Our Top 10 Sailing Quotes of All Time

Quote by George Adams

Here at TheYachtMarket, we’ve assembled a list of our favourite quotes from around the world. They come from actors, poets, politicians, seasoned sailors and business men. We wanted to share these quotes with you and hope you find them as inspirational as we did.

Morgan Freeman

“If you live a life of make-believe, your life isn't worth anything until you do something that does challenge your reality. And to me, sailing the open ocean is a real challenge, because it's life or death.”

When it comes to sailing, Freeman has put the time in - he has been sailing since 1966. He has continued to enjoy sailing since his first day at sea and has continued his hobby well into his acting career. As he so succinctly said above; sailing is a challenge, and life is merely a series of challenges. So remember to rise to the occasion whenever possible.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

“To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.”

Holmes was acclaimed as one of the best writers of his day and we felt that this quote pays homage to that. It is a strong metaphor for life. To reach your destination you sometimes have to deal with rough weather, and sometimes have to go against the tide, but don’t ever let that stop you from reaching where you need to go.

Thomas Merton

“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.”

So this one is only tentatively related to sailing, but Merton, an American poet, is reminding us of the importance to look inward and take stock of one’s life sometimes. Sometimes sailing is the best opportunity one gets to take the time to look inwards.

Billy Campbell

“Aside from what it teaches you, there is simply the indescribable degree of peace that can be achieved on a sailing vessel at sea. I guess a combination of hard work and the seemingly infinite expanse of the sea - the profound solitude - that does it for me.”

Campbell is a successful actor who has been sailing since he was a child. He’s remained a sailor through all of his adult life and we feel this quote offers a strong insight into why. Sailing is as rewarding as it is challenging. And similar to Merton above, Campbell believes that the peace you can achieve at sea gives you a chance to go on the most important voyage.

Dennis Conner

“My goal in sailing isn't to be brilliant or flashy in individual races, just to be consistent over the long run.”

Conner is a successful yachtsman, having achieved 4 wins in the America’s Cup. Here he gives us a small insight into his success. More than anything, those that are successful are those that can persevere for as long as is necessary.

Daria Werbowy

“Sailing is the closest I can get to nature - it's adrenaline, fear, a constant challenge and learning experience, an adventure into the unknown. And of course there is nothing better than wearing the same T-shirt for days and not brushing my hair for weeks.”

A successful model and spokesperson for Lancôme, Werbowy often takes time out to sail and see the world when she can. In a similar fashion to Freeman, she reminds us of the beauty, and challenge, that sailing can offer us all.

Louisa May Alcott

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

Alcott was an American novelist and poet. No matter how bad the storms that you may face in life, if you learn how to face them with the right tools, there’s no need to be afraid.

George Matthew Adams

“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. Sailing teaches alertness and courage, and gives in return a joyousness and peace that but few sports afford.”

Sailing is a sport unlike any other. It offers challenge and excitement at the same time as tranquillity and peace. Adams knew this. He was founder of the George Matthew Adams Newspaper Service and he was an experienced sailor in his time. Sailing was a hobby that he enjoyed and is really a time to indulge in yourself.

Aristotle Onassis

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

Onassis, who owned the world’s largest privately owned shipping fleet, knew a thing or two about sailing. He had one of the most successful trading businesses in his day. He recognised that while sometimes you cannot change your circumstances, you can always change how you deal with them.

John F. Kennedy

“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.”

Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, paid homage to our collective roots. To revisit our ancestry is a beautiful thing to pay respect to. It shows how far we had to travel as a species to get to where we are now. It can be important to consider this from time to time.


So there you have it. From models to presidents - sailing has something for just about everyone. Find your dream boat today: https://www.theyachtmarket.com/

Author - Rob Paterson

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