Top 10 Nautical Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

With Halloween upon us, it’s time to get nautical. And who doesn’t love a good costume party? From the cutest little sailor outfits to the scariest of pirates and everything in between, Boat Trader is here to combine your love for the boating lifestyle with some spooktacular Halloween spirit. We’ve included some oldies but goodies, a few of the latest trends, and of course, a couple great DIY options—find the inspiration you need to win any costume contest. Check out a list of some of our favorites, and read on for more details and other creative options for marine halloween costumes.

10 of the best nautical themed Halloween costumes:

1. Sailor
2. Lighthouse keeper
3. Fisherman
4. Pirate
5. Tug boat
6. Fish or sea animal
7. The Loch Ness Monster
8. King Neptune
9. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy
10. Sailor Moon

Halloween is fun for all ages, and it’s the perfect time to express yourself and your love for boating. Photo credit:

Costumes inspired by movies and cartoons

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s a bore to dress up in one of those stereotypical, basic nautical themed costumes, like the sailor, pirate, or mermaid. Sure they’re crowd favorites, but they’re also frequently overused. This Halloween it might be time to switch things up. One of the best ways to be hip and trendy is to look at what’s popular on the big screen in Hollywood. For the kids, an easy choice is a Disney-inspired Dory or Finding Nemo costume, or maybe even Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. For adults, who doesn’t love the 1975 classic, Jaws? Dress up as Jaws himself, Chief Brody, or Captain Quint.

You also can’t go wrong by dressing up as any one of those beloved characters from Bikini Bottom and the pineapple under the sea—that’s right, we’re talking about SpongeBob SquarePants and all his buddies like Patrick, Mr. Crabs, Squidward, and of course, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Whatever your preferred water-based film or cartoon may be, use that as your motivation and create a costume based on one of your favorite characters.

Have a favorite water-related movie or cartoon? Use the main character as your costume inspiration. Photo credit:

Couple’s Costumes

Nothing shouts romance like a couple’s Halloween costume. From a pair of pirates to a sea captain and his first mate, there are plenty of nautical options for every duo. Like we’ve already discussed, movies and cartoons are a great place to pull ideas, especially for couple’s costumes. Transform into a famous pair of cartoon lovebirds by dressing as Popeye and Olive Oyl, or the Little Mermaid and Prince Eric. Or break out the Hawaiian shirts with socks and sandals to show your sense of humor as a set of Tacky Tourists. Finally, we can’t talk about couple’s costumes without mentioning our favorite: a fisherman and his best catch.

Spread the love on Halloween and collaborate on couple’s costume. Some good examples include the Little Mermaid and Prince Eric, Popeye and Olive Oly, or a pair of Tacky Tourists. Photo credit:

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Costumes

To give your costume a true homemade, personal touch, start brainstorming by searching through Pinterest boards. You’ll find step-by-step guides to help you create almost any nautical-themed costume you can think of.  Two of our favorites include a DIY fisherman costume made from brown paper bags and a cardboard box boat costume from DIY Network.

With just a little imagination, you might even be able to come up with your own original idea—or adapt a popular costume to make it your own. Don’t just dress up as any old boat, dress up as your boat. Live by the coast? Create a costume that depicts your local lighthouse or maybe even that obnoxious “No Wake Zone” sign you cruise pass on your way out to open water. Love to fish? Forget the fisherman costume, see what it’s like on the other end of the line and put together your favorite bass, mackerel, tuna, or marlin costume—heck, you could even dress up as your favorite fishing lure. The ideas are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative. And don’t forget to share your pictures and videos of all your nautical-themed Halloween costumes with us on the Boat Trader Facebook page.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2016 and last updated for Halloween 2022.


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