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The Best Boating & Sailing Movies to Keep you Afloat on Rainy Days

Post by Becky at Dockwa - Published on 6/5/19 11:47 AM
Spring is in full force boaters and that means that we’ve endured our fair share of sun and rain. With Memorial Day weekend behind us, there is only one last stretch of time spent indoors before Northern boaters start spending their days out on the water.

We've compiled a list of our favorite boating and sailing movies to get us through those cloud covered days before summer! From the classics to documentaries to family-friendly flicks, this list has it all – so batten down the hatches, grab the popcorn, and pop in a movie to take the edge off your spring fever.  


Boating and Sailing: The Classics

Moby Dick (1956)
In this film adaptation of Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick, Captain Ahab (Gregory Peck) seeks revenge on a great white whale that once maimed him. Set in New England, Captain Ahab's obsession with the whale leads his crew into grave danger. (Rent on Amazon)  


The Old Man and the Sea (1958)
An adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novella, "The Old Man and the Sea" features Spencer Tracy as The Old Man, a Cuban fisherman who hasn't caught a fish in 84 days. On the 85th day, his luck changes once he hooks a huge marlin, which he then battles with for three days to bring back to shore. (Rent on Amazon)



Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
Based upon a real 1795 mutiny, Fletcher Christian (Marlon Brando) leads the crew of the H.M.S. Bounty in a mutiny against the sadistic Captain Bligh in this historical drama. (Buy on Amazon)


Wind (1992)
In more than 140 years of competition, the United States has lost the America's Cup only once. “Wind” is the dramatic, fictional story of a group of American challengers whose drive to win back sailing's top prize plunges them into a world where money, power, love, and ambition intertwined. (Rent on Amazon)


White Squall  (1996)
This coming-of-age story features Dr. Sheldon “Skipper” (Jeff Bridges) as he leads a crew of teenage boys on the voyage of a lifetime, which test their skills as they face an unexpected storm. (Rent on Amazon)


Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

Set during the Napoleonic Wars, this historical drama is adapted from the Aubrey-Martin book series written by Patrick O'Brian. Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) of HMS Surprise must lead his crew to capture a powerful French vessel of the coast of South America. (Rent on Amazon)




Boating and Sailing Comedies 

One Crazy Summer  (1986)
Set on Nantucket Island, Hoops (John Cusack) must write and illustrate a love story in order to gain admittance into art school. In an effort to impress the girl of his dreams, he enters a sailing regatta despite his fear of the ocean. Hoops’ crazy summer adventures serve as inspiration for his story. (Rent on YouTube)

One Crazy Summer - Blow the Hatch

Overboard (1987)
Joanna (Goldie Hawn), a wealthy heiress, hires Dean (Kurt Russell), a carpenter who she mistreats and takes advantage of. Joanna sets sail on her yacht, leaving the carpenter unpaid for his work. After falling overboard at sea, she is diagnosed with amnesia and Dean finds a creative solution to his money problems. (Rent on Amazon)



Captain Ron (1992)
This gem is perhaps the most notorious of cult classics for sailors. A suburban family from Chicago hires Captain Ron (Kurt Russell), a laid back and unconventional Navy veteran, to sail them around the Caribbean. This comedy will have the whole family laughing as their adventure unfolds. (Rent on Amazon)



Waterworld (1995)
In this futuristic thriller, the majority of Earth’s land has been submerged under melted polar ice caps. The human race struggles to survive on dilapidated boats and makeshift floating cities.

Fun Fact: Waterworld was the most expensive movie made at the time. (Rent on Amazon)


The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
Steve Zissou (Bill Murray), an eccentric oceanographer, loses his partner to a deadly jaguar shark attack while filming his latest documentary. For his next project, Zissou gathers a group of friends and sets out on a mission to document the shark’s demise. As a Wes Anderson film, “The Life Aquatic” includes many standard Wes Anderson characteristics: a peculiar color palette, an all-star cast, and quirky characters with dysfunctional relationships. (Rent on Amazon)


Pirate Radio (2009)
This British comedy tells the story of a pirate radio station that broadcasts from a ship anchored in the North Sea. Despite the genre being heavily censored by the government, the station plays pop and rock music that inspired the 60’s generation. (Rent on YouTube or purchase on Amazon)


Boating Movies Based on a True Story

The Perfect Storm (2000)
Billy Tyne (George Clooney) insists that his crew go out on one last fishing trip before winter sets in. Unbeknownst to them, a brutal storm is slowly gaining steam. Based off of the nonfiction book by Sebastian Junger, “The Perfect Storm.” (Rent on YouTube)


Kon Tiki (2012)
Legendary Norwegian ethnographer and explorer Thor Heyerdahl hypothesized that South Americans settled in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. In order to prove his theory, Heyerdahl set out on an epic 4,300 mile crossing of the Pacific on a wooden raft named Kon Tiki in 1947. (Rent on Amazon)


The Mercy (2018)
“The Mercy” relays the incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst as he attempts to solo circumnavigate the globe in the first race of its kind: The 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. (Stream on Amazon)


Family-Friendly Boating and Sailing Movies

Hook (1991) 
When Captain Hook kidnaps adult Peter Pan’s children, Peter must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy. Packed with A-list stars Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts and Maggie Smith, Hook is a family classic you can’t skip! (Rent on Amazon)



Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Packed with stars, this Disney film is one of our family movie favorites. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and blacksmith, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) pair up to rescue the Governor's daughter, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the cursed pirate ship, The Black Pearl, which is under the command of  the wicked Captain Barbossa (Geoffery Rush). (Rent on Amazon)


Life of Pi (2012) 
After a cataclysmic shipwreck, an Indian boy named Pi finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a ferocious Bengal tiger. Together they face nature's majestic grandeur and fury on an epic journey of discovery.  (Rent on Amazon)


Moana  (2016) 
In this Disney animated film, Moana sets sail on a daring mission bestowed upon her by the ocean itself, to save her Polynesian village. Along the way, she meets the once mighty demigod Maui. Together they cross the ocean on a fun-filled, action-packed voyage. (Rent on Amazon)


Boating and Sailing Horror Movies

Jaws (1975)
When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach resort, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down. (Rent on Amazon)


Dead Calm  (1989)
After the sudden death of their son, an Australian couple decides to cope with their grief at sea. Along the way they pick up a mysterious lone survivor of a shipwreck. This psychological thriller leads both the husband and wife into grave danger in their efforts to uncover the truth about the shipwreck. (Watch on YouTube)


Ghost Ship (2002)
In a remote region of the Bering Sea, a marine salvage crew discovers the eerie remains of a passenger liner that went missing more than 40 years ago. (Stream on Netflix)


Open Water 2: Adrift (2006)
This psychological horror features five friends who struggle to get back onto their yacht after forgetting to lower down a swim ladder. Two diving masks, a knife, and a toy inflatable are the only tools they have to save themselves from their demise. (Rent on Amazon)


Boating and Sailing Documentaries

The Endurance  (2000)
Named after his ship, “The Endurance” retells the legendary adventure of Sir Ernest Shackelton along with his 28-man crew and their ill-fated expedition to Antarctica from 1914-1916. Original footage of the voyage as well as interviews with surviving crew members no doubt aided in the success of this documentary. (Purchase from Amazon)


Racing Around the World Alone (2010)
Thirty skippers compete to be the fastest person to solo circumnavigate non-stop and with no assistance around the globe in the 2008/2009 Vendée Globe. In one of the most challenging and dangerous races of all time, weather is not the only factor that could sabotage their journey. (Rent on Amazon) 


Red Dot on the Ocean: The Matt Rutherford Story (2014)
Matt Rutherford was considered an “at-risk” youth, suffering from ADHD and drug abuse, when he decided to change his life’s course by sailing non-stop single-handedly around the Americas. Labeled a “suicide mission” by many seasoned sailors, Rutherford achieved the unexpected. (Rent on Amazon)


The Weekend Sailor (2016)
In 1974, Mexico native Ramon Carlín entered his yacht Sayula II into the first crewed around the world sailing race. With little experience and a crew comprised of his family and friends, Carlín beat all odds and won this prestigious race, today known as The Volvo Ocean Race. (Rent on Vimeo)


What are some of your favorite can’t miss boating movies? Let us know by sharing in our Facebook Group



Post by Becky at Dockwa

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