Ocean Quotes Nautical Sayings

99 Ocean Quotes that will give you Goose Bumps

Best Ocean Quotes & Nautical Sayings

We never need any added incentive to cruise, but these Ocean Quotes sure do excite us for our next sailing! You’ll find sayings from Whoopi Goldberg to Mark Twain. We even through in an Ocean Quote from The Princess Bride!

For the true nautical fan out there, make sure to also check out our Best Cruise Shirts post. There you’ll find 20 funny, inspiring, and nostalgic tees expressing your love for the ocean and cruising. If you’ve found yourself on this post, we recommend the “thalassophile” t-shirt!

Take your time and scroll through the following ocean quotes. Pin those that you’d like to remember and revisit when you miss the ocean. We hope it’ll get you even more excited to cruise.

Ocean Quotes Pinterest

Use the Pin It button above to save this post to your favorite Cruise Pinterest Board! You can also hover over any of the 99 Quotes to pin them individually!

And now, please check out the best Ocean quotes we could find.

99 Ocean Quotes & Sayings

Ocean Quote 1 of 99: When I forget how talented God is, I look to the sea.

“When I forget how talented God is, I look to the sea.”
– Whoopi Goldberg


Ocean Quote 2 of 99: Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear.

“Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear.”
– Buzzy Trent


Ocean Quote 3 of 99: I start from the premise that no object created by man...

“I start from the premise that no object created by man is as satisfying to his body and soul as a proper sailing yacht.”
– Arthur Beiser 1978, The Proper Yacht


ocean quotes 1

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Ocean Quote 7 of 99: When the draught of your vessel exceeds the depth of the water, you are most assuredly, aground.

“When the draught of your vessel exceeds the depth of the water, you are most assuredly, aground.”
– Ian Walsh


Ocean Quote 8 of 99: When a man comes to like a sea life, he is not fit to live on land.

“When a man comes to like a sea life, he is not fit to live on land.”
– Dr. Samuel Johnson, Writer


Ocean Quote 9 of 99: We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”
– Aristotle Onassis, Shipping Magnate


Ocean Quote 10 of 99: Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore...

“Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea.”
– Charles Cook


Ocean Quote 11 of 99: Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do...

“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.”
– Mark Twain, Great American Writer


Ocean Quote 12 of 99: To sail is human... to power divine!

“To sail is human… to power divine!”
– Preben Sejer Kristensen



Ocean Quote 4 of 99: Anchor as though you plan to stay for weeks, even if you intend to leave in an hour.

“Anchor as though you plan to stay for weeks, even if you intend to leave in an hour.”
– Tommy Moran


Ocean Quote 5 of 99: Without patience, a sailor I would never be.

“Without patience, a sailor I would never be.”
– Lee Allred


Ocean Quote 6 of 99: Whenever your preparations for the sea are poor...

“Whenever your preparations for the sea are poor; the sea worms its way in and finds the problems.”
– Francis Stokes


ocean quotes 2

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Ocean Quote 13 of 99: To my crew: Please be reasonable and do it my way.

“To my crew:
Please be reasonable and do it my way.”
The Captain
– Rusty Mills


Ocean Quote 14 of 99: To be successful at sea we must keep things simple.

“To be successful at sea we must keep things simple.”
– R. D. ( Pete ) Culler


Ocean Quote 15 of 99: Time and Tide wait for no man.

“Time and Tide wait for no man.”
– St. Marher, 1225


Ocean Quote 16 of 99: There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.

“There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.”
– Joseph Conrad, Writer


Ocean Quote 17 of 99: There is nothing like lying flat on your back on the deck...

“There is nothing like lying flat on your back on the deck, alone except for the helmsman aft at the wheel, silence except for the lapping of the sea against the side of the ship. At that time you can be equal to Ulysses and brother to him.”
– Errol Flynn


Ocean Quote 18 of 99: There is nothing absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

“There is nothing absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
– Kenneth Grahame, Writer


Ocean Quote 19 of 99: There is but a plank between a sailor and eternity.

“There is but a plank between a sailor and eternity.”
– Thomas Gibbons


Ocean Quote 20 of 99: There are three sorts of people; those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea.

“There are three sorts of people; those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea.”
– Old Capstan Chantey attributed to Anacharsis, 6th Century BC


Ocean Quote 21 of 99: The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
– William Arthur Ward, Writer


Ocean Quote 22 of 99: The only way to get a good crew is to marry one.

“The only way to get a good crew is to marry one.”
– Eric Hiscock


Ocean Quote 23 of 99: The ocean is an object of no small terror.

“The ocean is an object of no small terror.”
– Edmund Burke


Ocean Quote 24 of 99: The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use.

“The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use.”
– Dom Degnon


Ocean Quote 25 of 99: The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself.

“The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself.”
– John Rousmaniere


Ocean Quote 26 of 99: The difference between a fairy tale and a sea tale...

“The difference between a fairy tale and a sea tale? A fairy tale starts with “Once upon a time”. A sea tale starts with ” This ain’t no $hit!”
– Edith Widder


Ocean Quote 27 of 99: The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage...

“The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place.”
– Arthur Ransome


Ocean Quote 28 of 99: The days pass happily with me wherever my ship sails.

“The days pass happily with me wherever my ship sails.”
– Joshua Slocum


Ocean Quote 29 of 99: The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea.

“The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea.”
– Isak Dinesen


Ocean Quote 30 of 99: The chance for mistakes is about equal to the number of crew squared.

“The chance for mistakes is about equal to the number of crew squared.”
– Ted Turner


Ocean Quote 31 of 99: The best bilge pump of all is a bucket in the hands of a frightened man.

“The best bilge pump of all is a bucket in the hands of a frightened man.”
– Butch Dalrymple-Smith


Ocean Quote 32 of 99: The art of the sailor is to leave nothing to chance.

“The art of the sailor is to leave nothing to chance.”
– Annie Van De Wiele


Ocean Quote 33 of 99: Some years ago never mind how long precisely having little or no money in my purse...

“Some years ago never mind how long precisely having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”
– H. Melville, Opening Line from Moby Dick


Ocean Quote 34 of 99: Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made.

“Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made.”
– Robert N. Rose


Ocean Quote 35 of 99: Sailors, with their built in sense of order, service and discipline, should really be running the world.

“Sailors, with their built in sense of order, service and discipline, should really be running the world.”
– Nicholas Monsarrat


Ocean Quote 36 of 99: Sailing unties the knots in my mind.

“Sailing unties the knots in my mind.”
– Al Noble


Ocean Quote 37 of 99: Sailing The fine art of slowly going nowhere at great expense while being cold, wet and miserable.

“Sailing The fine art of slowly going nowhere at great expense while being cold, wet and miserable.”
– Irv Heller


Ocean Quote 38 of 99: Remember. It was a professional who built the Titanic, It was an amateur who built Noah's Ark.

“Remember. It was a professional who built the Titanic, It was an amateur who built Noah’s Ark.”
– Vanessa Linsley


Ocean Quote 39 of 99: Pull that thing. Pull that other thing. Sail faster.

“Pull that thing.
Pull that other thing.
Sail faster.”
– from the movie The Princess Bride


Ocean Quote 40 of 99: Out of sight of land the sailor feels safe. It is the beach that worries him.

“Out of sight of land the sailor feels safe. It is the beach that worries him.”
– Charles C. Davis


Ocean Quote 41 of 99: Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground...

“Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar.
– Don Bamford


Ocean Quote 42 of 99: Only fools and passengers drink at sea.

“Only fools and passengers drink at sea.”
– Allan Villiers


Ocean Quote 43 of 99: One of the best temporary cures for pride and affection is seasickness.

“One of the best temporary cures for pride and affection is seasickness.”
– Henry Wheeler Show


Ocean Quote 44 of 99: Now bring me that horizon.

“Now bring me that horizon.”
– The last line from Pirates of the Caribbean


Ocean Quote 45 of 99: Never a ship sails out of a bay, but carries my heart as a stowaway.

“Never a ship sails out of a bay, but carries my heart as a stowaway.”
– Roselle Mercier Montgomery


Ocean Quote 46 of 99: Men in a ship are always looking up, and men ashore are usually looking down.

“Men in a ship are always looking up, and men ashore are usually looking down.”
– John Masefield


Ocean Quote 47 of 99: Man marks the earth with ruin – his control stops with the shore.

“Man marks the earth with ruin – his control stops with the shore.”
– Byron


Ocean Quote 48 of 99: Mackerel skies and mares tails, soon will be time to shorten sails.

“Mackerel skies and mares tails, soon will be time to shorten sails.”
– Old sailors proverb


Ocean Quote 49 of 99: Life's roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors.

“Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors.”
– unknown


Ocean Quote 50 of 99: The planning stage of a cruise is often just as enjoyable as the voyage itself...

“The planning stage of a cruise is often just as enjoyable as the voyage itself, letting one’s imagination loose on all kinds of possibilities. Yet translating dreams into reality means a lot of practical questions have to be answered.”
– Jimmy Cornell (World Cruising Handbook)


Nautical Saying 51 of 99: The right of way goes to the vessel with the least competent crew.

“The right of way goes to the vessel with the least competent crew.”
– Mike Baiocchi


Nautical Saying 52 of 99: The sea drives truth into a man like salt.

“The sea drives truth into a man like salt.”
– Hilaire Belloc


Nautical Saying 53 of 99: The sea finds out everything you did wrong.

“The sea finds out everything you did wrong.”
– Francis Stokes


Nautical Saying 54 of 99: The sea hates a coward.

“The sea hates a coward.”
– Eugene O’Neill


Nautical Saying 55 of 99: The sea is the same as it has been since before men ever went on it in boats.

“The sea is the same as it has been since before men ever went on it in boats.”
– Ernest Hemingway


Nautical Saying 56 of 99: The thing I realized this last few days is that the earth is a big place.

“The thing I realized this last few days is that the earth is a big place.”
– Paul Cayard


Nautical Saying 57 of 99: The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.

“The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.”
– Edmund Gibbon, Historian


Nautical Saying 58 of 99: There are more sharks on the land than in the sea.

“There are more sharks on the land than in the sea.”
– Neil Wheatley


Nautical Saying 59 of 99: There are only two colors to paint a boat, black or white...

“There are only two colors to paint a boat, black or white, and only a fool would paint a boat black.”
– Nathanael G. Herreshoff


Nautical Saying 60 of 99: Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit.

“Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit.”
– Brooks Atkinson


Nautical Saying 61 of 99: It's scary to have a 30 foot wave chasing you...

“It’s scary to have a 30 foot wave chasing you. If you are steering, you don’t look back. The crew looks back for you, and you watch their faces. When they look straight up, then get ready!”
– Magnus Olsson


Nautical Saying 62 of 99: It's remarkable how quickly a good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening frustrations of shore living.

“It’s remarkable how quickly a good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening frustrations of shore living.”
– Ernest K. Gann


Nautical Saying 63 of 99: It's out there at sea that you are really yourself.

“It’s out there at sea that you are really yourself.”
– Vito Dumas


Nautical Saying 64 of 99: It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.

“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.”
– George William Curtis, Writer


Nautical Saying 65 of 99: It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.

“It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.”
– Sir Francis Drake, Sea Captain


Nautical Saying 66 of 99: If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it.

“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”
– Jonathan Winters


Nautical Saying 67 of 99: If you're not getting close to capsize, you're probably not pushing hard enough.

“If you’re not getting close to capsize, you’re probably not pushing hard enough.”
– James Spithill, ORACLE Racing Team USA


Nautical Saying 68 of 99: If you can’t tie a knot, tie a lot.

“If you can’t tie a knot, tie a lot.”
– Motto of a representative of the Winslow Liferaft Company


Nautical Saying 69 of 99: If you can’t repair it, maybe it shouldn’t be on board.

“If you can’t repair it, maybe it shouldn’t be on board.”
– Lin and Larry Pardey


Nautical Saying 70 of 99: If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat...

“If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most.”
– E. B. White


Nautical Saying 71 of 99: I'm telling you that India is that way, now set my course.

“I’m telling you that India is that way, now set my course.”
– Christopher Columbus


Nautical Saying 72 of 99: I was born in the breezes, and I had studied the sea...

“I was born in the breezes, and I had studied the sea as perhaps few men have studied it, neglecting all else.”
– Joshua Slocum


Nautical Saying 73 of 99: I wanted freedom, open air and adventure. I found it on the sea.

“I wanted freedom, open air and adventure. I found it on the sea.”
– Alaine Gerbault, Sailor


Nautical Saying 74 of 99: I want a boat that drinks 6, eats 4, and sleeps 2.

“I want a boat that drinks 6, eats 4, and sleeps 2.”
– Earnest K. Gann


Nautical Saying 75 of 99: I once knew a writer who, after saying beautiful things about the sea, passed through a Pacific hurricane...

“I once knew a writer who, after saying beautiful things about the sea, passed through a Pacific hurricane, and he became a changed man.”
– Joshua Slocum


Nautical Saying 76 of 99: I need the Sea because it teaches me.

“I need the Sea because it teaches me.”
– from THE SEA by Pablo Neruda


Nautical Saying 77 of 99: I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky...

“I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky.
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.”
– John Masefield


Nautical Saying 78 of 99: I loved cruising the coast of Maine. For one thing...

“I loved cruising the coast of Maine. For one thing, it helped me conquer my fear of fog. Not that I have learned to feel secure in the fog, but at least I have learned how to grope without panic.”
– Herb Payson


Nautical Saying 79 of 99: I don't know who named them swells. There's nothing swell about them.

“I don’t know who named them swells. There’s nothing swell about them. They should have named them awfuls.”
– Hugo Vihlen


Nautical Quote 80 of 99: I cannot not sail.

“I cannot not sail.”
– E. B. White


Nautical Quote 82 of 99: I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
– Louisa May Alcott in Little Women


Nautical Quote 83 of 99: However bad the storm you are in, there is still sun somewhere over your horizon.

“However bad the storm you are in, there is still sun somewhere over your horizon.”
– Ken Nutt


Nautical Quote 84 of 99: Headwinds are sore vexations and the more passengers the sorer.

“Headwinds are sore vexations and the more passengers the sorer.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Nautical Quote 85 of 99: He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea.

“He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea.”
– Thomas Fuller


Nautical Quote 86 of 99: Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Give him a fishing lesson...

“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Give him a fishing lesson and he’ll sit in a boat drinking beer every weekend.”
– Alex Blackwell


Nautical Quote 87 of 99: Everyone must row with the oars he has.

“Everyone must row with the oars he has.”
– Dutch proverb


Nautical Quote 88 of 99: Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place...

“Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters.”
– Howard Bloomfield


Ocean Sayings 81 of 99: Can we go downwind now please. I've been hit in the face by a grill pan.

“Can we go downwind now please. I’ve been hit in the face by a grill pan.”
– Julian Megson


Nautical Quote 89 of 99: Boats, like whiskey, are all good.

“Boats, like whiskey, are all good.”
– R. D. Culler


Nautical Quote 90 of 99: At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.

“At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.”
– Robin Lee Graham


Nautical Quote 91 of 99: A tourist remains an outsider throughout his visit; but a sailor...

“A tourist remains an outsider throughout his visit; but a sailor is part of the local scene from the moment he arrives.”
– Anne Davison


Nautical Quote 92 of 99: A Smooth Sea NEVER made a Skilled Sailor.

“A Smooth Sea NEVER made a Skilled Sailor.”
– John George Hermanson English Proverb


Nautical Quote 94 of 99: A small craft in an ocean is, or should be, a benevolent dictatorship.

“A small craft in an ocean is, or should be, a benevolent dictatorship.”
– Tristan Jones


Nautical Quote 95 of 99: A ship is safe in harbor but that's not what ships are for.

“A ship is safe in harbor but that’s not what ships are for.”
– William G.T. Shedd


Nautical Quote 96 of 99: A ship is always referred to as

“A ship is always referred to as “she” because it costs so much to keep her in paint and powder.”
– ADM. Chester Nimitz


Nautical Quote 97 of 99: A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.

“A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.”
– Bernard Moitessier


Nautical Quote 98 of 99: A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.

“A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.”
– Webb Chiles


Nautical Quote 99 of 99: Any damn fool can navigate the world sober...

“Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk.”
– Sir Francis Chichester while loading his boat with gin

We hope that you’ve enjoyed these Ocean Quotes and Nautical Sayings. Which was your favorite? Did we miss any? Use the comment section below and add your best quote or tell us which you like best!

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7 thoughts on “99 Ocean Quotes that will give you Goose Bumps”

    1. The background images for the quotes are those horrible cruise ships! Over-sized, over crowded, decorated like the inside of a pinball machine, and designed to extract as much cash from the passenger as they can. Try some sailing yachts instead.

  1. Its not the size of the ship, its the ability of the Captain to get his ship into port and disembark all his passengers

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