I’m a recreational sailor. I’ve been sailing on Saginaw Bay since I was a little kid. We started off sailing Snarks and Sunfish. In the early 1970s, my dad took advantage of a marketing campaign by Kool cigarettes where we could purchase a Snark with the white and green KOOL logo on the sail. We still have this old boat and manage to bring her out to play with from time to time. One of the things that irk me is the lack of movie entertainment that revolves around my favorite pastime. I’ve managed to collect a few examples of movies with sailboats here.
Sometimes you can find these sailing movies steaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu.
White Squall (1999)
A sailing movie based on the 1961 sinking of a brigantine, a two-masted sailing vessel with a fully square-rigged foremast. This ship was named Albatross, which was built in 1920. The film stars Jeff Bridges and is directed by Ridley Scott. This is a historical fiction version of the ship’s sinking. The film suggests that the Albatross was sunk by a white squall, although it does not mention the concerns about the ship’s seaworthiness.
Will Parker, played by Matthew Modine, loses America’s Cup, the world’s biggest sailing prize, to the Australians and decides to form his own syndicate to win it back. Matthew Modine as Will Parker, Jennifer Grey as Kate Bass, and Cliff Robertson as Morgan Weld
All is Lost (2013)
What happens when a single-handed sailor hits a shipping container in the Pacific, damaging his boat than to be followed by a raging storm. Robert Redford plays an unnamed character who must face his mortality and use his wits to survive. The lack of dialog is chilling and a true factor in single-handed sailing.
Dead Calm (1989)
A wacked out murderer comes aboard and tries to seduce a young woman after leaving her husband to die on a sinking ship. In addition, the madman slaughtered his prior crew. Starring Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane. This sailing movie highlights some real sailing skills and the challenge of open water navigation.
Morning Light (2008)
Morning Light is a documentary that follows the youngest crew ever to compete in the Transpac sailing race. All crew members were between 18 and 23. The film follows the development of the Morning Light sailing team, their six months of sea training, and finally, the weeklong race across the Pacific between Los Angeles to Honolulu.