Boats on the Big Screen: Hollywood’s Nautical Love Affair

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Boat rentals of all shapes and sizes have been featured in many famous movies over the years.  From early films like Steamboat Willie, a short-film directed by Walt Disney in 1928, to modern day productions such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Hollywood has found inspiration in our seafaring roots.  Whether the ship plays a major role, a minor role, or you think to yourself “there was a boat in that movie?”, we have picked some of our favorites below.


One of the highest grossing-films ever made was Titanic – an intense piece of historical fiction involving a love story intertwined with the disastrous sinking of the RMS Titanic.  The director, James Cameron, did not disappoint with some of the most amazing special effects in modern cinema.  The RMS Titanic, a purportedly unsinkable vessel, came alive once again for viewers around the world.  Viewers are brought through a glorious inaugural departure from the docks of Southampton, UK to her demise in the North Atlantic, and back again with the modern day reflections of Rose from the deck of the research vessel.  The film will always remain a remarkable production that will be a “must-see” for generations to come.


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

The eccentric and beloved pirate, Jack Sparrow, made this film series one of the best in Hollywood’s nautical history.  From desolate Caribbean islands, to the legendary pirate-haven of Tortuga, the viewer is taken on a true sailing adventure involving conflict, wit, and love.  Whether you prefer the Black Pearl, Flying Dutchman, or HMS Endeavour, the Pirates of the Caribbean series will be sure to fulfill all of your seafaring desires.

The TaleRipleynted Mr. Ripley

Although the film does not completely revolve around boating, it does have a nautical theme throughout.  The film takes place along the Italian coastline in the 1950s, a true yachting paradise, as Tom Ripley attempts to bring the son of a wealthy shipbuilder back to the United States.  From a small dinghy, to a classic sailboat charter, you will be treated to beautiful views of the coastline as you are engrossed in this psychological thriller.


In 1983, Australia II won the match series against Liberty to take home the America’s Cup which brokethe longest winning streak in sports history.  For the first time, the America’s Cup was moved from the New York Yacht Club to the Royal Perth Yacht Club in Australia.  In 1987, the U.S. won it back.  Wind tells a fictional story surrounding these events.  According to the main character, Will Parker, “the only thing better than winning the America’s Cup, is losing it…and winning it back.”  Wind has continued to be a favorite of sailing enthusiasts worldwide, and will give you one of the best views of competitive racing in a Hollywood production.

DoveThe Dove

In 1965, Robin Lee Graham set out from Hawaii to sail around the world alone aboard his 24 foot sloop, Dove.  Robin spent five years sailing around the globe, and met the love of his life along the way.  The Dove tells the true story of Robin’s adventure, and his relationship with Patti.  The viewer is taken through a sailing adventure that reminds us about growing up, falling in love, and a simpler time in the world.  

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldMaster and Commander

Winning two Academy Awards, this film is the all-star of the list.  The viewer will be transported back in time to the Napoleonic Wars, when tall ships and epic naval battles dominated the high seas.  Captain Jack of the HMS Surprise is in pursuit of the French privateer Acheron, a faster and better armored vessel.   The story takes place around the infamous waters off of Cape Horn, and on into the Pacific Ocean and the Galapagos Islands.  With its beautiful cinematography and excellent musical score, this is a film not to miss!

All isAll is Lost Lost

Although we don’t want to scare you away from a Sailo adventure, we must always remember that the sea is an unforgiving beast.  In this film about survival and courage, a stray shipping container carves a large gash in the side of the Virginia Jean, a beautiful Cal 39.  The story shows the struggle for survival as the captain repairs his vessel and then encounters a storm which eventually forces him to abandon ship.  After eight days at sea in a life raft, it appears that all may indeed be lost for the wary captain of the Virginia Jean.

Featured image by Freepik