These sailing quotes help capture the essence of being out at sea in a wind-powered vessel enjoying the sun in your face and the water beneath you.
For all who have sailed even the simplest of boats, they know that there’s something magical about the experience. Sailing is a time-honored tradition with its own vocabulary and rewards that you cannot find elsewhere.
Best sailing quotes
Here are our favorite sailing quotations for you to “set sail” with (sorry, couldn’t resist).
1.) No landlubbers allowed
“Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit.”
A landlubber is a person unfamiliar with the ways of sailing – a non-sailor. Sailors enjoy the opportunity to visit various destinations and experience unique routes that others don’t. Adventures await both on the boat and at every port.
2.) Work Hard, Play Hard
“Work like a captain and play like a pirate.”
At sea, like on land, there’s a time to get the work done and a time to relax. Try to perfect both parts. (Don’t take the pirate part too literally, please).
3.) Good luck happens for those who are prepared.
“The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.”
Fortune favors the skilled in sailing as well as in other endeavors. What might seem lucky to some might actually be years of experience and expertise that enables one captain to out-maneuver another. In sailing, small movements can produce better results.
4.) Expertise is needed when there are rough seas
“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.”
Just as anyone looks like a great investor when the whole market is up, anyone can captain the boat when the conditions are great. When the sea is more challenging, it’s important to have more sailing skills.
5.) Preparation for sailing is of utmost importance
“The sea finds out everything you did wrong.”
Sailors should never underestimate the challenge of sailing on big bodies of water. Planning and preparation are key. Create lists, check twice, review with others, and be cautious to ensure a safe trip.
6.) Sailing Takes Me Away
“Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little.”
Sailing is about exploration and connecting with the elements. There’s something about the solitude, the breeze, and the relaxation that can make sailing a one-of-a-kind experience.
7.) A sailing life can be simple
“At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.”
Robin Lee Graham
There’s a simplicity to sailing that many treasures. You might want to read about the history and tradition of sailing. There’s also an immediate reward when you get your sail trim just right.
Funny sailing quotes
Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk.
Sir Francis Chichester
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
Vincent Van Gogh
A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind. Live passionately, even if it kills you because something is going to kill you anyway.
Home is where the anchor drops.
To young men contemplating a voyage, I would say, “Go!”
The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port, and the other was an atrocious liar.
Good sailing sayings
Here are some more of our favorites.
He is the best sailor who can steer within the fewest points of the wind and extract a motive power out of the greatest obstacles.
On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open, and the world is full of beauty.
There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than life at sea.
Ship sailing away
Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.
It’s remarkable how quickly a good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening frustrations of shore living.
Ernest K. Gann
Short sailing quotes
I cannot not sail.
The goal is not to sail the boat but rather to help the boat sail herself.
If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
The art of the sailor is to leave nothing to chance.
Annie Van De Wiele
The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea.
Now and then, we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
There is no better tool or equipment you can have onboard than a well-trained crew.
Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made, for somewhere deep in their oaken hearts, the soul of a song is laid.
Robert N. Rose
A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.
I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.
One foot cannot stand on two boats.
Hoist your sail when the wind is fair.
If there is a wave, there must be wind.
God provides the wind, but man must raise the sails.
A boat stands firmer with two anchors.
Raise your sail one foot, and you get ten feet of wind.
Fear blows wind into your sails.
Two captains sink a ship.
After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how she might have been saved.
In calm water, every ship has a good captain.
Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
Sailor lingo that we use today
Here is some of the sailing lingo that has found its way into everyday conversation on and off the boat.
- Give a wide berth.
- Batten down the hatches.
- Make waves.
- Run a tight ship.
- Red sky at night, sailor’s delight, red sky in morn, sailors take warn.
- Down in the doldrums.
- High and dry.
- Rock the boat.
- Pipe down.
- Hand over fist.
- Through thick and thin.
- Learn the ropes.
- The cut of one’s jib.
- A shot across the bows.
- Sink or swim.
- The devil to pay.
- Over a barrel.
- All hands on deck.
- Passed with flying colors.
- Dead in the water.
- A clean bill of health.
- On Board.
- A loose cannon.
Spending time sailing can be relaxing and take away some of your stress from your day-to-day challenges. It helps you get away from it all and maybe even go places you’ve never been. If you’ve never sailed before, make sure you give it a try. I hope you enjoyed our list.
By Mike O’Halloran
Mike is the founder and editor of Sports Feel Good Stories. He can sometimes be found sailing on Lake Harriet or Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis.
You’re on our Sailing Quotes page.
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