It is believed that the tradition of marine tattoos began after James Cook’s voyage across Oceania.
By the end of the 19th century, already 90% of all British sailors (not counting the officers, of course) wore marine tattoos, which by that time had become the same sign of craft.
Starting as hooliganism and self-indulgence, sailor tattoos soon became a common tradition for English-speaking sailors. Each drawing had some meaning and either carried a specific message about its owner, or was a talisman, like the image of a pig and a rooster. It is worth noting that the article is about tattoos of English-speaking sailors, primarily the British Navy.
A ship with wind-filled sails
Rope around the wrist