Created By: Premonition45 on March 24, 2013 Last Edited By: Premonition45 on March 13, 2016

Onland Sailing

Taking a boat from water straight onto land.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Literature, Live-Action TV, Tabletop Game, and Video Game

Boats are made for one purpose: to travel on water. Or so you'd think. In fiction, if need be, characters can take their boat straight onto land directly out of water. In action sequences, it's a sign of badassery, but it can also be a Comedy Trope.

It can distinguish a Cool Boat from a normal boat.

Contrast Amphibious Automobile, which is a land vehicle that can go straight to water.

Needs a Better Title.

Examples

Comic Strip
  • Popeye was known to do this on occasion, thanks to his Reality Warping powers. "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" is one example, where he sails a ship straight onto Olive Oyl's front lawn.

Eastern Animation
  • In the first, beach-themed episode of Nu, Pogodi!, the Wolf is chasing Hare in the water with a motorboat and eventually ends up accidentally swimming out on land, leaving the beach, and driving the boat down a highway, wreaking havoc along his way.

Film - Live Action
  • The James Bond franchise loves this trope:
    • Live and Let Die has a number of the boats involved in the bayou chase cut across land.
    • In Moonraker, after being pursued by Drax's thugs in Venice, Bond has his gondola converted into a hovercraft.
    • In the opening sequence of The World Is Not Enough, Bond takes the Q-Boat through the streets of London as he pursues the "Cigar Girl".
  • When they were late for a wedding, the protagonists of The Hangover 2 saved time by skipping the mooring and driving the boat straight onto land.

Literature
  • The Elric Saga had the Cool Boat called The Ship that Sails Over Land and Sea, which could do exactly what its title implies. It could leave the ocean and sail on land as if it were water.

Live-Action Television
  • World's Dumbest.... One clip from Canada features a group of people who have taken their snowmobiles out into water; Mike Trainor comments that this is normal to him, as he likes to take his motorboat out onto golf courses.

Video Games
  • Metal Slug 2 has Big Shie, a big battleship with treads.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto games after Vice City, you can drive boats around and even go through land for a brief period of time. Of course if don't go back to the water the boat won't work anymore.

Western Animation
  • At the end of the Bugs Bunny cartoon "14 Carrot Rabbit" Bugs inexplicably boards an ocean liner on land in front of Fort Knox.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In "Night of the Batmen!", the Penguin had a submarine with crawler tracks that allowed it leave the ocean and careen through the streets of Gotham.
  • The Fairly Oddparents has a pirate ship that got wished into this, complete with features straight from an off-road vehicle.
  • Stickybeard's ship in Codename: Kids Next Door, an absolutely massive vessel that crushes whole neighborhoods as it travels on land.
  • The Classic Disney Short "The Saga of Windwagon Smith" is about a sea captain that builds a sailing ship on top of a wagon so he can sail the American prairie like an ocean.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • The boatmobiles are an interesting case. They are essentially underwater cars, complete with wheels, driven on roads. This is justified due to the show's underwater setting, where Water Is Air and creatures that should be swimming walk on the sea floor instead. To complicate matters, there's also "regular" boats that float on the goo that passes for water, not to mention the Flying Dutchman's Ghost Ship, which floats overhead but still underwater.
    • This is Lampshaded on the episode "Aargh!", where Mr. Krabs captains a pirate ship, which crashes on a reef. When he asks for a status report, SpongeBob responds "The whole ship's underwater", which was, of course already the case, but Krabs takes it as being marooned.
  • On The Amazing World of Gumball, Richard wins a boat, while Nicole points out that they have no use for one. In the end, Richard is seen driving the boat on the street, loudly tearing up the pavement.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog plays this straight in the episode "The Sand Whale Strikes", in which a sand whale mistakes Eustace for his father, who cheated him in a card game years earlier. After the whale makes off with Eustace, Courage goes to Ma Bagge for help, and they go after the whale via rowboat... on land. In fact, at one point, Courage nudges Ma out of the boat, and she starts panicking that she's drowning, only to realize she's on land.

Real Life
  • The DUKW, an amphibious personnel carrier used by the US during World War II to transport troops from a ship to shore. Now used by the Dells Ducks Tour (and other regional tours) to ply the waterways and roads of the Wisconsin Dells.
Community Feedback Replies: 77
  • March 24, 2013
    MorganWick
    I don't get the title.
  • March 24, 2013
    Premonition45
    It's a pun on the song "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore".
  • March 24, 2013
    GuyIncog
    Land Yacht (or Landed Yacht) for a title, maybe?

    James Bond seems to love this trope:
    • Live And Let Die has a number of the boats involved in the bayou chase cut across land.
    • Inverted (is there another trope for this?) with the submarine car in The Spy Who Loved Me.

    Also, presumably any hovercraft is a Real Life example - what about other purpose built amphibious vehicles, a la the Top Gear amphibious cars?
  • March 25, 2013
    Arivne
    Literature
    • The Elric Saga had the Cool Boat called The Ship that Sails Over Land and Sea, which could do exactly what its title implies. It could leave the ocean and sail on land as if it were water.

    It looks like some of the other examples on the Cool Boat page can do this.
  • March 25, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Warhammer: The Chaos character Wulfrik the Wanderer has a flying drakkar named the Seafang that he can use to enter the battle from anywhere he wants.
    • Golden Sun: the Lemurian ship from The Lost Age can fly over land (but not mountains or forests) with sufficient psynergy.
  • March 26, 2013
    SharleeD
    The DUKW amphibious landing craft from World War Two are a Real Life example.
  • March 28, 2013
    MrRuano
    Another attempted Real Life example would be the Amphicar, a car that was designed in order to become a boat in water. The vehicle had some fairly weak engines and wasn't all that good despite it's novelty. It also wasn't really able to keep the driver afloat in most cases. Nowadays it's more of a collector's item.
  • March 28, 2013
    KZN02
    BIONICLE: Inverted; the Toa Metru use a Vahki Transport, a land carrier vehicle with legs, as an improvised boat.
  • March 28, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Magazines
    • Played with hilariously by Don Martin in MAD magazine, where Paul Revere awaits the signal from the church spire. One lantern appears, meaning the British are coming overland. Then two lanterns appear, meaning the British are coming by sea. Then three lanterns appear, and Revere wonders what that could mean. The British forces appear in boats with sails and wheels: amphibious craft.
  • March 29, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ x 7, ^^^^, ^^^ The The Spy Who Loved Me, Top Gear, DUKW and Amphicar examples are already in Amphibious Automobile.

    I would suggest having this exclude amphibious cars and only allow boat-like vehicles. So the DUKW example (and any others that fit) would be moved over from Amphibious Automobile, while any amphibious cars would be moved there.
  • March 29, 2013
    Koveras
    • In Urfin Jus and his Wooden Soldiers, Ellie's uncle Charlie Black builds a wooden Land Yacht to reach the Magic Land across the desert that surrounds it.
    • In Robert Sheckley's short story A Wind is Rising, the alien natives of the planet where the human protagonists find themselves stranded upon use land yachts to travel across the surface.
  • March 29, 2013
    Omeganian
    ^ The boat actually appears in the original Oz books. The difference is that Black's boat is wheeled, while the Oz books use a sledge. Oh, and the humans in Sheckley's story aren't stranded - they are on a regular year long mission.

    • Ilya Muromets has ships (a Recycled Props) put on wheels during the final battle and used to literally crush enemies.

    • There is a legend that Oleg of Novgorod put his boats on wheels during a war against Constantinople when the latter's ruler ordered the entrance into Bosporus blocked with chains.
  • March 29, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ They are stranded in the sense that they cannot get away from the impending disaster. :)
  • March 29, 2013
    CrankyPony
    "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore"... Ha! I almost blew my coffee all over my laptop after reading that.
  • March 30, 2013
    DracMonster
  • March 31, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    Tex Avery's Car of Tomorrow has a car made specially for the fine Californian weather - a boatmobile.

    Bob Sokol built an actual boatmobile around 1990 (he refences the Davidians and Waco Siege) out of an old boat and a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.
  • April 1, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    A model especially designed for the fine California weather.

    It's a boat on wheels designed for flooding and rain in California.

    Would this work for the page image?

    For some reason I can't get it to work right in the reply box, but it works in an ordinary article.

    Also, just a bit of advice but, don't ask in the description if your YKTTW is tropeable. Just write it and tag it Torpeworthy? afterwards, and don't put Needs A Better Name in the description, either. Just tag it afterwards.
  • April 3, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    So, yes or no on the image?
  • April 3, 2013
    StarSword
    Real Life:
    • Some types of hovercraft are capable of this.
  • April 3, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    All hovercraft can do that.
  • April 3, 2013
    Generality
    Does this include portage?
  • April 3, 2013
    Premonition45
    No, this doesn't include portage.
  • April 4, 2013
    Surenity
    • Popeye was known to do this on occasion, thanks to his Reality Warping powers. "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" is one example, where he sails a ship straight onto Olive Oyl's front lawn.
    • At the end of the Bugs Bunny cartoon "14 Carrot Rabbit" Bugs inexplicably boards an ocean liner on land in front of Fort Knox.
  • April 10, 2013
    Premonition45
    Bump.
  • April 10, 2013
    foxley
    Batman The Brave And The Bold: In "Night of the Batmen!", the Penguin had a submarine with crawler tracks that allowed it leave the ocean and careen through the streets of Gotham.
  • April 10, 2013
    MonaNaito

  • April 10, 2013
    spacemarine50
    The Fairy Oddparents has a pirate ship that got wished into this, complete with features straight from an off-road vehicle.

    Edit: can't get link to work
  • April 11, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^You're missing an l.
  • April 25, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    So, yes or not on the image?
  • May 2, 2013
    Premonition45
    Not this particular image.
  • June 20, 2013
    SharleeD
    {invokes Resurrect Thread}

    • In the Basic/Expert/etc version of Dungeons And Dragons, demihuman relics can produce the raw materials to make various types of Cool Boat, including the dwarven rockship. A rockship can sail through stone like other boats sail on water.
  • June 20, 2013
    eowynjedi
    • This is done in one Redwall book by the heroes, although it takes them quite a bit of work to fit wheels to a medieval sailing ship.
  • July 4, 2013
    Koveras
    • In Ergo Proxy, the people forced to live in the wastelands outside of the technologically advanced Domes build land yachts to travel across distances. Vincent and Re-l get one of these and spend half of the series traveling to a remote Dome on it.
  • July 4, 2013
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Film: Real Life:
    • During the seige of Constantinople, "Mehmed ordered that several ships be rolled across Galata on greased logs... around the Genoese colony of Pera, the ships were able to be refloated in the Golden Horn"
    • Originally, tanks were known as "land battleships". The name "tank" was initially used as a secret code.
  • July 4, 2013
    Chabal2
    • De Cape Et De Crocs: For the most part, the Moon's oceans are actually dust plains, so they use large masted ships with huge wooden wheels as transport. Later they encounter an actual watery ocean, at which point the crew simply removes the wheels.
    • Some possible images.
  • March 10, 2014
    Koveras
    Bump.
  • March 10, 2014
    DAN004
    Metal Slug 2 has Big Shie, a big battleship with treads.
  • March 10, 2014
    Premonition45
    Wow, somebody brought this back. Okay, then.
  • March 10, 2014
    TonyG
    • Stickybeard's ship in Codename Kids Next Door, an absolutely massive vessel that crushes whole neighborhoods as it travels on land.
    • The Classic Disney Short "The Saga of Windwagon Smith" is about a sea captain that builds a sailing ship on top of a wagon so he can sail the American prairie like an ocean.
    • The boatmobiles in Sponge Bob Square Pants are an interesting case. They are essentially underwater cars, complete with wheels, driven on roads. This is justified due to the show's underwater setting, where Water Is Air and creatures that should be swimming walk on the sea floor instead. To complicate matters, there's also "regular" boats that float on the goo that passes for water, not to mention the Flying Dutchman's Ghost Ship, which floats overhead but still underwater.
      • This is Lampshaded on the episode "Aargh!", where Mr. Krabs captains a pirate ship, which crashes on a reef. When he asks for a status report, SpongeBob responds "The whole ship's underwater", which was, of course already the case, but Krabs takes it as being marooned.
  • March 10, 2014
    FerrousFaucet
    • When they were late for a wedding, the protagonists of The Hangover 2 saved time by skipping the mooring and driving the boat straight onto land.
  • March 10, 2014
    TonyG
    On The Amazing World Of Gumball, Richard wins a boat, while Nicole points out that they have no use for one. In the end, Richard is seen driving the boat on the street, loudly tearing up the pavement.
  • March 11, 2014
    Arivne
  • March 11, 2014
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
    • Solstrom episode "Gone With The Winds". Near the end the female protagonist encounters a ship sailing on the desert.
  • March 11, 2014
    nitrokitty
    Good trope, but needs a name change. "Land Yacht" is already a nickname for large older model sedans, such as older Lincolns.
  • March 11, 2014
    Korodzik
    Eastern Animation

    • In the first, beach-themed episode of Nu Pogodi, the Wolf is chasing Hare in the water with a motorboat and eventually ends up accidentally swimming out on land, leaving the beach, and driving the boat down a highway, wreaking havoc along his way.
  • March 11, 2014
    Premonition45
    Any suggestions for a new name?
  • March 11, 2014
    DAN004
  • March 12, 2014
    Premonition45
    @nitrokitty, believe it or not, this name was an improved name. I'd originally named this YKTTW "Michael Rode The Boat Ashore". Any other suggestions?
  • March 12, 2014
    Diask
    • The second vehicle the protagonists of Last Scenario get is a boat that can travel on both water and land.
  • March 12, 2014
    Paradisesnake
  • March 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Another for Metal Slug: The fifth game has a land submarine (on the desert, even) as its fourth stage boss.
  • March 12, 2014
    nitrokitty
  • March 12, 2014
    justanotherrandomlurker
    Western Animation
    • Courage The Cowardly Dog plays this straight in the episode "The Sand Whale Strikes", in which a sand whale mistakes Eustace for his father, who cheated him in a card game years earlier. After the whale makes off with Eustace, Courage goes to Ma Bagge for help, and they go after the whale via rowboat... on land. In fact, at one point, Courage nudges Ma out of the boat, and she starts panicking that she's drowning, only to realize she's on land.
  • March 13, 2014
    Premonition45
    Anybody like this name?
  • March 13, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    It's fine.
  • March 13, 2014
    Premonition45
    Is it good to launch yet?
  • March 13, 2014
    DAN004
    Add the other Metal Slug example plz.
  • March 14, 2014
    Koveras
    I hate to ask (and I'm too lazy to read the previous 55 comments), but is this trope specifically about water boats that are taken to drive on land, or is it also about vehicles that are specifically created for land transportation (and thus cannot necessarily move on water) but propelled by wind sails?
  • March 14, 2014
    Premonition45
    It's about water boats that are taken to drive on land.
  • March 14, 2014
    Koveras
    ^ Then the entire Literature, Live-Action TV, Tabletop Game, and Video Game sections currently in the write-up, as well as the Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Fairly Oddparents, and The Saga of Windwagon Smith examples have to be cut, since all of those examples concern vehicles that either are built specifically to sail overland (and cannot move on water at all), or are amphibious vehicles with land-travel functionality built into them by design. None of them are "water boats" in that sense.

    I'm removing my hat until the examples have been pruned to the trope definition.
  • March 14, 2014
    Premonition45
    Any more examples?
  • March 14, 2014
    Koveras
    I'd give my hat back but I still think the three Western Animation examples I mentioned above do not fit the definition...
  • March 14, 2014
    Omrega
    In one fairy tale, as part of a marriage test, the king tells the hero to come back with a boat that can sail on land as well as on sea.
  • March 14, 2014
    DAN004
    ^4: Not sure why it could be that specific.
  • March 15, 2014
    Prfnoff
    • In Dave Barry Slept Here, before the Panama Canal was built, the usual way to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific "was for a ship to start picking up a head of steam as it went past Cuba, so it would be going full speed when it rammed into the Isthmus of Panama, sometimes getting eight or even ten feet into the jungle before shuddering to a halt."
  • March 15, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    I'm pretty sure this happened in a Gilligans Island episode (of the "I'm scared and getting away as fast as I can" variant)
  • August 4, 2014
    caracal-eyes
    Hum...I'd call it Ship Out Of Water

    Though seems related to Sand Is Water
  • August 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Add Metal Slug examples plz...
  • August 6, 2014
    LordGro
    A bit more meat to the "Oleg of Novgorod" example mentioned above.

    Legends
    • The Russian Primary Chronicle (c. 1110 AD) relates that Prince Oleg of the Kievan Rus attacked Constantinople and found the entrance to the Bosporus blocked with chains, whereupon he ordered his fleet of 2,000 ships to be put on wheels.
      Oleg commanded his warriors to make wheels and to fit the ships with wheels. When a favorable wind rose up, they spread sail and bore down upon the city by land. The Greeks were frightened to see this and sent an embassy to Oleg saying, "Do not destroy the city, and we will pay whatever tribute you desire".
  • August 6, 2014
    Strudel5
    Video Games In the Grand Theft Auto games after Vice City, you can drive boats around and even go through land for a brief period of time. Of course if don't go back to the water the boat won't work anymore
  • August 6, 2014
    AgProv
    Real life: quite often in WW 2 it was not possible to get boats where you wanted them to go by sea because the enemy held key strategic points preventing this. And sometimes the quickest route was over land you already held. Problem with a war largely fought on an east-west axis: European rivers tend to run north-south. (except in Italy where the opposite applied).
    • Both Germany and the USSR had substantial river fleets on the Eastern Front. If one river line fell, the fastest way of salvaging naval assets and getting them to the next river line (if no canal or waterway system existed) was to transport them by road or rail. The Red Army used massive road transporters to move gunboats from one river system to the next as it advanced; a gunboat that might have fought on the river Volga in Stalingrad could easily have ended its war on the river elbe shelling Berlin - having largely travelled overland.
    • Similarly, landing craft and light boats might have made the journey from the D-Day beaches to the crossing of the Rhine not by sea but on army tank transporters.
  • August 6, 2014
    LordGro
    ^ This is not Sailing On Land. That boats can be transported on trains or trucks is not a trope.
  • August 6, 2014
    justanotherrandomlurker
    Live Action TV
    • World's Dumbest.... One clip from Canada features a group of people who have taken their snowmobiles out into water; Mike Trainor comments that this is normal to him, as he likes to take his motorboat out onto golf courses.
  • August 6, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Real Life: The DUKW, an amphibious personnel carrier used by the US during World War II to transport troops from a ship to shore. Now used by the Dells Ducks Tour (and other regional tours) to ply the waterways and roads of the Wisconsin Dells.
  • August 8, 2014
    AgProv
    ^^how is this not "Taking a boat from water straight onto land"?
  • March 13, 2016
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons (cont.)
      • Dungeon magazine #37 adventure "The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb''. One of the magic items in the Tomb is the Uzrivoy, a Ship of Earth and Sea (AKA a Mudship). It can sail on land, on the sea and even underwater.
  • March 13, 2016
    MegaMarioMan
    In Just Cause 3, having a boat on land is actually one of the feats, and you get ranked based on how much distance the boat covers before getting back into water.
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