Nautical Yard Decor: Sailboats

by CruiseReady

Add a spirit of nautical adventure to your life with outdoor sailboat decor, whether you're a regatta spectator or as adventurous as Joshua Slocum.

Add sailboat accents to your outdoor living space, and you just may find your imagination sweeping along a peaceful waterway on a beautiful day, propelled by a gentle breeze.

Whether you already have a nautical or coastal decor in your home, or just want to add a pretty touch to your yard, sailboat themed pieces are the perfect choice.

Let your adventurous spirit take wing as you sit on your patio, planning an afternoon of watching white sails against a blue sky, or dreaming of sailing around the world in a sloop named Spray. Why Spray? Read on to find out!

May this page inspire you to duplicate that exhilarating feeling of the wind in your sails, or at least put a touch of it in your yard, patio, porch or garden with outdoor sailboat decor.

Image Source

To reach a port we must set sail.

Sail, not tie at anchor;

Sail, not drift.

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Start Where Your Guests Will Start

At the Front Door

For the sailing enthusiast, what could be more appropriate than expressing your love of boats and the sea right at your front door?  

Among the ways to do that are sailing themed welcome mats, door bells, and even welcome signs.  

Using a ship's bell for a door bell is a clever, and very nautical addition to any front door, whether you live by the sea, or in a city suburb.  There are even mountable bells that incorporate a sloop or other sailing boat into their design.  What could be more perfect at the door of a seagoing lady or gentleman? 

Sailboat Front Door Decor

Why Spray is a Popular Name for Sailboats

The First Man to Sail Solo Around the World Did So in a Sloop Named Spray

The Spray, in 1898 

An 1898 photo of the Spray

Spray has long been a popular name for sailboats.  Do you know why?

He sailed around the world, all alone, in a sloop named Spray.  "He" was Joshua Slocum.  It happened way back in the late 19th century, and his voyage made nautical history.

He acquired the boat, at no cost, in 1892.  Apparently, she cost him nothing because she was in deplorable condition.  After just over a year of hard work, he had made her seaworthy again.  

It was what he did afterwards that put him and the Spray solidly into the maritime history books:  He sailed her - singlehandedly - all the way around the world.  He was the first ever to accomplish a solo circumnavigation or the globe in a sailboat.

The historic voyage began on April 24, 1895, and concluded on June 27, 1898.  He and the Spray had traveled 46,000 miles.

Sail With the Wind

Which Way is the Wind Blowing?

Here's a lovely piece of copper garden art that will also show you which way the wind is blowing.  Some people also mount this model on a deck railing or fence post. 

This is a GARDEN weather vane with a stake for securing in the ground, not a rooftop model.  

It's made to last, of brass and copper.

Sailboat Wind Chimes

Every patio or deck needs a set of wind chimes.  This one is handcrafted deep in the tropics, on the island of Bali, where they know about sailing, and about bamboo, too.  

The pleasant sound of hand tuned bamboo tubes is, some claim, more relaxing than the tones made by metal wind chimes.  I think it's just a personal preference, though, and my preference is definitely for the softer sound of  bamboo.

Circling the Globe Then and Now

The Sloop Spray vs. the International Space Station

International Space Station

Some Food for Thought:

THEN:   In the late 1800's it took Joshua Slocum just a little over three years to sail the Spray around the world.

NOW:  Today, astronauts aboard the International Space Station make a full orbit around the earth every 93 minutes!

(You can read more about the ISS at Cool Space Stuff for Older Kids.)

 (Public domain image courtesy NASA)

Modern Cruise Ship

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Ship
Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Ship
(author's own photo)

Vessel Sizes Then and Now

Spray vs. Brilliance of the Seas

More Food for Thought.

THEN:  Our intrepid circumnavigating sailor made his voyage on a vessel measuring 36 feet, 9 inches in length.

NOW:   My last voyage was on the 958' long Brilliance of the Seas, shown above.  She's over 26 times as long as the Spray, and isn't even the biggest ship in the fleet!  (Yes, I know,cruising isn't exactly sailing . . . but that's the last vessel I was on)

I can't even imagine the iron will it would take for me to climb aboard a tiny sloop - with no power to rely on than that of the wind - and set out alone to go round the world. . . knowing I wouldn't finish my journey until I was a full three years older.

Outdoor Sailboat Art

That's Useful Inside, Too

Here's a col piece of sailboat decor for your yard that's used from inside the house, too.

It's an outdoor thermometer in the shape of a boat.  Just attach its suction cups to the outside of a window.  The temperature shows on the side against the windowpane, so you can check on how hot or cold it is without even going outdoors. 

It's painted on both sides, so the back lends a decorative element to your outdoor space, too.

Would YOU Do it?

Sail Around the World Alone, That is

Outdoor Wall Canvas - Sailboats

For an Elegant Touch of Nautical Color
Cape Craftsmen Outdoor Wall Canvas 18X36, Flying Colors

The pessimist complains about the wind;

the optimist expects it to change;

the realist adjusts the sails. 

- Dr. William Arthur Ward, (1921 - 1994)

author, educator, and motivational speaker.  

Other Pages of Interest

  • How Sailboats work

    Great article to really help you understand how sailboats work - a wealth of information, some of it technical, but presented in a very understandable way, and broken down into logical page sized segments.

  • Sailboat Clocks

    An entire page devoted to sailboat themed timepieces to hand on your wall, and set on your desk, mantle, or shelf, but with some added fun information about wind powered boating.

  • How the Space Shuttles Got Their Names: Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour

    Did you know that NASA's space shuttles were named after historic sailing ships and sail boats? Find out about the sail powered vessels that gave their names to famous spacecraft.


Updated: 04/01/2017, CruiseReady
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CruiseReady on 07/31/2015

Indeed. Indoors or out, or even, as you say, personal items, can all be appealingly done up with some sort of a nautical theme.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/30/2015

CruiseReady, It always helps to have a boat or a horse to get something to sell! Nautical decor certainly is attractive for clothing colors and styles too. And to think that one can coordinate personal wear with such personal furnishings as bells, canvases, chimes, and mats!

CruiseReady on 07/20/2015

You aren't the only one who was surprised. And it's a very attractive one, too.

blackspanielgallery on 07/18/2015

I have never thought on outdoor wall canvas would be possible, yet you have found one.

CruiseReady on 07/17/2015

I love nautical decor, and am constantly on the lookout for it.

WriterArtist on 07/16/2015

I love the photos of the boat and cruise, it gels extremely well with the sea and the background. Home decor is one of my favourite topics and nautical decor will look great with blue and pink furnishings.

CruiseReady on 07/02/2015

Thank you for the visit!

MBC on 07/02/2015

Lots of fun sailing decor here. Thanks!

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