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.

Person leaving the boat: A boat often represents a relationship, so leaving the boat or ship  suggests someone leaving what was a group or personal relationship,

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. Roy.

This dream occurred during a period of separation in the marriage and shows how Roy 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 are occurring; could be children leaving mother, so the collective ‘boat journey’ has finished; also occasionally threat of illness or 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?


-NiNa 2015-01-15 12:08:03

I dreamt about leaving and travel by myself. In that situation its my first time to travel alone and im still waiting for the ship. I saw 2 ships, first the small one and then then the big one. I am waiting for the big one. When im leaving with my mallets im with my sister, shes there to say goodbye. Also a girl is trying to buy me a bread for me to eat and I cant choose which bread I want, then i dont know what happened next. When I woke up I imagine that the ship already left me.

-Christina 2015-01-14 14:20:04

I had a dream I was traveling to see a sunken ship with some friends, but I don’t remember how I go onto the ship. At first I was by myself looking through rooms.. And In my head all I was looking for was something to fight zombies with(strange I know) but there was no zombies.. One room I entered had 3 girls (which was odd it was a old sunken ship from early 1900. Everyone had passed on.. Anyways these 3 girls recognized me like I was one of them, allowed me to look through her closet and her bathroom, and then they took me up to the ballroom and dining hall.. There was hundreds of people from early 1900s you should have seen their clothing… I told them my real name and asked if they had seen my mother. After a few times walking around I ended up bumping Into my actual mother and telling her I’ve had this dream before. I’ve had lucid dreams before but never like this. Even though I knew it was a dream I couldn’t 100% control it and that has never happened before either. Im really looking for some insight on this.. Tell me your opinions and what you think is goin on inside my head

-Tin Felix 2015-01-11 3:59:13

Hi Tony..this site is very helpful
hope you could interpret my dream.. ive been dreaming about working in a cruise ships as a waitress.. my seaman boyfriend is also there with me and I could see people who I know that is also working on board. My first dream is Im with my boyfriend and his friend and were sleeping on the same room on a cruiseship then I went out side to bring back my bf’s uniforms back to the linen downstairs..second Im in a cruise ship and its my first day at work Im holding a chair going upstairs and my bf’s boyfriend saw me and help first day at work there is terrible but the people around me is very accomodating..then my third dream is my bf is about to book me a cruise together with his family in europe. When his about to book me and his family I just woke up from my dream.. what does this dreams means.. since college I want to pursue a work on board. Does this mean I will be working on board soon?

-sarah 2015-01-07 1:04:43

I dreamt I was in a tiny room on a boat and it started capsizing… It just kept rolling and rolling and when it stopped we were upside down and I couldn’t get out… right before this dream I dreamt about an Aeroplane crashing into the same sea not far from the boat… it’s the first time I have dreamt anything like this.

-Melissa 2014-12-18 18:34:56


I rarely have dreams that leave in impression.
In my dream, I don’t recall where it started. But what I do remember is that I ended up in a boat with a tall handsome strong American Indian man. He was in traditional attire, the boat started moving, I had a feeling of sadness, the front lifted up into the air, then fell back into the water, and the feeling of sadness went away. The man told me ” and Indian proverb about a dock that breaks away from shore! And I remember looking at a dock as we sailed away. I can’t find a clear meaning. Please help!

-Tom 2014-10-22 23:00:02

Hi Tony
Can I find an explanation about
seeing a fine white river cruise(yacht)boot
( no people visible)
that gets a shot about the bow?
A explosion misses the ship by about 30 yards
Super clear image but no idea what the meaning
could be
Thank you

    -Tony Crisp 2014-10-26 14:11:11

    Tom – It always helps if people give some idea of the big things going on in their life. Are you for instance starting a new project, a holiday or relationship?

    If so the meaning is obvious. Your dream is saying this is a warning -shot- to say if you carry on there might well be even more trouble. So be careful.


-AJ somosot 2014-10-12 22:53:29

I dream of losing my thumb without even bleeding, i tried to put it back but cant then Since I cant have it back. I keep it in my pockets. Later on theres big waves, some of my friends where enjoying it. They swim and swim, while I was on a higher land, then after a while a speed boat showed up and i heard someone say that there are dead people on it.

What does it mean?

-P.I. 2014-09-28 13:52:24

I dreamt my cousin and I were with Aaliyah, yes the singer who died in 2001, we were doing a video or something with dancers and a film crew and there was an accident and we all ended up in the ocean, some people were able to get to the ship but my cousin was too far out she was hang on this rocky cliff, some of the other dancers were being saved by dolphins, Aaliyah and I were both near the boat we decided had to go help everyone far away. I swam over to my cousin get her after swimming over I realized there was a large great white shark lurking. So we were stranded. Suddenly, every one starts cheering we see a large black fin heading for us and the shark leaves as this killer whale comes and saves us. I’m exhausted and my cousin can’t swim, very true in real life she can’t swim,but I swim along as she clings to the killer whale we get a couple of yards some the boat the catamaran and I swam for the boat. After pulling myself on broad I then worked to pulling every one who Aaliyah has helped on board as my cousin baby paddles from the whale to the boat lastly I helped Aaliyah up to the boat. I then woke up. I have an idea what whales represent and what boats and seas but I’m not 100% sure what this dream could really mean but it has a meaning.

-Lyla 2014-09-21 23:14:23

I dreamed that I was on a nice ship at Disneyland in LA called the “alliance” with my parents, roommate, and tons of children. The president of Japan was there, doing flips and human feats in this weird wilderness at the back of the ship.I stopped watching him and got up and went around talking to kids and my roommate who was wearing my clothes and my personal necklace (which I never take off?) but all of it was crooked and did not fit her.

Then the ship lurched and I knew we were sinking but the president of Japan was going to give a speech as we sank and ordered us to go to various parts of the ship and listen. I looked at my roommate and she was wearing her own clothes now and the ones that she previously wore were on me. I went to the very highest indoor floor with mom dad and a little girl who looked like a sister I don’t have or maybe my daughter (which I also don’t have). We got up there and we were so high and things might fall and we were going to die. I felt a big creak on the board where I was standing and imagined being struck by the small metal rescue boats above and falling through all of the many floors. My parents had to stay and listen to the speech for some reason but I knew that I had to get away so I said a tearful but very strong goodbye and told them to meet me at our hotel room called C-13 room D-13 until I realized that it was by the shore and the whole outside of LA was going down. So I told mom to get out alive and find me and the little girl at the largest movie studio in the city. The girl and I ran frantically, she tried to cross a bridge and almost fell in screaming, the Disney attendants didn’t seem to care that all of this would happening and seemed useless in showing us the way out. I woke up when I saw a Disneyland map and knew that there was a path to safety but it wasn’t going to be an easy one.

It was one of the strangest dreams that I ever had. The only thing that I can think to relate it to is that as I was falling asleep I was thinking about two separate romantic relationships that I could be involved in, one with a man who I do not love but did once a long time ago who has come back into my life and one with a man who I love right now but can never have because he lives across the world from me. The girl who I thought was like my “daughter” in the dream looked like a strange combination of both men. I am also 21 and facing life as a grown up finally, debating on moving across the world for my graduate degree to the country that the man I love lives in, but I am terrified of leaving everything behind for something so uncertain. If I stay here, I can have a comfortable life with certainties and a good, caring man who loves me but who I have grown apart from over many years. If I leave, I do not know anything of the future, but there is that small chance that the other man loves me as I love him, and could finally reveal that knowing that he can actually have me.

I know these thoughts are related to my dream but it is very complicated. Any helpful insight is welcome!

    -Tony Crisp 2014-09-25 7:47:14

    Lyla – The dream very clearly says that your life in the US is sinking. At the moment you feel it will be difficult to say goodbye to family and friends, but life isn’t like that because in the end there are no final goodbyes.

    As for finding love away from home, that is another uncertainty. But it is very good to live abroad and see that there are good things wherever you go. Also it is already in you to leave, according to your dream. So go out and meet your destiny.


      -suzanne 2014-10-28 10:33:28

      I dreamt I was on my porch and the water was very choppy. It was cold out but there were alot of big boats out. One had a full boat of people. The boat was making a turn in this choppy waters and the waves made the boat tip and passengers started to fall over. As I stood in shock I started to watch bodies floating in the direction of my porch/deck. They were dead. I ran and called for my bf which in real life is my new ex to come out and see. What does this mean since I was not the one on the boat?

-Harris 2014-09-07 9:15:15

This dream happened last night and it’s the second time I’ve had it in the last week:
Me and my other half get into a ferry boat, the first floor collapses killing hundreds of people on that floor and leaving many injured. I then find a friend who informs me that my brother was on board terrified I ring him and he answers the phone in tears. We both cry and then go to try and find him luckily we see him waving to us from the other end of the boat. So we wander down and he’s sat with an old crush of mine who I flirt with for a while and that’s when the dream ends.

    -Tony Crisp 2014-09-07 12:42:36

    Harris – The ferry boat represents a big change you are making within you. So it probably related to your relationship with your ‘other half’. The floor collapses because it often appears without much emphasis in many dreams. This suggests it is depicting the present situation, attitudes, feelings or environment you are in that you barely notice.

    Therefore what collapses is your old way or feeling or relating to those you love. It became one pointed so killed out a lot of old feelings that underlies your personality. But a double take took place. Your love for you brother you didn’t want taken away – so you see him waving to you. And then an old crush who you have feelings for is also included.

    So your dream was a way of saying you can love more than one person in different ways. So take time and see if you can define the different people and ways you love them.


-Sianie 2014-05-27 12:18:10

Had a dream being on a large ship with loads of people some I know there were a few pools I saw a huge tidal wave coming over the top of us I mana aged to get inside the ship stayed afloat I was scared to death also people were killed can you tell me what this means please

-Mary Kate 2014-04-23 4:40:02

I had this dream where I was on this ship and it had a downstairs bedroom where I was talking to my boyfriend having like the best conversation ever and I knew the ocean was getting dangerous to be on cuz the ship was rocking a lot but I didn’t think anything of it being dangerous until I came upstairs to come outside and the guy steering the boat was screaming asking where my boyfriend went cuz it was out of control(I could barely hear him over the sound of the storm) but he wasn’t behind me anymore and I had no idea where he went but waves started hitting the boat really hard and my body would fly from one side of the boat to the other hitting the sides and breaking my bones each time it’d hit and I was in so much pain I knew I was dying and I first thought please don’t die but then I knew and I accepted I was dying and the pain started easing away and I heard the sound of a bell shaking and then I woke up right as I died. Not to mention I noticed during the whole dream I didn’t have an image of the ocean or storm waves, I just felt them as they were hitting the boat.

    -Ronita 2015-01-27 3:21:00

    Mary Kate, this really sounds like a dream of a past life. The level of detail, and accepting your death, I think this happened to you before this lifetime.

-Anon 2014-01-17 4:03:49

Hi Tony
I dreamt that I was sailing out at sea on a boat with an unknown man and at the same time my husband was on another boat with my friend (who is married and lives in another country). The sea is calm and the sun is shining and we sail separately but end up getting off our boats on land and the unknown man with me disappears and my husband has gone off to get something and I’m left with my friend.

-S.G 2013-10-15 14:17:23

I had an odd dream where the person I’m seeing is building a boat. I was watching, sometimes helping.

-Wonderful 2013-09-17 13:50:42

Dreamed that a man that I know and myself was on a ship. We both had on wedding attires. He took his white socks off and gave them to me and jumped in the water.

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