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Boat Ship

This probably depicts our journey through the seas of life and how we meet the rough and smooth experiences, as with example below. In many dreams boats and ships appear to depict a situation, environment or relationship the dreamer is in – as in the saying, ‘in the same boat’.

Because of the fact that once in the water it is difficult to leave the boat, the situation is often one that has certain bonds or commitments which may not be easy to leave or break away from – such as occurs in a close relationship or a work situation. The condition the boat depicts may relate to a physical one, such as a work opportunity, a place we live in, a relationship that, like any relationship, offers certain opportunities and restrictions – or it might be an attitude a feeling or a belief, such as pride or love, which places you in a certain connection with the world – i.e. ‘at sea’ or lost; in a stormy situation; in dry dock, etc. The boat can also be a place of safety amidst the storms of life. Thus attitudes or strengths enabling the dreamer to meet difficulties.

A boat is the thing that keeps you afloat in a different element than you are used to. As such it depicts the attitudes that enable you to have a clear boundary and certainty of who you are. It is your confidence and the threshold that separates your waking self from the massive and deep unconscious – the ocean of collective awareness. This is clear in the following example.

Example: Opened a paper at the comic strip. Began to read and become involved in the story. A small speed boat was at sea. But the sea dissolved anybody who fell in. One man fell in but held himself together as a blob of water and jumped back to the speedboat. I remember the words “The sea is a great solvent.” Anthony.

This dream pictures Anthony’s identity or ability to be an individual amidst the great ocean of life or consciousness. So the boat probably represents how he sees his body, as a thing separate from the rest of the world.

The various environments boats may be in show the condition or feelings surrounding the basic life situation the boat depicts. For instance being ‘at sea’ – depending upon calmness or rough seas – shows the dreamer being away from a familiar base or in difficult or uncertain times.

Example: I am in a large glass boat with my wife. The sea is very rough and I am afraid the boat will sink.’ Ron D.

The dream occurred a few weeks before a breakdown occurred in which the dreamer’s wife left him.

Example: I was inside a large boat, probably a tanker. There were a lot of passengers, but it appeared as if we were imprisoned in a huge room. It was very dingy and dismal. I am not sure though whether people realised they were prisoners. Maybe one only realised one was imprisoned if one tried to escape. Bob. A.

This boat obviously represents a situation Bob finds it difficult to get out of, and is only just realising he is trapped in. It also shows him involved with other people.

Example: I’m a young woman standing on a sea shore. I am waiting for my man. I hear the oars in the row locks of a boat, then it comes into view. A man comes to me, and puts his arms around me like he’s known me all my life. My man pauses, turns his head to a man still in the boat and says – Tell them this is it. Phillipa.

Here the boat holds the suggestion of being an event bringing Phillipa a love she has been waiting for.


Anchored boat: Security; stable relationship or situation; opposite of drifting.

Beached boat: Possibly suggests a situation in which you are ‘on dry land’ not subject to many changes or uncertainties. But it could also relate to a project, relationship or endeavour that cannot be got underway, or has got stuck in some way. However if you beach the boat and get out, then it shows the end of a journey, project or relationship.

Boat without oars: Ill equipped to deal with the situation you are in. A loss of motivation and being subject to external events to direct your life. So this might point to indecisiveness or lack of initiative.

Bows: One’s strength to meet life’s changes.

Canoe: Much like a small boat, but with overtones of nature, of being in the wild, of surviving. It is sometimes in testing surroundings or ones in which you feel the presence of nature, which can be wonderful or scary.

Disembarking: Leaving a phase of life, such as motherhood, marriage or a job. Ending a relationship or arriving at a new phase of life, a new possibility or great change.

Dock: A feeling of security when you have left an inner journey. Also because a dock is a permanent feature boats or ships can be moored to, it might indicate a safe ending to a relationship. A secure though public place to be. The end or beginning of a journey or a life change and the beginning of another phase of life.

If you are leaving the dock in a boat/ship, it suggests facing going out into the world and putting out something of oneself into the world through your relationships and life with people.

Dry dock: Necessary changes being made; circumstances not conducive to being actively involved in a project or relationship; delays. There might be a link with ill health here also.

Embarking alone: Independence or loneliness. Entering a new situation and perhaps unknown events or possibilities. Opportunity for new relationships.

Ferry boat: If across a river, end of a relationship; transition from one phase of life to another or one life situation to another; the emotional connections in a relationship. Sometimes links with death or the loss of someone.

Going on a cruise: Desiring relationship with others; or to be a part of other peoples life. Leaving ones everyday life behind.

Boat journey by night: Classic archetype of searching for one’s roots in life; the journey into ones unconscious experience. See: night sea journey under archetypes.

Keel: Basic personal strengths. The foundation of your personality or identity.

Leaving boat but leaving bag on it: Losing confidence or self value, such as might happen when children have gone or job ended.

Lots of small boats: Other peoples relationships.

Missing a boat: Missing opportunity; not grasping significance of events; not ‘making it’ in a relationship.

Motor boat: Similar to car but more sense of isolation or aloneness. The motor boat also shows the powerful feelings and drives which impel us into action, or give us a direction in life, as in the following example. For instance a strong anxiety can be a power, an engine, which motivates us to do or avoid certain things, such a taking risks, entering a relationship. So too can love, dependence, desire for wealth, loneliness, and the struggle to survive.


Example: My wife, H and I were on a large and beautiful motor boat, about thirty feet long. We were speeding along a river about hundred yards wide. I didn’t seem to be steering with a wheel, but there was no problem. Instead of water the river appeared to be a thick slurry of some kind. We were passing through countryside and suddenly H dropped what I felt might be an important envelope overboard. It lay on the top of the river. I wanted to stop and retrieve it. Other boats were coming along some way behind and I wondered if one of them would go over it. There was a lever which was the accelerator. I pushed it right back and the boat slowly reduced speed, but we were a long way from the envelope/package. The further away we got the less important it seemed, although I had wondered if it contained documents important to where we were going – which I felt was to do with some sort of work or teaching an official or business group.

Suddenly H was on the right bank of the river. I am not sure why, but she had left the boat. I wasn’t sure how she could get back on board again as the river was now full of debris and weeds – tree stumps, metal poles, cans, really full – and the banks were shallow and difficult to approach. I found a place where I could pull in, and there were steps in the earthy or limestone type bank that had been worn in with use. I managed to stop the boat – I still couldn’t find controls to guide or stop the craft – by holding on to the bank, and H got on. I was very pleased and felt love and pleasure that she had got on again. I kissed her warmly. We pulled away from the bank, avoiding a big metal post and chain low in the water. I felt if we went slowly we could get through all the debris okay. Roz.

This dream occurred during a period of separation in the marriage and shows how Roz is not really guiding the boat. He is being impelled by drives he doesn’t have full control over. Parting and coming together again are clearly depicted in the dream.

Rowing a boat: Personal skill or effort to achieve a goal. Whether you are succeeding well or not shows how you are assessing your own efforts to reach goals or take a direction in life.

Rudder: Sureness about direction in life; ability to take a direction in life and maintain it against other influences.

Shared journey on boat or ship: A situation we are involved in with other people or person, such as marriage, business partnership, armed forces; this is the relation-ship, a shared journey in which you ‘are all in the same boat’.

Sinking ship/boat: Fear of relationship ending; difficult events or circumstances; could be children leaving mother, so the collective ‘boat journey’ has finished; illness; death.

Small Boat with one other person: One’s relationship with that person.

Idioms: Burn one’s boats; in the same boat; miss the boat; rock the boat; ships that pass; ship comes in; a tight ship; in a boat without a paddle. See: anchor; submarine.

Useful questions:

If I am not alone on this boat, what is the dream saying about my shared journey with the person or people I am with?

What is the situation depicted – storm, calm, etc – and how does that relate to my life?

Am I directing the boat or am I a passenger – and in what way am I alone or going along with somebody in life?


-Jude 2017-08-30 6:31:18

Hello Tony,
Please can you help explain a dream I had. I was aboard a massive ship with some passengers suddenly the authorities in the ship began to through people into the sea and I was among those thrown into the sea. I was so terrified about drowijg an sharks that I tried to jump back into the ship but couldn’t. Suddenly I saw self climbing onto what seems to be like a mountain top (minute island) in the middle of the sea. Then i woke up fully.

In physical world, there is news of an impending reshuffle or restructuring in my job.

Thanks in advance.


    -Tony Crisp 2017-08-31 12:21:41

    Hi – It would help you to understand your dreams, if you would read – http://dreamhawk.com/news/summing-up/ and also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/features-found-on-site/ which has so much information in.

    Nothing can replace your own ability to understand your dream. With a little effort you can do this by practising what is described in – http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson or http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/getting-at-your-dreams-meaning/


    Jude – Whenever we dream its images are not like real life, because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear. So all the things that scare you are simply your own fears projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind.

    So you cannot drown or die in dreams. But of course we can feel all our fears and even joy while we dream.

    The massive ship represents your journey through your life experiences – shared with many people. The authorities, the massive process of Life that keeps you alive, often impinges of the small world of your personality to try to show you a much bigger view so threw you overboard. That scared the s**t out of you because you entered an element you hadn’t been exposed to before – the huge ocean.

    But in dreams the ocean is the huge mind we are all a part of. Individual human consciousness is like an island in a huge ocean in which there are countless other islands. Above the surface of the water, which is like individual waking self-awareness. In this there is a sense of separate existence, with definite boundaries where the shore meets the sea. Beneath the surface however, one island is connected to all other islands. The land stretches away under the waves and rises here and there into other islands. So, it is thought, personal awareness, beneath our everyday consciousness, shades off into a connection with a collective unconscious we all share. Through this connection we may be able to arrive at insights into other people otherwise denied to us. See http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/extending-your-awareness/

    The mountain top is you back in your individual self, your personality, alone again. When we begin to meet the Hugeness that we are, we often react to it in our dreams or in waking with fear or panic. But otherwise it will continue to haunt us as something that will get you; or you feel uncertain even lost in facing it! But it is only our small self image, our ego that reacts because it feels powerless, even though in reality the Hugeness is part of our totality. It is the enormous potential you have within you, it is Life you are frightened of or have been ignoring. It often frightens us. We fear that our ego or personality as it is, will be lost, destroyed or overcome by the Hugeness. My experience is that nothing is ever lost, instead we are added to. See http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/

    The rehuffle has maybe started some anxiety, and you dream was trying to show you that massive resource you have.


-Victoria 2017-12-03 11:31:51

Hi, could you help to interpret my dream?
I was walking in the evening in some port with some people and my boufriend and all looked beautiful.
I saw a beautiful boat/restaurant anchored.
Then the water became very waby , the boat started moving more and more abd finally within minutes it sank with all people aboard. Then after another moment while oberving it we saw some people that sank being brought up by the huge afterwawe and they were crashed into the port walls.

Currently i have a stable job and am doing some interviews to change. I also starting my side busines besides my main job. Should i stop it? Shouldnt i change my job? Should i ignore?



    -Tony Crisp 2017-12-08 10:27:58

    Hi – The answers I give arise not out of me thinking up things to say, but from fifty years of exploring dreams in depth. So some of what I write may seem wild. This may be because dreams arise and are experienced by a level of your mind or awareness that very few people have any concept or experience of – usually called the unconscious. Life dreamt in its creatures millions of years before even humankind awoke and developed self awareness or language. So to understand dreams we need to leave our thinking minds behind and go into our feelings and reactions – a much older level of awareness.

    But it would help you to understand your dreams, if you would read – http://dreamhawk.com/news/summing-up/ and also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/features-found-on-site/ which has so much information in.
    Nothing can replace your own ability to understand your dream. With a little effort you can do this by practising what is described in – http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPersonor http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/getting-at-your-dreams-meaning/


    Victoria – You start off feeling confident and at ease with yourself. But he waves depicts emotions and impulses that arrive within you that you are obviously not in control of.

    It sounds as if taking on a big change and a new side business has brought about anxiety, which has sunk the dream of a better life – the beautiful boat/restaurant.

    Anxiety is natural when you are faced with great change and the new. But if you can feel the anxiety and carry on the feeling will slowly get less. Every leader, business person and politician has had to learn to face enormous anxiety.

    You can calm the stormy sea by imaging you are back in the dream, recognising that it shows anxiety, and that you can calm your own emotions, and see if you can still the waves. It takes some practice, but you are obviously an ambitious woman and you are capable. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/anxiety/


-Anne 2017-12-29 20:07:58

Just had this dream and am wondering about it. Dreamt of being in the ocean and I became aware it would storm. The water began to get a bit rough as I was feeling the waves undulate. I began to feel a little anxious. Then the waves became bigger and it was becoming wilder and wilder. The sky and water were grey. Then this ship with sails came sweeping quickly across from the left- it was on its side , sails pointing in my direction and a wave crashed over it, as another wave I was on rushed me over. I wondered if the ship would right itself, how I was ok, and how I ended up going exactly to it. Then I woke.


-Eloise C 2018-02-25 11:22:31

Hello iv just had a odd dream and i was wondering if you could help me interpret it.
The first bit was i was helping do up a ship like a old pirate ship. It was wooden and rather beautiful, it didn’t look run down or old we were going over the masts and checking for holes. It was more of a course to be learned but there was a journey on the ship once all jobs were done which was said to be months i was disappointed by the amount of work to be done before the future came . To add there was a odd dark fairground ride. With strings we were maid to go on
It wasn’t in the open view so it ran off into this dark room, i thought it was boring but pretended it was amazing.
I thinks that’s all i remember.
Yours kindly
And thanks in advance.


-Lea 2018-02-27 9:18:40

Hello tony i just want to know the interpretation of my dream i was in the pirate ship with my son it was actually flying through the clouds and after that o felt that it is going down so i held the handle and drove it upwards i really felt the feeling that it goes up through the clouds i saw the stars undeneath,


-Suman 2018-04-07 15:52:02

Hello sir!
Last night,I saw a dream where I was in a breathtakingly beautiful and mesmerizing place.I was on a touring passenger boat on a lake.The water of the lake was very calm,serene and placid.The weather was so cool,dusky and very pleasant.In the dream,i was utterly happy and overwhelmed that i screamed-“I am so very happy.This is so beautiful”.I fell short of words as i couldn’t explain how happy i was.There were little tears of happiness in my eyes.I never had such an extraordinarily beautiful dream before.
Can you please interpret this dream for me.


-Marianna Ward 2018-04-08 0:51:40

I hope you can help me interpret my dream. I was standing on a small dock and watched a man get into a boat. He had turned from me and ran to jump into the boat, which was much bigger and deeper than a canoe and had several suitcases in it. I think he was trying to escape from something. I didn’t see it sail away because my dream switched to me being beside him in the boat and showing me pictures of dogs. It was very strange.


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