An anchor isn’t just a heavy object that holds a ship in place. An anchor is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “A person or thing that provides strength and support,” and “A reliable and principal support.” The anchor originally became a popular tattoo subject because of naval sailors. However, as the years have passed the image has become popular with the rest of the tattooing world because of what the anchor represents. Not just an item, but an idea. A symbol for holding fast, staying strong, and weathering the storm. This article compiles ninety anchor tattoos that will inspire your next maritime inspired piece.

Wrist Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-1

A simple black and gray anchor is rendered on the wearer’s wrist in this tattoo.

Anchor With Rope

 

anchor-tattoo-designs-2

This tattoo, depicted on the wearer’s heel, illustrates a clean portrayal of an anchor on the wearer’s heel in black and gray ink with white highlights.

Black and Gray Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-2

A simple portrayal of a black and gray anchor is illustrated on the wearer’s heel in this tattoo.

Flying Bird Silhouette Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-3

Numerous black silhouettes of flying birds comprise the shape of an anchor on the back of the wearer’s forearm.

Rib Cage Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-4A simple black and gray anchor with white highlights is featured on the left side of the wearer’s torso in this tattoo.

Anchor and Feather

anchor-tattoo-designs-5

An anchor is embellished with a feather in this black and gray tattoo portrayed on the wearer’s upper arm.

Middle Finger Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-6

A small black anchor composed of thin lines is rendered on the wearer’s middle finger near the fingertip.

Colorful Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-7

A vibrantly colored anchor is embellished with a heart in the center of a stock and a pattern on the crown.

Also See:

Anchor and Contradictory Quote

anchor-tattoo-designs-8

This anchor is accompanied by a contradictory quote. A more appropriate image would be a buoy, boat, raft, or any other flotation device instead of the only maritime object specifically designed to sink.

Black and Gray Heel Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-9Another example of a black and gray anchor with white highlights is seen in this tattoo rendered on the wearer’s right heel.

United States Navy Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-10

This tattoo, rendered on the wearer’s left shoulder blade, portrays an anchor with vertebrae running along the shank and the letters, “USN,” an acronym for United States Navy along the stock.

Top of the Foot Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-11

This tattoo, rendered on the topside of the wearer’s foot, features an anchor in the foreground and  a stylized depiction of a wave in the background.

Anchor, Cross, and Heart

anchor-tattoo-designs-12

An anchor and a cross are tethered by a heart in this black tattoo rendered on the wearer’s forearm.

Scrimshaw Ship with Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-13

This tattoo, located on the wearer’s forearm, uses black ink and a style reminiscent of scrimshaw to illustrate a ship dropping anchor into rough waters.

Anchor and Bow

anchor-tattoo-designs-14

A black anchor accented by a pink bow and heart is illustrated between the wearer’s shoulder blades in this tattoo.

Thumb Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-15

A lightly shaded black and gray portrayal of an anchor is depicted on the wearer’s right thumb.

“Guide Me, Hold Me”

anchor-tattoo-designs-16

These tattoos, located on the wearer’s forearms, depict a ships wheel with the quote, “Guide me,” and an anchor with the quote, “Hold me,” in black ink.

Anchor and Roses

anchor-tattoo-designs-17

This tattoo, depicted on the wearer’s thigh, portrays an anchor covered in pink roses.

Bird Perched on Anchor over Watercolor Background

anchor-tattoo-designs-18

A cardinal perched atop a black and gray anchor is illustrated over a purple and blue watercolor smear in this forearm tattoo.

Anchor and Flying Birds

anchor-tattoo-designs-19

An anchor is accented by a dotted line that leads to a flock of flying birds in this black and gray chest tattoo.

Stylized Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-20

Ornate scrolled designs create the shape of an anchor on the wearer’s ankle in this tattoo.

Anchor and Flying Bird Silhouettes

anchor-tattoo-designs-21

A large black and gray anchor accompanied by silhouettes of flying birds adorns the wearer’s torso in this tattoo.

Black and Gray Thigh Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-22

A large black and gray anchor with white highlights adorns the wearer’s thigh in this tattoo.

Tiny Wrist Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-24

A small, black, and slightly lopsided anchor is illustrated on the wearer’s wrist in this tattoo.

Anchor Inside Ornate Frame

anchor-tattoo-designs-25

An anchor is portrayed inside of an ornate frame in this black and gray tattoo rendered on the wearer’s forearm.

United States Navy Anchor with Flag

anchor-tattoo-designs-26

A blue anchor embellished with the acronym USN for United States Navy is illustrated to appear to be ripping the wearer’s flesh to reveal the American flag.

Anchor and Starfish

anchor-tattoo-designs-28

An anchor accompanied by an orange starfish and blue wave is rendered on the inside of the wearer’s heel.

Stylized Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-29

A black and gray anchor is accented by a heart where the shank meets the stock and a pattern around the crown in this tattoo rendered on the wearer’s forearm.

“Love Life” Infinity Symbol with Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-30

While not a tattoo, this design features an infinity symbol featuring the words, “Love,” and, “Life,” leads to an anchor on the wearer’s hip.

Compass and Anchor over Watercolor Background

anchor-tattoo-designs-31

A compass and anchor are portrayed over multicolored watercolor smears in this tattoo rendered on the wearer’s forearm.

Anchor and Pink Flower

anchor-tattoo-designs-32

This incredibly well done tattoo, rendered on the wearer’s hip, features a black and gray anchor accompanied by a purple flower.

Anchor and Flying Bird Silhouettes

anchor-tattoo-designs-33

A black and gray anchor with a heart shaped eye loop features a rope that dematerializes into silhouettes of flying birds in this tattoo rendered on the wearer’s left shoulder blade.

“Family” Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-34

A vibrantly colored anchor embellished with a heart shaped lock near the crown is accented by banner reading, “Family,” in this tattoo rendered on the topside of the wearer’s left foot.

Roses and Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-35

A pair of red roses accent a sparsely shaded black and gray anchor in this tattoo depicted on the wearer’s thigh.

Black and Gray Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-36

A black and gray anchor featuring shoddy line-work is featured on the wearer’s upper arm in this tattoo.

“Hope anchors the soul…”

anchor-tattoo-designs-37

A black anchor dematerializes into silhouettes of flying birds and is accompanied by the quote, “Hope anchors the soul, faith sets it free.”

Birds Carrying Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-38

A rope attached to an anchor is carried on either end by a flying bird in this tattoo rendered on the wearer’s left shoulder blade.

Anchor with Pink Rose

anchor-tattoo-designs-39

This tattoo, located on the wearer’s thigh, illustrates a stylized anchor embellished with a pink rose as well as patterns on the flute and stock. Diligent shading and use of color contribute to the astoundingly lifelike flower while strong line-work creates the bold anchor.

Simplified Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-40

A simplified depiction of an anchor is portrayed without any shading on the wearer’s wrist in black ink.

Anchor with Pink Flower Accents

anchor-tattoo-designs-41

A black and gray anchor with white highlights is accented by a trio of flowers in this tattoo rendered on the topside of the wearer’s foot.

Compass and Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-42

A compass and an anchor overlaid with a ships wheel are imagined on the topsides of the wearer’s hands in this tattoo set.

Ships Wheel, Anchor, and Compass

anchor-tattoo-designs-43

This tattoo, located on the wearer’s thigh, uses black and gray ink to depict an anchor, ships wheel, and compass.

Simplified Anchor Behind Ear

anchor-tattoo-designs-44

A small black anchor is illustrated behind the wearer’s left ear in this tattoo.

Dematerializing Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-45

A black anchor dematerializes into silhouettes of flying birds in this tattoo portrayed on the wearer’s left forearm.

Anchor and Rope Anklet

anchor-tattoo-designs-46

This tattoo, illustrated on the wearer’s ankle, depicts a long rope wrapping around the wearer’s ankle and leading to an anchor on the topside of the wearer’s foot.

Feet Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-47

This tattoo, illustrated reminiscent of a sketch, portrays an anchor on the topsides of the wearer’s feet while the rope attached to the anchor wraps around the wearer’s ankles.

Simplified Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-48

A simple, black anchor is portrayed on the back of the wearer’s upper left arm using thin lines.

Simplified Wrist Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-49

A small anchor is portrayed on the wearer’s right wrist in black ink.

Anchor and Flowers

anchor-tattoo-designs-50

Two pink roses accent a black and gray anchor in this tattoo portrayed on the right side of the wearer’s rib cage.

Anchor and Flying Birds

anchor-tattoo-designs-51

A black and gray anchor is surrounded by a dotted line that turns into a flock of flying birds in this tattoo portrayed on the wearer’s left shoulder blade.

Anchor with Heart

anchor-tattoo-designs-52

A black and gray anchor is embellished with a heart in the center where the stock meets the shank as well as a pattern near the crown. The entire piece is composed of black and gray ink and is located on the wearer’s left forearm.

Anchor with Compass over Red Background

anchor-tattoo-designs-53

An anchor overlaid with a compass is illustrated over a red background on the wearer’s forearm in this tattoo.

“Release Your Dreams”

anchor-tattoo-designs-54

This tattoo, located on the wearer’s forearm, portrays a black and gray anchor wrapped in a banner reading, “Release your dreams.”

Anchor and Watercolor Flowers

anchor-tattoo-designs-55

A black and gray anchor is accompanied by a pair of flowers and soft smears of blue and purple watercolors in this tattoo located on the wearer’s upper left arm.

Black and Gray Thigh Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-56

A black and gray anchor is portrayed on the wearer’s left thigh in this tattoo.

Black Heel Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-57

A small black anchor is portrayed in front of the wearer’s left heel.

“Josh” Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-58

A black and gray anchor overlaid with the name, “Josh,” is inked between the wearer’s shoulder blades.

Black and Gray Anchor with Flowers

anchor-tattoo-designs-59

A stylized black and gray anchor, devoid of shading, is illustrated between two flowers on the topside of the wearer’s foot in this tattoo.

Anchor with Balance and Flowers

anchor-tattoo-designs-60

A black and gray anchor on the wearer’s forearm is embellished with a rose on the shank, a balance replacing the stock, the letter near the crown, and beads dangling from the arms.

Black and Gray Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-61

A black and gray anchor attached to a rope is illustrated on the wearer’s upper right arm.

Black and Gray Chest Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-62

An anchor is portrayed on the left side of the wearer’s chest in black and gray ink.

Musical Staff Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-63

A musical staff wraps around an anchor in this black and gray tattoo featured on the back of the wearer’s upper left arm.

Ring Finger Anchors

 

anchor-tattoo-designs-65

A pair of small black anchors adorn the wearers’ ring fingers in this tattoo set.

Ankle Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-66

A small black and gray anchor with a heart replacing the eye loop is illustrated near the wearer’s right heel.

Simplified Black Wrist Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-67

A tiny black anchor is inked onto the wearer’s right wrist in this tattoo.

“I’ll be the one to guide you…”anchor-tattoo-designs-68Blue, purple, and pink watercolor smears serve as the backgrounds for these forearm pieces featuring a compass overlaying a ship’s wheel accompanied by the quote, “I’ll be the one to guide you,” the name Cadence and the birthday 4.3.10. The other arm features an anchor with the rest of the quote reading, “But never hold you down,” along with the name Mackenzie and the birthday 10.6.11.

Stylized Ship and Anchor with Quote

anchor-tattoo-designs-69

Rope frames surround a traditional depiction of a ship with a banner underneath reading, “Be the one to guide me,” and an embellished anchor with a banner underneath reading, “But never hold me down.” Both pieces are rendered in black and gray on the wearer’s thighs.

Stylized Black and Gray Anchors

anchor-tattoo-designs-70

A pair of anchors covered in ornate designs are intertwined with rope and imagined on the wearer’s thighs in black ink.

Black and Gray Wrist Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-71

A black and gray anchor attached to a rope is depicted on the wearer’s left wrist in black and gray ink.

Thumb Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-72

A small black anchor is portrayed on the wearer’s right thumb in this tattoo.

Black Behind the Ear Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-73

A small black anchor is portrayed behind the wearer’s left ear.

Black Shoulder Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-74

A small black anchor is portrayed on the wearer’s left shoulder blade.

Ships Wheel, Anchor, and Quote

anchor-tattoo-designs-75

A ships wheel is surrounded by the quote, “Be the one to guide me,” while an anchor is surrounded by the quote, “But never hold me down.” Both pieces are portrayed in black ink on the wearer’s thighs.

Abstract Fragmented Blue Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-77

An anchor is illustrated using negative space while a fragmented blue and black design functions as the background.

Small Black Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-78

A small black anchor is portrayed near the wearer’s left heel.

Red and Yellow Anchor with Heart

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

An anchor with a black and gray shank, and crown is embellished with red flukes and a red heart where the stock meets the shank.

Black and Gray Forearm Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-81

A black and gray anchor attached to a rope is portrayed on the wearer’s left forearm.

Traditionally Colored Torso Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-82

A traditionally styled and colored anchor is portrayed on the wearer’s torso featuring gold flukes and a blue stock.

Stylized Arrow Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-83

An anchor with an arrow replacing the stock is embellished with a heart where the stock meets the shank and is illustrated on the right side of the wearer’s torso in black ink.

Anchor with Blue Musical Staff Rope

anchor-tattoo-designs-84

A black and gray anchor is embellished with a blue rope curved into the shape of a musical staff in this tattoo illustrated on the wearer’s left forearm.

Black and Gray Seashell and Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-85

A black and gray anchor is featured on the wearer’s upper left arm while a black and gray seashell is featured on the wearer’s upper right arm.

Black Anchor on Heel

anchor-tattoo-designs-86

A small black anchor is portrayed near the wearer’s left heel.

Black Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-87

A small black anchor is illustrated near the wearer’s thumb knuckle on his right hand.

Stylized Black Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-88

An anchor is portrayed in black ink on the wearer’s forearm. What separates this tattoo from the other anchors we’ve seen is the conscious effort by the artist to make this piece appear low resolution as if it was pulled from an old photograph.

Black Anchor on Elbow

anchor-tattoo-designs-89

A thin black anchor is depicted on the back of the wearer’s upper right arm above the elbow.

Traditionally Styled Anchor with Flower

anchor-tattoo-designs-90

This tattoo, featured on the wearer’s right ankle, portrays a black anchor with red embellishments and yellow flower on the shank.

Ships Wheel, Anchor, and Initials

anchor-tattoo-designs-91

A ship’s wheel attached to an anchor by a bar embellished with the initials LH is portrayed on the wearer’s forearm in black and gray ink.

Stylized Anchor with Watercolor Flowers

anchor-tattoo-designs-92

An ornate black and gray anchor is accompanied by purple and orange watercolor flowers in this tattoo rendered on the wearer’s thigh.

Black Anchors with Heart Accents

anchor-tattoo-designs-93

Black anchors embellished with a heart shape near the crown are illustrated on the wearers’ forearms in this tattoo set.

Anchor? Fail

anchor-tattoo-designs-94

This lopsided and undetailed piece portrays a pathetic excuse for an anchor wrapped in a green rope on the wearer’s ribs.

Seascape Anchor Vignette

anchor-tattoo-designs-95

A vignette of a seascape is illustrated inside of an anchor in this colorful tattoo rendered on the wearer’s upper left arm.

Vibrantly Colored Anchor with Flowers

anchor-tattoo-designs-96

A blue and green anchor is embellished by a quartet of poorly defined flowers in this tattoo portrayed on the wearer’s forearm.

Back of the Neck Anchor

anchor-tattoo-designs-97

A black anchor is portrayed on the wearer’s back just below the base of the neck.

Anchor and Palm Tree

anchor-tattoo-designs-98

A black anchor with a heart-shaped eye loop is illustrated on the wearer’s left heel while a black palm tree silhouette is portrayed on the wearer’s right heel.