The Most Famous Naval Sailor: A Ranking of Notable Figures at Sea

Choose the naval sailor you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 9, 2024 07:11
Ahoy, fellow sea lovers and history enthusiasts! Dive into a thrilling adventure as we embark on a quest to determine who the most famous naval sailor of all time is. At StrawPoll, we've anchored thousands of polls and rankings on a vast ocean of topics, and now it's time to set sail on this exciting journey. With legendary navigators, audacious captains, and fearless explorers aboard, we'll navigate the treacherous waters of fame and legacy. We want to hear from you, so come aboard and cast your vote for your favorite sailor, or hoist your flag by suggesting a missing option. Will it be Columbus or Nelson who claims the title, or will a hidden gem emerge from the depths? Chart your course to StrawPoll now, and let's discover the most celebrated sailor in naval history together! Anchors aweigh!

Who Is the Most Famous Naval Sailor?

  1. 1
    Horatio Nelson
    Lemuel Francis Abbott · Public domain
    British naval commander who played a key role in the Napoleonic Wars, most famous for his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. He is considered one of Britain's greatest military heroes.
    Horatio Nelson in other rankings
  2. 2
    Christopher Columbus
    Sebastiano del Piombo · Public domain
    Italian explorer and sailor who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, opening the way for the widespread European exploration and colonization of the Americas.
    Christopher Columbus in other rankings
  3. 3
    English naval commander and privateer who played a significant role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. He was also the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe.
  4. 4
    James Cook
    Nathaniel Dance-Holland · Public domain
    British explorer, navigator, and cartographer who made three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, mapping many areas and discovering new lands. He is considered one of the greatest explorers of all time.
    James Cook in other rankings
  5. 5
    William Bligh
    Alexander Huey · Public domain
    British naval officer who was the captain of HMS Bounty during the famous mutiny in 1789. He later became the governor of New South Wales in Australia.
  6. 6
    John Paul Jones
    Charles Willson Peale · Public domain
    Scottish-born naval commander who is considered the father of the United States Navy. He is best known for his victory over the British ship HMS Serapis during the American Revolution.
    John Paul Jones in other rankings
  7. 7
    Zheng He
    Marcin Konsek · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Chinese explorer and admiral who led several expeditions to Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East during the early 15th century. He is considered one of China's greatest naval commanders.
    Zheng He in other rankings
  8. 8
    Togo Heihachiro
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Japanese admiral who played a key role in the Russo-Japanese War, leading his fleet to victory in several battles. He is considered one of Japan's greatest naval heroes.
    Togo Heihachiro in other rankings
  9. 9
    Cheng Ho
    Marcin Konsek · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Chinese explorer and admiral who led several expeditions to Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East during the early 15th century. He is considered one of China's greatest naval commanders.
  10. 10
    Scottish naval commander who served in the Royal Navy, the Chilean Navy, and the Brazilian Navy. He played a key role in the Chilean War of Independence and the Brazilian War of Independence.

Missing your favorite naval sailor?


Ranking factors for famous naval sailor

  1. Historical Significance
    The individual's impact on naval history and their role in major naval events or battles. 2. Accomplishments and Contributions: Their achievements in terms of naval strategy, military tactics, technological advancements, or exploration efforts. 3. Recognition and Reputation: The individual's level of recognition and fame within the naval community and among the general public. 4. Legacy and Influence: The lasting impact of their actions and ideas on subsequent naval leaders, strategies, or naval traditions. 5. Popularity and Cultural Impact: Their portrayal in literature, art, movies, or popular culture, and their overall reputation among people worldwide. 6. Personal Courage and Leadership: Their display of bravery, leadership skills, and ability to inspire and motivate others.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous naval sailor. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or sailor is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 171 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each sailor once every 24 hours. The rank of each sailor is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous naval sailor

Naval sailors have played a significant role in shaping the course of human history. From the early explorations of the Vikings to the epic sea battles of World War II, naval sailors have been at the forefront of some of the most momentous events in human history. Over the years, many sailors have become famous for their bravery, leadership, and skill on the high seas. From legendary figures like Admiral Lord Nelson to modern-day naval heroes like Admiral Michelle Howard, there are many candidates for the title of the most famous naval sailor. So, who will come out on top in this StrawPoll? Let's find out!

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