100 Sailing Quotes to Spark Your Adventurous Spirit

Set sail for adventure and inspiration with our collection of the best sailing quotes to the power of the wind and the majesty of the sea.

Sailing is the art of using wind to propel a vessel across water, whether for practical purposes like fishing and transportation or for leisurely pursuits like racing and cruising. It is a way of life that requires an intimate connection with the natural elements of wind, water, and weather.

They can also be a source of inspiration and joy, as it allows us to explore new horizons and embrace the beauty of the natural world in a unique and profound way. To capture the imagination and call us to adventure, we complied the most inspiring sailing quotes.

From famous poets and writers to adventurers and daily people, these quotes evoke the beauty and wonder of the sea, the challenges and dangers of sailing. So, sit back and enjoy our sailing quotes to inspire us to push beyond our limits, to embrace the unknown, and to find joy and meaning in the journey.

Motivational sailing quotes

Find inspiration and motivation for your next adventure with our top 10 motivational sailing quotes!

To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.
Dolly Parton

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

Motivational sailing quotes

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.

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

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

sailing quotes motivation

A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.
Grace Hopper

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inspirational sailing quotes

Whether you’re an experienced sailor or simply drawn to the sea, these ten inspirational sailing quotes capture the beauty and wonder of the open ocean.

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.
John F. Kennedy

Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.
David Lee Roth

We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.
Aristotle Onassis

Inspirational sailing quotes

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

The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

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

Inspiring sailing quotes

There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
John Ruskin

If my ship sails from sight, it doesn’t mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends.
Enoch Powell

I keep sailing on in this middle passage. I am sailing into the wind and the dark. But I am doing my best to keep my boat steady and my sails full.
Arthur Ashe

Smooth sailing quotes

I keep sailing on in this middle passage. I am sailing into the wind and the dark. But I am doing my best to keep my boat steady and my sails full.
Arthur Ashe

The course of true love never did run smooth.
William Shakespeare

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable.
Seneca the Younger

Smooth sailing quotes

Now I’m smooth sailing. Oceans clear and blue. Now I’m smooth sailing. Sailing away from you.
Elizabeth Gerardi

If you’re going through difficult times today, hold steady. It will change soon. If you are experiencing smooth sailing and easy times now, brace yourself. It will change soon. The only thing you can be certain of is change.
James Dobson

Sometimes when you are sailing you have periods of heavy waves with breaks of calm smooth waters. We had zero breaks from the heavy waves. They just kept coming.
Michelle Segrest

And we’re just kids we’re just sailing. Spirits never failing, expectations nailing. When we were younger all our days were smooth sailing.

Smooth sail quotes

It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.
George William Curtis

Be in a state of gratitude for everything that shows up in your life. Be thankful for the storms as well as the smooth sailing. What is the lesson or gift in what you are experiencing right now? Find your joy not in what’s missing in your life but in how you can serve.
Wayne Dyer

Everyone needs to realize why am I here? It comes in everyone’s life; you ask why am I here? What am I doing? Once you are able to answer that question for yourself honestly, you have smooth sailing.
Jimmy Cliff

Sailing quotes

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

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

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

You will love the ocean. It makes you feel small, but not in a bad way. Small because you realize you’re part of something bigger.
Lauren Myracle

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.
Kahlil Gibran Jr

There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land again after a cheerful, careless voyage.
Mark Twain

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

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

I hate storms, but calms undermine my spirits.
Bernard Moitessier

The only ship you can truly steer in this ocean is the one you’re sailing. Quit trying to alter the winds; harness them.
Richelle E. Goodrich

Sailing quotes funny

If you need some good laugh, check out this section of funny sailing quotes.

Never weather–beaten sail more willing bent to shore.
Thomas Campion

No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned… a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company.
Samuel Johnson

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.
Bill Bowerman

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

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

If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.
Henry A. Kissinger

What I mean by that is that the point of life, as I see it, is not to write books or scale mountains or sail oceans, but to achieve happiness, and preferably an unselfish happiness.
Bernard Cornwell

A sailing ship is no democracy; you don’t caucus a crew as to where you’ll go anymore than you inquire when they’d like to shorten sail.
Sterling Hayden

Separately there was only wind, water, sail, and hull, but at my hand the four had been given purpose and direction.
Lowell Thomas

I have no interest in sailing around the world. Not that there is any lack of requests for me to do so.
Edward Heath

Witty sailing quotes

She watched the gap between ship and shore grow to a huge gulf. Perhaps this was a little like dying, the departed no longer visible to the others, yet both still existed, only in different worlds.
Susan Wiggs

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

Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor.
Thomas B. Macaulay

If the Spray discovered no continents on her voyage, it may be that there were no more continents to be discovered. She did not seek new worlds, or sail to pow–wow about the dangers of the sea.
Joshua Slocum

Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk.
Francis Chichester

Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

It’s hard to get lost if you don’t know where you’re going.
Jim Jarmusch

If the Lord says to give more than you think you are able to give, know that He will provide for you. Whether things are sailing smoothly or the bottom has dropped out, He is always trustworthy. You can count on Almighty God to keep His everlasting Word.
Charles Stanley

Design has taken the place of what sailing used to be.
Dennis Conner

I can’t control the wind but I can adjust the sail.
Ricky Skaggs

Sailing sayings and quotes

If there is a wave there must be a wind.
Chinese Proverb

Every man should pull a boat over a mountain once in his life.
Werner Herzog

Give wind and tide a chance to change.
Richard E. Byrd

No wind serves him who addresses his voyage to no certain port.
Michel de Montaigne

Whenever the water rises, the boat will rise too.
Chinese Proverb

The ship that will not obey the helm will have to obey the rocks.
English Proverbs

A man without money is like a boat without sails.
Swedish Proverbs

God provides the wind, but man must raise the sails.
St. Augustine

If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind.
Marcus Annaeus Seneca

Hoist your sail when the wind is fair.
Classic Proverbs

Set sail quotes

Get inspired to take on the challenges of the open ocean with our ten set sail quotes!

‘Tis the set of the sail that decides the goal, and not the storm of life.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

To reach a port we must set sail
Franklin D. Roosevelt

It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.
Jim Rohn

Those who want to row on the ocean of human knowledge do not get far, and the storm drives those out of their course who set sail.
Franz Grillparzer

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

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

We be sailing at first light, come gather. Set our course for the crossing together.
John Fogerty

As soon as you set foot on a yacht you belong to some man, not to yourself, and you die of boredom.
Coco Chanel

Now he’s sailing in the sky, beyond the clouds. Oh so high. Yes, he’s sailing, sailing in the sky. Wish I would have had a chance to say goodbye.

Just sailing, just sailing. I’m growing stronger every day.
Richard Orlinski

Positive sailing quotes

Find inspiration to pursue your dreams with positive attitude through these ten sailing quotes!

To desire and strive to be of some service to the world, to aim at doing something which shall really increase the happiness and welfare and virtue of mankind – this is a choice which is possible for all of us; and surely it is a good haven to sail for.
Henry Van Dyke

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

Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.
Augustus Hare

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

My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The ocean has always been a salve to my soul.
Jimmy Buffett

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
Helen Keller

The key to all strange things is in thy heart. My spirit has come home, that sailed the doubtful seas.
Countee Cullen

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Jimmy Dean

When you can’t change the direction of the wind – adjust your sails.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Meaningful sailing quotes

I wanted freedom, open air and adventure. I found it on the sea.
Alain Gerbault

On life’s vast ocean diversely we sail. Reasons the card, but passion the gale.
Alexander Pope

Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.
Jean–Paul Sartre

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

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

It isn’t that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.
Francis Drake

And the winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
Edward Gibbon

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

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.
Louisa May Alcott

Being hove to in a long gale is the most boring way of being terrified I know.
Donald Hamilton


These sailing quotes above remind us of the power of nature and the importance of respecting the sea, as well as the courage and determination it takes to navigate the open ocean. They also capture the sense of new adventure and freedom, as well as the obstacles, challenges and dangers that sailors must face.

Whether you are an experienced sailor, a lover of the sea, or simply seeking inspiration, they can help you connect with the adventurous spirit and motivate you to taking risk. So, if you need inspiration and motivation to push beyond your limits or embrace the unknown, take a look again these sailing quotes.

Hope these quotes will resonate with you and inspire you to explore the world and challenge yourself. Whether on the open ocean or in your own life. Did you enjoy reading our collection of sailing quotes? If so, feel free to share this article with others who may be interested or need guidance.

Remember, life is a journey and the open ocean is waiting for you to experience its delights. So, set sail and start your voyage through life! Do your best, Captain…!

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