Biblical Meaning of Boats in Dreams

Dreams can be horrid and leave a bad taste upon waking up, but they can also be fascinating and pleasant. Sometimes they leave clues about what steps we should take and how we should handle challenges. So, wondering what is the biblical meaning of boats in dreams?

The Bible offers a comprehensive interpretation of various dreams and allows you to adopt the way of reasoning for dreams that aren’t in there. The main takeaway from the Bible related to dream reading is that dreams aren’t always what they appear to be. Sometimes a good dream can mean bad things and vice-versa.

In the article, we will try and decipher what dreaming about boats means and how you can apply it in your life.

Biblical Meaning of Boats in Dreams

Biblical Meaning of Boats in Dreams

The way dreams about boats should be interpreted is by their scenario. Whether you steered the boat or you saw it sailing in the sea makes a world of difference in terms of its meaning.

Boats are referenced many times in the Bible, with many stories taking place on boats or involving people arriving on boats. Their use often involves symbolism and is very significant for stories and parables.

What does the Bible say about dreaming of boats?

In the holy book, boats are also referenced as ships, vessels, barks, arks, etc. They are symbols of the church, salvation, journey, and faith. They can be manifestations of our emotions and how our subconscious has digested various things that happened to us. When boats appear in dreams, they can represent a transition to a new life.

When regarding boats from our dreams as symbols, it’s important to know the meaning they’ve been given in the Bible in order to make sense of their symbolism in our dreams.

It is also important to note that dream reading cannot be done by only analyzing the dream as context from the dreamer’s real life is needed to provide meaning to the messages of our dreams.

So, here are the most important references to boats in the Bible and some of the symbolism they carry:

Noah’s ark

We all know the story of Noah and how God instructed him to build an ark that would sustain his family and two of all animals on Earth. God’s intention was to cleanse the land of the wicked people and start from the beginning. What is less known, however, is the symbolism represented by the ark.

The ark in the story symbolizes salvation and a journey to a new beginning, and the same thing could be valid for your dream. You may be about to embark on a journey that will be a fresh start for your life.

The three decks of the ark symbolized the three realms that the ancient Israelites believed in Heaven, the Earth, and the Underworld.

The miraculous catch of fish

This story is in Luke 5:1-11, and it’s about the apostles not having any success with catching fish while fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Jesus told his disciples to cast their nets in the water one more time, and after doing so, they caught so much fish that their nets began to break, and the ship began to sink.

This story represents the power of God to perform miracles as well as the importance of having faith because one of the disciples, Peter, initially objects to the command that Jesus gives.

Jesus calms the storm

In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus and the apostles are caught in a storm while sailing across the Sea of Galilee. The apostles feared for their lives, but Jesus calmed the storm with just a few words.

The disciples were in disbelief at what was happening as they thought they were heading toward certain death, which was a manifestation of their lack of faith. This story is meant to symbolize the peace and tranquility that comes from having faith in God.

Jonah’s boat

Jonah was a prophet who disobeyed God’s direct order to go to the city of Nineveh to preach against the people’s wickedness. Jonah hated the Ninevites and didn’t want to allow them the chance of redemption.

Instead, he boarded a ship in the opposite direction. God unleashed his wrath on Jonah’s boat by sending a horrible storm that was going to sink it until Jonah decided to sacrifice himself and save the people on the boat.

He ordered the crew to throw him in the water, and he was swallowed by a big fish, where he spent three days praying to God and regretting what he did. Upon hearing his prayers, God had the fish spit Jonah out, after which he went to Nineveh to preach.

This is a very important story that can be found in the Hebrew Bible, and his return after three days represents a foreshadowing of Jesus’ resurrection.

You may be interested in: The Biblical meaning of the number 3.

Paul’s shipwreck

Paul was going to face trial in Rome, but the ship was hit by a storm that lasted for days. The crew thought they were all going to die, but Paul received a message from an angel of God that told him that everyone would be safe.

Paul urged everyone not to abandon the ship and have faith in God’s promise. In the end, they were able to swim safely to the shore, which was the island of Malta.

The storm symbolizes the challenges that we face in life. Just as the storm shook the ship and threatened to sink it, our challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming and threaten to have us defeated.

The angel symbolizes God’s guidance and protection, while the island of Malta and the people’s hospitality represents God’s mercy and care.

Jesus walking on water

Jesus sent the apostles on a boat while he went to prey. The wind caused problems for the boat, and Jesus set out on foot to go and help them. While he was walking on the lake’s surface, his disciples were watching in disbelief.

Later he called for Peter to stand on the water, and even though he was initially successful, he began to sink once his doubts kicked in.

The symbolism behind the story is that Jesus is above nature and that the laws that apply to others don’t apply to him. At the same time, anyone can perform miracles as long as they have faith.

Boats in Dreams Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

You may encounter boats in your dreams in various scenarios, and it is possible that seeing a boat in two different contexts can have two completely different meanings. Interpreting dreams is a personal experience, and the meaning depends largely on the dreamer’s feelings and experiences.

Boats in Dreams Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

Here are some of the scenarios in which you may encounter boats while dreaming:

Sailing on calm waters

It could be a sign of peace and security in your life. You have maybe asserted some sort of balance recently, whether professionally or privately, that makes you feel in control.

The calmness of the water could be a manifestation of your clarity and peace of mind, and the vessel moving smoothly is you on your way to reaching your goals in a calm and confident manner.

Dreaming this kind of dream is definitely a positive sign. In the Bible, calm waters are associated with trust in God’s plan. As it says in Psalm 23:2, “He leads me beside still waters.”

Sailing on rough waters

This is the opposite of the previous scenario and represents chaos and uncertainty in the dreamer’s life. It may indicate that the dreamer is facing some challenges in their life. 

Dreaming this type of dream is perhaps a sign to turn to the Lord and the teachings in the Bible. Psalm 107:29: “He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.”

Sinking boat

A sinking boat is a manifestation of failure in real life. Whether it’s failure that’s occurred or fear of an impending defeat, this type of vision is rarely a good sign.

Fear of failure is the more common reason for dreaming in this scenario. Fear of failure causes stress and often manifests itself in our dreams. In times like these, it’s important to remember that having faith in God goes a long way.

As Jesus says in Matthew 8:26, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” before calming the sea.

Rowing a boat

Rowing symbolizes hard work. It indicates determination and grit by the dreamer, and it’s generally considered to be a good sign.

Fishing from a boat

If you are searching for some information or looking to gain some knowledge that you value, you may dream this type of dream. Just like the apostles in Acts 5:1-11, you will need to show faith in the Lord and patience because you never know when the figurative fish will arrive.

When it does, will you be ready, or will you be panicking like the disciples?

Empty boat

Empty boats in the middle of the water are a sad sight, and in a dream, it means that the dreamer is experiencing loneliness. Something caused you to face a disconnection from someone, and you will need prayer and a clear head to find out what it was.

Show patience with people just like Jesus showed patience throughout his time among the people.

Ships sailing away

This may have different interpretations as it is important to what type of feeling the ships sailing away caused. If the dreamer gets anxious and angry, then it is a sign of getting left behind in terms of work or relationships.

If the dreamer is calm about the ships sailing away, then it may represent the dreamer’s willingness to let go of something. It can be a bad job or a bad relationship that holds them down for a long time.

Ships arriving

Arriving ships is usually a positive sign for the dreamer. It can mean the arrival of new opportunities or a reunion with someone they hold dear.

Ships are associated with trade, and seeing them arrive in a dream might signalize wealth or abundance coming your way.

Ship at the bottom of the ocean

The bottom of the ocean is associated with mystery, and sunken ships represent hidden knowledge. Something that you research for and something that feels that is only known to you and no one else.

If it makes you feel anxious, then maybe you should find someone you can share your knowledge with.


Does any biblical character dream about boats?

There’s no such occurrence in the Bible, but there are comparable dreams that can be used as reference points for how to interpret dreams about boats.

What does it mean to dream of a large boat?

The boat’s size is not usually the biggest focus in the dream, but if it happens that you care most about its size, then the dream is about being part of something bigger than yourself.


Boats are referenced many times in the Bible as it was an important means of transportation during that time. Boats often carry meaning and symbolism in the Bible.

The biblical meaning of boats in dreams is that there are new beginnings, and the boat usually represents us in the dream. If the boat is sailing smoothly – you are doing well. If the boat is sinking – you are struggling with a life challenge, etc. 

The many scenarios for seeing boats must receive some context from the dreamer’s real life; otherwise, it is difficult to extract meaning from our dreams.


Greetings in faith! I'm Tracey, a devoted follower of the Word. This blog shares my passion for Christ, prayer, and biblical studies. I practice daily meditation, have visited sacred sites worldwide, and cherish my Holy Land pilgrimage. In my leisure, I craft prayer beads, spiritual artwork, and faith-inspiring handmade items. Join me as we explore the Bible's richness and the transformative power of faith.

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