautical star is a five-pointed black and white star to resemble a compass rose.


3 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Shellback Turtle
One of the biggest rituals in Navy culture is the shellback ceremony, Held for the Sailors who are passing the equator for the first time, the ceremony symbolizes their transformation from a slimy pollywog to a trusty shellback.


4 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Crossed Cannons
Crossed cannons are very common among Sailors as it signifies that a veteran has seen military service in the Navy.


5 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Swallows
Sailors earn a swallow for every 5,000 nautical miles that they travel. Roughly the distance from New York City to Tel Aviv. That means that Sailors who have traveled the circumference of the earth are eligible to get four swallow tattoos.



6 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Anchor
A single anchor means a Sailor crossed the Atlantic Ocean of has been a member of the merchant marines. Unfortunately, the meaning of this tattoo has lost a lot of its meaning in recent years with Chiefs getting the tattoo to signify their rank and not their accomplishments.


7 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Rope on the Wrist
A knot of rope on a Sailors wrist identifies a deckhand. The tattoo is common among Boatswains Mates as they are the ones handling lines.


8 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Hula Girl
One of my favorites, the hula girl is a symbol that the Sailor has been to Hawaii.


9 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Crossed anchors
Sailors who have a crossed anchor on the webbing between their thumb and index finger identify themselves as boatswain’s mates. In recent years, the placement of the tattoo has stayed the same while Sailors across the navy have elected to get their own rating insignia to signify their job.


10 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

HOLD and FAST
On the four front0-facing fingers of a Sailors hands, one may find the words “HOLD” and “FAST.” Sailors hope that it brings them good luck while grabbing the lines. Holding fast means that the Sailor isn’t going to let go of the line, no matter what.


11 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Pig and Rooster
One of the stranger ones, Sailors are known to get a pig and rooster tattoo on the topside of both their feet to prevent them from drowning. This tradition comes from the time of wooden ships as the pigs and roosters would typically be the only things to survive the sinking of a ship due to the wooden crates that they were stored in.


12 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Compass Rose
Another good luck charm, the compass rose is superstitious to help the Sailor find their way home.


13 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Crosses
Worn on the soles of a Sailor’s feet, the crosses are there to ward off sharks.


14 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Dagger through a Rose
One of the more meaningful tattoos, the tattoo means that the Sailor is loyal and willing to fight for anything, even something as sweet and beautiful as a rose.


15 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Dragon and Golden Dragon
While both these symbols are virtually the same aside from the color, the dragon means that a Sailor has served in China while the Golden Dragon means that a Sailor has crossed the international date line.


16 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

Palm Tree
A palm tree on a Sailor has multiple meanings. Depending on the Navy that the Sailor served in, a palm tree can either represent service in Hawaii or that the Sailor has gone through the Mediterranean.



17 Nautical Theme Tattoos Meanings (18 pics)

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