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45 Sailing Quotes

Whether you’re an experienced sailor or dreaming of living ashore, these 45 sailing quotes are sure to get you feeling closer to the ocean. We have gathered the best famous sailing quotes to inspire you or remind you of the adventure that sailing brings.

It might not all be smooth sailing, but as these quotes highlight, it is the big waves and challenges at sea that provide growth and life-changing experiences. Please consider sharing your favorite image to Pinterest, as this helps us hugely! Happy sailing!

1. “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” –Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Sailing quotes

2. “A sailing vessel is alive in a way that no ship with mechanical power ever be.” —Aubrey de Selincourt

Sailing quotation

3. “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” – African Proverb

Sailors quotes

4. “When a man comes to like a sea life, he is not fit to live on land.” – Unknown

Quotes about sailors

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

Famous sailing quotes

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

Sailor sayings and quotes

7. “It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing, that assures the prosperous voyage.” – Unknown

Famous nautical quotes

8. “To desire nothing beyond what you have is surely happiness. Aboard a boat, it is frequently possible to achieve just that. That is why sailing is a way of life, one of the finest of lives.” Carleton Mitchell

Sailing away quotes

9. “Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” –Robert Henri

Sailor love quotes

10. “No literature is richer than that of the sea. No story is more enthralling, no tradition is more secure.” – Felix Riesenberg

Quotes about sailing

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11. “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 the safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Quotes about sailing away

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

Quote sailing

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

Quotes about sailing and life

14. “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.” ―Webb Chiles

Sailor quotes and sayings

15. “To young men contemplating a voyage I’d say go.” – Joshua Slocum

Quotes for sailors

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

Sailing quotes short

17. “The sea speaks a language polite people never repeat. It is a colossal scavenger slang and has no respect.” – Carl Sandburg

Sailor quotes about the sea

18. “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Quotes about sailing and the sea

19. “Sailing a boat calls for quick action, a blending of feeling with the wind and water as well as with the very heart and soul of the boat itself.” – George Matthew Adams

Sailboat quote

20. “Life is like sailing. You can use any wind to go in any direction.” – Robert Brault

Sailing poems and quotes

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

Best sailing quotes

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

Quote about sailing

23. “To reach a port we must set sail – Sail, not tie at anchor. Sail, not drift.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Quote sail

24. “Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” – Fitzhugh Dodson

Set sail quotes

25. “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” – Syrus Publilius

Sailing quote

26. “The sooner we learn to be jointly responsible, the easier the sailing will be.” – Ella Maillart

Sailing quotation

27. “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” –Louisa May Alcott

Quotes on sailing

28. “There is no better tool or equipment you can have onboard than a well-trained crew.” —Larry Pardey

Nautical quote

29. “To desire nothing beyond what you have is surely happiness. Aboard a boat, it is frequently possible to achieve just that. That is why sailing is a way of life, one of the finest of lives.” – Carleton Mitchell

Sailor love quote

30. “The sooner we learn to be jointly responsible, the easier the sailing will be.” –Ella Maillart

Sailing quotations

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31. “Confronting a storm is like fighting God. All the powers in the universe seem to be against you and, in an extraordinary way, your irrelevance is at the same time both humbling and exalting.” ―Francis LeGrande

32. “I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it.”— Cheryl Strayed

33. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint Exupery

34. “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

35. “The man who has experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea.” – Ovid

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

37. “The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.” – Joseph Conrad

38. “The most challenging times bring us the most empowering lessons.”— Karen Salmansohn

39. “How inappropriate it is to call this planet Earth, when clearly it is Sea.” — Arthur C. Clarke

40. “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

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

42. “All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.” – John F. Kennedy

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

44. “Confronting a storm is like fighting God. All the powers in the universe seem to be against you and, in an extraordinary way, your irrelevance is at the same time both humbling and exalting.” ― Francis LeGrande

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