125 Best Anchor Tattoos of 2022 (with Meanings)

Getting tattoos is a sign of self-expression and a form of art. Although there are people who cannot appreciate tattoos, many artists believe that it’s wonderful experience to ink your body as a unique way of telling your life story.

Anchor tattoos have gained popularity not only in men, but also in women. It has become a common tattoo design used today, which is not at all surprising. One reason for its increased popularity is that the design is relatively simple yet stylish to look at. In fact, many women ink their bodies with anchor-designed tattoos simply because it’s chic and classy.


Anchor tattoos

Types of Anchor Tattoos


Anchor tattoos have been around for a long time, particularly during 2000 – 2500 B.C. During that time, sailors were the only ones who used this design as a symbol of their way of life, passion and occupation. However, even people that have nothing to do with sailors are getting this design.

Here are some of the most popular types of anchor tattoos today:

Navy Anchor Tattoos

  • This is the most common tattoo design for people who are serving the US Navy, and for those with love ones who are in the service. This design symbolizes their love and loyalty to the US Navy. This type of tattoo usually has the initials U.S.N (US Navy), or the word NAVY itself. Some people also ask the tattoo artist to incorporate the colors of the American flag on the tattoo, to show their patriotism to the country.

Tribal Anchor Tattoo

  • This is another variation of the popular anchor-inspired tattoos. It can be a simple tribal tattoo or a tattoo that has an intricate design, depending on the indigenous inspiration of the artist or the person who want the tattoo. Using places and cultures known to the person getting the tattoo as a means of inspiration for the design.

Anchor Heart Tattoo

  • This tattoo design shows more of the romantic and sacrificial side of the person getting a tattoo. This type of tattoo symbolizes compassion towards anything or anyone. Usually, a heart pierced by the anchor in the middle, shows how sacrificial one can be when it comes to love.

Anchor and Rope Tattoos

  • This is yet another extremely popular anchor tattoo. It’s an emblem used by Lord Howard of Effingham as a family seal before the US Navy adopted the symbol. That’s the reason why many naval service members have it as tattoos.

Eagle + Globe + Anchor Tattoo

  • This is also an official emblem of the US Marine Corps. There are three independent symbols in this type of tattoo. The first one is the globe. The design represents North and South America, but it could also mean willingness to serve the whole world. The next thing you will notice in this type of tattoo is the Eagle, which is the national bird of the United States. Lastly, the anchor symbolizes the honor borne by the US Marine Corps.

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Meaning of Anchor Tattoos

Anchor tattoos have many variations, depending on how the artists and people interpret it. There are people who use the anchor as a symbol of their duty while others view this in a more religious perspective. The closest representation symbolized by anchor-designed tattoos is stability.

Think about the main purpose of an anchor in a ship. It’s there to keep the boat still despite the presence of waves and currents in the sea. This scenario depicts stability in times of turmoil. Life can be tough sometimes, if not all the time. It is only natural to lose your bearing from unfortunate events and happenings around you. Having an anchor in your life (not literally an anchor, though), can help inspire you to find your stability again and face life trials head-on. Your anchor shall keep you grounded and keep you from wavering.

While it’s good to interpret an anchor as a symbol of stability, it also has its own negative implication. Note that an anchored boat is an immovable boat, which could symbolize inability to move forward or progress. It suggests being stuck in a place where there’s no room for development or being stuck in a particular moment that does not allow you to grow as a person. The anchor’s negative implications can also mean excessive dwelling in the past, which is not a good habit to have. Unless you let go of the past, you cannot expect for a brighter future.

An anchor is also a symbol of hope. During the olden times, and even up to this day, lifting an anchor up means being able to finally let go of the calm setting and getting ready for a new voyage. It’s very relevant up to this very day because only when you let go of your anxieties and fears (which are sometimes anchoring you to the ground), can you truly move forward and start living a brand new life.

Where You Should Put Your Anchor Tattoos

Anchor tattoos are already eye catching in itself. However, putting it on the right area will emphasize its design and will make it stand out more. Men and women have different preferences on where to put their tattoos on. Actually, aside from choosing a tattoo design, tattoo placement is another issue that you need to deal with when getting a tattoo. People often pick a bold spot of their body to help highlight the features of their tattoo.

Women prefer having anchor tattoos on one side of the neck, just a little below the ears. This is perfect for young people who are just getting their first tattoos. Although it’s not necessary to hide your tattoos, it would be great to put it on a spot where you can cover it whenever necessary.

Another good spot where you can put your sailor-inspired tattoos is at the back, just a little below the shoulders. This spot is perfect for those who are fond of wearing sleeveless tops, men and women alike. It will look totally hot and chic having a tattoo there. If you have great shoulders, it can emphasize your tattoos design more.

Actually, the spot where you put your tattoos on really depends solely on you. You can place it anywhere on your body as long as you are confident about it.

anchor tattoos

Preparation Tips for Anchor Tattoos

Before you go to a tattoo artist for the inking process, you have to make sure that you already have a tattoo design in mind. By doing this, you can minimize the discussion to be done and quickly proceed to getting your first ever tattoo.

Pick a tattoo design that will fit your personality, your skin color (if you want to have colored tattoos), and the spot where you want your tattoo on. Since it’s your first time doing this, it’s better to ask for professional advice from the tattoo artist. Make sure to incorporate your per-planned design in the discussion and ask the artist what you can do to make it look like the best anchor tattoo in the world.

Prep yourself up before going to the tattoo artist by eating and hydrating yourself. Usually, inking will take hours, depending on how big you want your tattoo or how complex the design of the tattoo is. You also have to respect the time of the tattoo artist by showing up on time, or even a few minutes before the scheduled appointment. Lastly, prepare yourself physically and mentally because getting a permanent tattoo for the first time can hurt badly.

Average Service Cost & Standard Prices for Getting Anchor Tattoos

Anchor tattoos do not have too many complex designs. However, it still needs a lot of time to finish one intricate anchor tattoo. If you want to have multi-colored tattoo, then you would probably be charged more than the basic service fee. Usually, an anchor-designed tattoo of about 3.5 inches in length and 2.5 inches in width, costs around $50 – $100. However, this will still depend on your current location.

The service charge of tattoo artists varies from place to place. If you are living in a small town and there are only a few tattoo artists, the prices can go as high as $200. This is because there are no competitors to challenge the high prices. If you live in the big city where there are many tattoo artists, you can get your tattoos at a lower price. It could also be the other way around – big cities, expensive tattoos and small towns, lower-priced tattoos.

Before you get your first ever anchor tattoo, you should try to check how much it would actually cost you to have it. You can visit tattoo shops in your area and ask for their price. Afterwards, make sure to compare their prices and see which offers service that’s great value for your money.

Maintenance Tips after Getting Anchor Tattoos

You have to remember that maintaining your anchor tattoos is very important. You don’t want to waste a wonderful tattoo design, do you? After the tattoo procedure, it is only natural for the tattoo to hurt a bit. You will have scratches on the skin and expect the area to be reddish for the next couple of days. All you need to do is to ensure that the area remains clean until your skin recovers. After that, you will truly see the beauty of your tattoo.