September 6, 2016 Aldo Flores
captain quotes


Captain quotes can make you laugh, inspire you to dream and cause you to stop and think about your chartered course both on the sea as well as in your life. Every sailor worth his or her salt has a few maritime quotes to live by if only to get through the seemingly endless days at sea. With nothing but water around you and the horizon in the distance, sometimes you need to read something cheeky or thought-provoking.

With that in mind, Trans Global Auto Logistics has compiled our favorite captain quotes. Turn to them for inspiration whether you’re captaining a large vessel or preparing your boat for international transport.


sailor pondering ship captain quotes

Many captain quotes break down what it means to be an excellent sailor. Ship captains are a different breed. They rely on both intuition and skill, and they never set out to sea unless they’re fully prepared. The best sailor quotes illustrate the balance between instincts and expertise.

  1. “He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  2. “The good seaman weathers the storm he cannot avoid, and avoids the storm he cannot weather.” – Unknown
  3. “A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.” – Thomas Carlyle
  4. “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” – Seneca
  5. “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward
  6. “Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk.” – Sir Francis Chichester
  7. “The art of the sailor is to leave nothing to chance.” – Annie Van De Wiele
  8. “The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.” – Edmond Gibbon
  9. “It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures a prosperous voyage.” – George William Curtis


Quite a few captain quotes focus on how the sea can change you and your worldview. Thoreau may have found himself at Walden Pond, but other writers and explorers discovered their philosophies on the high seas. Nothing will teach you more lessons than the ocean. You may learn that you don’t need much to be happy, or you might figure out that there are certain things you simply can’t control. The best you can do is be prepared with the following captain quotes.

  1. “At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.” – Robin Lee Graham
  2. “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to reach my destination.”
  3. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore! Dream! Discover!” – Mark Twain


Too many ship quotes revolve around the captains and sailors themselves. While these individuals are essential, you have to respect the strength of your boat, as well. Whether it’s shipping cargo from one point to another or sailing on a leisurely voyage, you should understand what it’s built for and what it’s capable of—just in case.

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


a view of the White House

Is it any surprise that various leaders of the free world find inspiration on the sea? They captain the ship for the United States, after all. FDR and JFK, in particular, thrilled the nation with their poetic captain quotes.

  1. “To reach a port, we must set sail—sail, not tie at anchor. Sail, not drift.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  2. “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

We hope our captain quotes will inspire you the next time you find yourself on the open waters. Trans Global Auto Logistics can help you in your quest to explore the world. Reach out to us to discuss what it will take to ship your boat and belongings to an exotic new port of call.

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