15 Best Sailing Movies You Can’t Miss

sailing movies

A true sailing enthusiast suffers when forced to stay at home… So here we are to help you, presenting our selection of the best sailing movies that a sailor absolutely cannot miss. We discussed, because the world of cinema and TV (just think of Netflix) give us an almost infinite catalogue. We finally succeeded and we are happy to present you our favorite sailing movies. Which is your favorite?

1. 180° SOUTH (2010)


“180° South” is a 2010 adventure documentary film directed by Chris Malloy. The film follows the journey of Jeff Johnson as he retraces the steps of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia, Chile. Along the way, Johnson encounters a variety of challenges, including navigating rugged terrain and dealing with extreme weather conditions. The film also explores themes of environmental conservation and the importance of protecting natural resources. It features stunning cinematography and is narrated by actor/musician/environmentalist Jack Johnson.

2. All is lost (2013)


“All Is Lost” is a 2013 survival drama film directed by J.C. Chandor. The film stars Robert Redford as an unnamed man who is stranded at sea after his sailboat is damaged by a shipping container. The man must use all of his survival skills and resourcefulness to stay alive in the face of increasingly dire circumstances. The film is notable for its minimalist approach, with no dialogue and minimal music, and Redford’s performance as the only actor on screen. It was praised for its technical achievements and the acting of Redford.

3. Captain Ron (1992)


“Captain Ron” is a 1992 comedy film directed by Thom Eberhardt and starring Kurt Russell as the titular character, a slovenly, irreverent sailor who is hired to help a family sail their yacht from the Caribbean to Miami. Along the way, they encounter a variety of mishaps and adventures, including pirates and a hurricane. The film also stars Martin Short as the head of the family, Mary Kay Place as his wife, and Benjamin Salisbury and Meadow Sisto as their children. “Captain Ron” is known for its silly and irreverent humor and the strong performances of its cast. We have to be honest: Captain Ron is our favourite between the sailing movies of this list!

We discussed, because the world of cinema and TV (just think of Netflix) give us an almost infinite catalog of sailing films

4. Chasing Bubbles (2016)


“Chasing Bubbles” is a documentary about the journey and spirit of Alex Rust, a farm boy turned day trader from Indiana who, at 25, abandoned his life in Chicago, bought a modest sailboat (called Bubbles) and set out to sail around the world.

5. Dead calm (1989)

Dead Calm is a 1989 Australian psychological thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane. The screenplay by Terry Hayes was based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Williams; the film represents the first successful film adaptation of the novel after Orson Welles struggled for years to complete his own film based on it titled The Deep. Filmed around the Great Barrier Reef, the plot focuses on a married couple, who, after tragically losing their son, are spending some time isolated at sea, when they come across a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship. A must see among sailing movies!

6. Deep Water (2006)


“Deep Water” is a 2006 documentary film directed by Jerry Rothwell and Louise Osmond about the history of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a solo sailing race around the world that was held in 1968. The film follows the stories of the race’s participants, including Donald Crowhurst, a British sailor who became embroiled in a scandal when it was revealed that he had falsified his position in the race. The film also explores themes of adventure, ambition, and the human cost of pushing oneself to the limits. It was well-received by critics and audiences and won a number of awards.

7. Maidentrip (2013)


“Maidentrip” is a 2013 documentary film about the life of Laura Dekker, a Dutch sailor who, at the age of 14, became the youngest person to sail solo around the world. The film follows Dekker’s journey as she navigates the challenges and dangers of her voyage, including rough seas, equipment failures, and isolation. It also explores Dekker’s background and her motivations for embarking on such a risky and ambitious journey. “Maidentrip” was praised for its intimate and engaging portrayal of Dekker’s journey and for its powerful depiction of the human spirit and determination.

8. Master and commander (2003)


During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America. The naval action in the Mediterranean is closely based on the real-life exploits of Lord Cochrane, including a battle modelled after Cochrane’s spectacular victory in the brig HMS Speedy over the vastly superior Spanish frigate El Gamo.

9. Morning light (2008)

Fifteen young sailors… six months of intense training… one chance at the brass ring. This documentary tells the story of a group of intrepid and determined young men and women, on the cusp of adulthood, as they embark on life’s first great adventure. Fifteen young men and women prepare for the adventure of their lives when they enter the TRANSPAC, one of the world’s most prestigious open-ocean sailing competitions. They begin their training in Hawaii with world-class teachers, but it is the race itself, a 2,300-mile ordeal featuring top professionals, that molds them into a cohesive whole.

10. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)


“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” is a 2003 adventure film directed by Gore Verbinski and based on the popular Disney theme park attraction of the same name. The film stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, a wily and unpredictable pirate who teams up with a blacksmith named Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and a Governor’s daughter named Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) to rescue Elizabeth’s father and defeat the cursed pirate captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). The film also features an ensemble cast of supporting characters and is known for its action, humor, and special effects. It was a commercial and critical success and spawned a successful film franchise.

11. The Mercy (2018)


The Mercy is a British biographical drama film, directed by James Marsh and written by Scott Z. Burns. It is based on the true story of the disastrous attempt by the amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst to complete the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968 and his subsequent attempts to cover up his failure.

12. The Odyssey (2016)


The Odyssey is a movie which chronicles the life of the great Jacques Cousteau. Jacques Cousteau is perhaps one of the most famous French persons in the world due to his pioneering work on scuba diving, underwater exploration and film-making which introduced a whole generation to the wonders of reef and marine life in the ocean.

13. Turning Tide – En solitaire (2013)


It tells the story of Yann Kermadec whose dreams suddenly come true when he has to replace the DCNS star skipper at the last minute before the start of the Vendée Globe (a round-the-world non-stop single-handed yacht race). After several days of racing, Yann, who is in the lead, has to stop to repair a damaged rudder. This will disrupt his round-the-world journey…

14. White squall (1996)

Teenage boys discover discipline and camaraderie on an ill-fated sailing voyage. It is a coming of age film in which a group of high school and college-aged teenagers sign up for several months of training aboard a sail ship, a brigantine, and travel around half the globe when suddenly they are challenged by a severe storm.

15. WIND (1992)


Will Parker, played by Matthew Modine, loses the Americas Cup, the worlds biggest sailing prize, to the Australians and decides to form his own syndicate to win it back. In 1983, yacht sailor Will Parker (Matthew Modine) leads an American crew financed by millionaire Morgan Weld (Cliff Robertson) to defeat during the America’s Cup race against an Australian crew. Determined to get the prize back, Will convinces Morgan to finance an experimental boat designed by his ex-girlfriend Kate’s (Jennifer Grey) new beau, Joe Heisler (Stellan Skarsgard). When the boat is completed, the Americans head to Australia to reclaim the cup.

Finally, what do you think about our 15 sailing movies to watch at least one time in your life?


  1. What about “Maiden”. Terrific women’s movie, but good for all.

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