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?


-Matilda 2015-08-10 9:12:10

Just this night I dreamed about many different situations but one of them was about boats. I dreamed I was going in a row-boat with a friend I havent seen in a very long time. The rowboat did lose both of its oars on our journey, we were in a lake not so big In a forest. The water wasn’t clear and it was kind of stormy. I was the one who was trying to steer the boat and the part where my friend was sitting on in the boat was at several times sinking in the water and I always trying to make it come back up to the surface. The water wasn’t very deep though. I didn’t feel any panick and my friend was still happy but still I felt as if it was very hard and troubling to keep the boat going. Recently in real life I’ve met a new man that I’m really interested in, and our relationship is kind of uncertain. What could my dream mean?

-Nicole 2015-08-07 0:09:43

I often have dreams of my mother who has passed many years ago and the the surrounding is always a boat. In my dream she is in a boat and I can never get to her but see her from a distance. I don’t understand why a boat always comes into play in my dreams. Everyone else in my dream gets to her but not me. Something always gets in the way!

-Evie 2015-08-02 13:42:09

My friend Artemis and I were kind of tipsy walking down a street. We had a few cocktails. We were in a hurry to get back on our cruise ship. We got on. We went inside but not to our rooms. It was not a huge cruise ship. Something smaller. It seemed like as soon as the boat took off, it started rocking. A little and then there was a huge away to the right and to the left. I remember telling her that it didn’t feel right. Then the boat totally turned upside down and right side up again. I remember holding on tightly but I never hit the ceiling (in retrospect I should of but its a dream right?). I felt cold water surrounding my feet. We were sinking. I was paralyzed with fear. I managed to get to a deck and I saw the boat sinking. I looked down and saw some men swimming out through some plastic looking round windows. I had to get off but didn’t know how. Somehow I found those windows and swam out before my part of the boat submerged. I knew if I didn’t, I would have to wait until the boat filled up with water to get out and I wouldn’t be able to hold my breath that long. The boat was in a canal. We were in Greece. There were floating tubes on the surface of the water and floating tents. People were in them and one pointed to a nearest tube when I asked for help. I got in. I watched the rest of the boat sinking. I could not stop crying. All I could think about were my kids and how grateful I was I came on this trip alone because they would be dead. I remember feeling all that raw emotion. It was awful. The boat disappeared under water. The next thing I knew I was clutching the side of the canal. It was daytime. There was a metal fence along the canal but I couldn’t reach it. I was still in the water but not in a tube. I looked around and saw that I was in a part of the the canal that still had water in it. I looked down the canal and saw workers with construction equipment digging out dirt. No water there. It was if there were preparing the next section of the canal. I was looking for the boat and couldn’t find it. I remember feeling so confused. I just held onto the wall. I saw some sort of orange and black water snake get into the water. It was big. It kept coming near me. I swear it stared at me. When it got close, another big fish came near me and must of scared the snake away. I thought the fish wanted to bite me too. I had some sort of black blanket that I wrapped myself in. It was my was to camouflage my body while I was floating there. It seemed to work because the snake left me alone. Finally a man came by and asked if I was ok. He helped me get out. I asked him about the boat. I asked him where everyone was. He was confused. He told me a boat never sank there. I insisted it did bc I got off of the sinking boat. They said they had been there all day. Nothing sank. I remember thinking, oh my god…I’m crazy. I woke up.

-cinjopen 2015-08-01 15:57:52

in my dream, I was on a nature hike with the man I’m dating now, and we were to board a small boat with others to tour the river. I got distracted as we were walking to the dock (talking to others) , and missed the boat. my boyfriend was,on it, and I was,dismayed, but was going to try to get on it somehow. then I was told it would be back in ten minutes, and it was raining anyway, so I felt like it wasn’t a big deal to just wait under the canopy for it to return.

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-08-05 9:24:18

    Dear Cinjopen – I believe that in your dream you are exploring the possibility to let this relationship evolve naturally and to not be driven by any fear “to miss the boat”.
    I feel it will be important for you to explore the rain, for your dream suggests that before the boat will return, you will allow it to rain.
    So please read and use “Being the rain” to get a better feeling understanding of what the rain is about.
    Anna 🙂

-Meredith 2015-07-31 19:07:29

I had a dream that I was on a ship in the ocean. It was a clear day but there were huge waves. One wave must have been 30 feet tall. It sent the ship up into the sky and we all knew we were going to fall out. At this point the dream became slow motion. I felt myself free falling. I felt surprisingly calm. I took deep breaths and right before I hit the water took a gasp of air. I went deep into the ocean but was able to swim to the surface unharmed. Somehow I made it back to shore. Anybody want to guess what this means?

-Joyce 2015-07-29 8:25:27

I dreamt about myslef on a ship and saw my bestfriend with her family on it too. i saw the tip of the ship battling against the waves and I felt scared but on the latter the ship succeeded until i realized that we’re sailing smoothly.
I asked my bestfriend if they are alright, she said yes and I said I’m going. i cannot remember the rest but this has sticked with me. I hope you can help me interpret my dream.

Thanks and more power!

-Anonymous 2015-07-25 9:07:54

For the past week I keep having this recurring dream that I’m walking on a side walk by the beach and this yacht comes passing by quickly and sitting on the side of the yacht is the guy I like. Our eyes meet for a second and then the yacht disappears. But recently the same dream happened again but this time the guy came out of the moving yacht and put his arm around me.
I just really want to know what this means as I’ve been having this same dream for a while and then the ending changes.

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-07-28 14:45:16

    Dear Anonymous – Your dream could reflect a way to approach this relation-ship; letting it evolve naturally.
    Doing so could provide the time and space that you both need to truly get to know each other and make a connection.
    I believe that this approach works for “the guy” in your waking life and “the guy” (the male) in your inner world.
    Anna 🙂

-Anonymous 2015-07-23 3:22:38

I had a dream about a small boat in the middle of the lake. It was so dark around me and a dark shadow in human form is asking me(lending his/her hand towards me) to come with him/her. Out of nowhere I heard somebody’s shouting not to come with him/her. The water was also black but so calm. It feels like he/she was a death reaper. These past few days I also had a dream of my aunt who passed away 11 yrs ago. Please kindly share what my dreams meant. Is there any message behind my dreams?

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-07-27 13:29:02

    Dear Anonymous – In a sense, every dream is a part of the huge journey which is your life. Each dream is a facet of what is met in experiencing – meeting – your own existence. There are definitely highlights in your many dreams – times of critical and arduous difficulties, such as we find in the great quests such as Jason and The Golden Fleece, and the Odyssey. The journey is one we are all on, and your dreams and archetypal images are but ways of depicting aspects of what you meet, the enormity of the ordinary, the hidden depths of a problem we encounter, the wonder of possibilities awaiting discovery, the way into the trackless realm beyond collective norms. The journey is from dependence toward independence, from being a part of collective humanity to the actualisation of our own unique identity. This journey to oneself is, paradoxically, also the journey to the universal, to merging of self with the One.
    Please continue reading at and also read the hints and questions at the end of this entry.
    The shadowy figure in your dream I see as a symbol of your own rejected potentials and so it is worthwhile exploring “where” this shadowy figure wants to take you. You have nothing to lose except your “old self”; “the death” of your old way of life, which is probably where your association of the “death reaper” comes from.
    With your physical death this has nothing to do and still it would be good to explore your fear of “death and dying”.
    The conflict within you which is expressed by the “voice out of nowhere” is a reflection of a stage we all have to deal with when it comes down to daring to journey into the unknown; into the black water which is a symbol of your unconscious mind and your still unexpressed potential.
    The dream about your dead aunt fits perfectly into this stage of your inner journey as well, because to some extent an aunt is a role model and she is probably still very active in your life as feelings and ideas.
    So you can gather from her success or failure strategies for your own life to help you unfold your own potential. Whatever feelings you have about her, whatever you think of her, the dream probably used this to illustrate something for you. So consider how you would describe your aunt, what sort of person she is, and how you feel about her. The dream probably used her image to illustrate the role you see her in. If she is a success, ask yourself what in yourself you are facing regarding success. If you feel she is a failure, ask yourself what of your own feelings about failure you are facing.
    It will be good to use Power Dreaming to explore where the shadowy figure wants to take you.
    Anna 🙂

-Anonymous 2015-07-23 3:09:08

I had a dream about a small boat in the middle of the lake. It was so dark around me and a dark shadow in human form is asking me(lending his/her hand towards me) to come with him/her. Out of nowhere I heard somebody’s shouting not to come with him/her. The water was also black but so calm. It feels like he/she was a death reaper. These past few days I also had a dream of my aunt who passed away 11 yrs ago.

-Alia 2015-07-14 21:10:28

Hey so like in my dream I was on a gigantic ship….almost like the titanic. At first it was my “school/college” that I went to visit. It was a mix of my high school and then college I’m going to next year. I was wandering around to look at places. The next thing I know I was in the ships restaurant part and I was serving food to people. Apparently the people at the table I was serving were VIP or something. They were drinking in golden cups. I saw a cup which had engravings of “…Republican” I can’t remember the whole thing…I don’t even know. Then the next thing I know I was at home and our stuff was moved and stuff… It was a mixture of my old house and new house. It felt like someone had broken into my house so I picked up a baseball bat and checked out the house but all I found was my brother sleeping in the garage.

I don’t even know what this means but the fact that I can’t stop thinking about it weird :/

-Mary 2015-07-12 2:38:53

I dreamt of looking up to a very big red ship from my window. I saw it a lot taller than my old house where i was in and i felt too small. The ship was floating calmly. I coudnt remember seeing the sea in my dream but the old house I lived was nearby the sea. How would you interpret this? Thanks.

-Jess.h 2015-07-10 21:46:24

I had a dream I embarked on a cruise aboard a lovely wooden ship with my mates and was aware my wife (I’m gay) and I had separated. I was chasing others and kissed a man I used to work with that I had a crush on. My work mates were there and I got in trouble and also my ex lovers kept naming appearances. Suddenly a freak storm came and the boat started to sink but the waters and sky were very peaceful and lovely.. I instructed everyone to stand in the middle of the ship to keep it stable while it sunk.

I am having a crisis where I love where I work but I’m being overworked given I refer to it as a “sinking ship” due to departures. I also had a fight with my wife before bed so I don’t know what this all means for my job

-neo 2015-06-25 11:21:37

I have a question . .
in my dream me and my friend were on boat a simple boat in a fast flowing river just after rain .
we stopped at the shore to meet someone but suddenly I saw that our boat had been detached and it started flowing with the fast flowing river , i was aware that I can’t swim but I jumped back into the water I tried to swim with all my might but I couldn’t .I didn’t drowned though but I remember feeling extreme hopelessness and despair ads only my face was over the water and kept watching the boat flowing just 5 feets away from me and felt like there goes my last resort ..! next thing I know I am alive sitting with my friend and some others playing cards or something? please post a reply do need help. as ihav been seeing similar dreams which seem almost as real as touching or walking

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-06-28 7:48:59

    Dear Neo – The feelings that flow through us or we are immersed in are the process of life in our body, connecting with emotions, sexuality and changes of mood, we know this river as the flow and events of our life or destiny. We are constantly a river of energy which is expressed in everything we do.
    The way I see your dream is that you go through an experience in which you are not in control, and all you can do is go with the flow after you have released some feelings which is symbolised by the rain.
    So where did you meet these feelings in waking life?
    There is a huge area of one’s conscious skills given over to various sorts of control. This starts from a very young age when we gradually learn not to mess our pants, and later to ride a bike and drive a car. Being out of control can open us to a great deal of fear, or even terror. Yet being able to let go of control is also tremendously important. Many of the things we meet in life we are unable to control – even our own heartbeat and life processes. But many external things such as a relationship, sex, opportunity, losses, accidents and other people’s decisions confront us with areas that we cannot control.
    So try “Being the boat” and explore if a boat can let go of control without feelings of hopelessness and despair.
    The end of your dream suggests that these experiences are part of learning to play the game of Life and that you can do it!
    Good Luck!
    Anna 🙂

-Jeff 2015-06-23 8:31:00

I dreamt I was on a cruise ship with my girlfriend. We were late arriving and had to run to catch the ship leaving but made it. The part I remember of the ship is I was in a pool on the ship with loud music having fun getting wild. I didn’t know anyone except for a co worker who I have no connection besides associates. My girlfriend was not with me in this part of the ship but I did tell her I had a good time at the pool. The dream jumped to re boarding the ship at a different port and I was running to make the ship again but didn’t make it. My girlfriend had the ship stopped so I could board but she didn’t get back on. Instead she gave her ticket to someone else that I didn’t know.

-Alexis 2015-06-17 17:47:59

i had a dream that I Was in a pirate ship, with other people searching from room to room
We kept saying that we didn’t have to follow the map, and a man said in my dream
” yeah I didn’t follow the map and I went east of here and realized how big this ship was”
So then after that we kept searching
I still don’t know what for but we were.

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-06-18 10:49:53

    Dear Alexis – I believe that many of us start searching because we have a sense or a feeling that “Something” is missing in our lives, often without being able yet to understand what.
    I also believe that “Something is missing” is often connected with a sense that someone else
    took from us what is important; which perception/belief is worthwhile questioning.
    So perhaps you can explore what is important to you in life for it can define what you are looking for and give you a direction.
    If you are happy responding to life as it comes, then lacking direction is fine.
    You wrote “a man said in my dream”yeah I didn’t follow the map and I went east of here and realized how big this ship was”
    The East represents one polarity, that opposite to individual personal awareness. Every night in sleep you slip into a condition in which you lose personal awareness. Your sense of self is lost in what you call unconsciousness, but which is, if you enter it with some awareness – lucidity – a great ocean of consciousness, a universal mind in which you exist as a part of all life. Sometimes we bring back some insight, some wisdom from this ocean. We stand on the shore of it and understand something. This is the Wisdom of the East so to speak.
    Since the man in your dream is the only aspect in this dream which was able to gain some insights, I suggest you use “Being the man” and “Talking as the man” to explore this part of yourself.
    Good Luck!
    Anna 🙂

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