Sailing films of the year
Sailing movies had a real moment this year and it wasn’t just in Hollywood! From indie flics, to sailing documentaries, to vloggers turned adventure filmmakers, there’s a great lineup of new sailing films across the genre. Here are the sailing movies that made headlines (and a few hidden gems you probably didn’t know about).
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Nike Steiger (of White Spot Pirates vlogging fame) has spent the last five years fixing up and solo sailing her 30+ foot aluminum boat Karl around the world. Untie the lines chronicles the many trials and tribulations of fixing up Karl (including hull damage, and engine failure galore!). Nike then sails through the Western Caribbean, an experience which she describes as a, “Roller coaster ride through tears and utter bliss.”
The Mercy recounts one of the most extraordinary and tragic stories in sailing, Donald Crowhurst (played by Colin Firth), a British amateur sailor, inventor and father of four, attempts to become the first person to sail around the world solo and non-stop in the 1968 Golden Globe round the world yacht race. Instead he winds up bobbing in his beleaguered boat off the coast of South America where everything takes a terrible turn for the worse.
A group of four young sailors from BC take on the Race2Alaska a 750 mile journey to Ketchikan, Alaska by human and wind power alone. Also known as the “Sailing Iditarod” or “The America’s Cup for Dirtbags” the film shows the challenges of a sailing adventure without engines or outside support.
The true story of a couple who, having survived a hurricane in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, must find their way back to land on their damaged boat with no way of calling for help. Romance and drama on the high seas! This is one of the few new sailing movies on Netflix.
A documentary that follows professional offshore sailor, Mike Plant’s solo round the world adventures in the 1980s and recounts strange exploits like his escape from Greek authorities on a drug trafficking charge and time between bars in a Portuguese prison
Already seen these sailing movies? Check out our list of sailing vlogs for more screen time inspiration.
Fiona McGlynn is an award-winning boating writer who created Waterborne as a place to learn about living aboard and traveling the world by sailboat. She has written for boating magazines including BoatUS, SAIL, Cruising World, and Good Old Boat. She’s also a contributing editor at Good Old Boat and BoatUS Magazine. In 2017, Fiona and her husband completed a 3-year, 13,000-mile voyage from Vancouver to Mexico to Australia on their 35-foot sailboat.