12 Best Sailing Movies To Inspire an Expedition

When life keeps you on dry land, let your mind sail away by watching the best sailing movies. 

Whether it is overcoming massive challenges, dealing with the power struggles of crew members, or learning the meaning of persistence, these sailing movies can grab your attention and make you feel like you are on the water, too. 

So you don’t waste a minute, here is a list of the 12 best sailing movies for your inner expedition. 

1. The Old Man and the Sea (1958)

Based on the classic novel written by Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea is an adventure of a solo fisherman. Heading out to sea, old man Santiago catches the biggest fish of his life only to be tormented for days by sharks. By the time he makes it back to safety, he does not have much of his prized catch left to show. 

2. Morning Light (2008)

A documentary about an open-ocean sailing competition, TRANSPAC, and the young sailors that are put to the test. Endurance, perseverance, and teamwork are the skills necessary to succeed at this adventure of a lifetime. Will they sink to the bottom or rise to the top? Watch this crew of fifteen learn to work together and build unbreakable bonds.

3. All is Lost (2013)

This highly acclaimed, Oscar-nominated film starring Robert Redford will keep you on the edge of your seat. As life-threatening challenges appear, including a damaged ship, broken navigation system, and a raging storm, this solo sailor comes face-to-face with his mortality. 

In an attempt to survive, he must return to the basics of sailing and navigating the waters while carefully managing the shrinking supplies necessary for survival. 

4. The Perfect Storm (2000)

Have you ever held your breath while watching an intense movie? From the time you see the clouds roll in, The Perfect Storm will have you struggling to breathe. As a commercial fishing vessel faces turbulent waters and unforgiving waves, the future looks dim. 

A stellar cast featuring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Diane Lane come together to bring this true story to life. It will have you asking yourself just how much a catch is really worth? 

5. Between Home: Odyssey of an Unusual Sea Bandit (2012)

Do you have dreams of taking a solo voyage? Between Home is a documentary that follows such a voyage from Europe to Australia. Nick Jaffe was a young man who spent four years on a 26ft boat in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – sailing more than 30,000 nautical miles.

With video footage both on and off the boat, you get an up-close and personal look at the feat. You will feel a sense of relief and pride as Jaffe reaches his destination and fulfils his dream. 

6. Kon-Tiki (2012)

If you are ready for one of the all-time best sailing stories, look no further. Imagine being on a basic raft-like vessel (Kon Tiki, named after an Inca god) facing a seemingly impossible journey from Peru to Tahiti. This journey would take a few months and nearly 4,300 miles. In 1947, this adventure meant solely following the stars and the currents while persevering through to the finish.

This historical drama is based on the real-life expedition of Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian scientist who sought to prove that colonization of Polynesia could have been done by American ancestors.

7. White Squall (1996)

Jeff Bridges stars in this true story about the disaster faced by the Albatross ship that met its ill-fate in May of 1961. Full of teenage boys with a thirst for fun, adventure, and knowledge, the ship sets sail and, though there are power struggles, they begin to learn how to become true shipmates. 

Then, the unthinkable happens. The boys are faced with a white squall storm that appeared out of nowhere. Will they have enough training and skill to survive the catastrophic storm?

8. Maiden (2019)

Maiden is a sailing movie to empower young females. Based on the first-ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race of 1989. The documentary follows the lead character, Tracy Edwards, as she grows from cook to skipper in the competitive arena. Something that was never heard of before. 

9. Captain Ron (1992)

Perhaps the only comedy selection on this list, Captain Ron is a lighthearted, quirky film that will have you laughing to the shore. Having inherited a yacht with little knowledge of sailing, a family hires an odd skipper to help them sail through the Caribbean. Pirates, faulty equipment, accidents, and more plague those onboard in an enjoyable, comedic sense.

10. Maidentrip (2013)

In another empowering female film, sailor Laura Dekker heads out into the blue waters at the age of 14. Her dream? To sail the world. She leaves Holland and heads through the Atlantic and Pacific oceans alone. With much determination and grit, Dekker shows what it means to set a goal and crush it. 

11. Deep Water (2006)

Many documentaries show sailors reaching their dreams. This one, however, shows just how fragile humans are under the power of the ocean. 

Back in 1968, Donald Crowhurst was a businessman who decided to risk it all and compete in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. This one person, round-the-world race did not come without challenge – and Crowhurst faced many. 

He chose to keep going despite everything. This is his story. 

12. Adrift (2018)

Love and adventure do not come without struggle. As a young couple sets sail in this film, their survival skills are tested when they confront a strong and deadly hurricane in open water. Adrift is the perfect mix of love, strength, loss, and resilience. 

Wrapping Up

There is a sailing movie out there just waiting for you to watch right now. So when you find yourself spending too much time on dry land, spend time with some of these empowering women, dream catchers, strong men, and more who have all been changed by sailing. 

27 Sailing Tips for First-Time Voyagers

Thinking about sailing out on the water for the first time? You’re probably a little nervous but excited too. But before you rush down to the dock and cast off the lines, there’s a few things you’ll need to know. That’s why we’ve put together a list of sailing tips for your maiden voyage.  

Understand the Basics

1. The American Sailing Association lists three items every sailor needs to grasp. These include the wind, the sails, and the points of sail. Being able to monitor the wind’s speed, direction, and changes is important. 

But it’s also important to understand how your boat’s sails use the wind and which ways the boat can go.

2. Learn what the different parts of the boat are called, such as keel and stern. Become familiar with what common sailing terms like heel and mainsail mean. 

3. Enroll in an online sailing or 101 certification course. You can search for online or in-person classes in your area. Or you can start with professional organizations like the United States Sailing Association.

Start Small

4. Choose a day with good weather. You don’t want to learn to sail when there’s a thunderstorm in the forecast. Start on a clear, sunny day in calm waters.

5. Pick a smaller boat that’s easier to navigate. Some experts recommend learning on a dinghy, while others say you can begin on a 22’ keelboat. Whatever boat you choose, make sure the sails and equipment are not too complicated. 

6. Have an expert on board. You wouldn’t learn to drive a car without an experienced driver by your side. And, you shouldn’t embark on your first sail without someone who knows the ropes either.

Invest in Your Adventure

7. Stock up on protective equipment. This means getting a life jacket, other flotation equipment, a wetsuit, boots, and everything you need to stay warm and dry.

8. Don’t forget about licenses. Depending on where you’re set to sail, you may need different licenses for your boat and radio equipment. If you plan on renting, you probably don’t need to worry. However, it’s still a good idea to check your area’s rules for sailing.

9. Prepare for your journey. Stock up the boat with enough food and water before you go. Expect the unexpected and have plenty of clothes in case the weather changes or there’s an emergency.

10. Ask other sailors. If there is a local group of sailors or an online forum, ask them how they prepare. Learn from others’ mistakes and insights.

Safety First

11. Follow the obvious. Let someone on land know when and where you’re sailing. That way if something happens, they’ll know you and your boat may be in jeopardy. If you don’t know how to swim, learn now.

Yeah cowboy…this probably isn’t the best idea for your first time sailing.

12. Plan your route. Have an idea of where you’re going. Make a copy of your route and leave it with someone on land. Stick with areas you know. 

13. Know what the weather’s going to be like. Research the forecast, including how strong the winds and tides are going to be. If you think there might be a few surprises in store, you can choose another day.

14. Become knowledgeable about changing conditions. There are several ways to tell if the forecasters got it wrong. Ask fellow sailors how to look at the clouds and determine there’s trouble coming.

15. Know your currents. Before you set sail, you’ll want to check the area’s currents. Learn how they travel and switch directions. It’s best to sail with the currents instead of against them.

16. Understand tides and water changes. A tide schedule or timetable can help you avoid large waves. Try to avoid going out on the water when the winds go against the tides. To avoid shallow areas, understand how to read differences in the water’s appearance.

Know Your Way Around the Boat

17. Be mindful of the boom. The boat’s boom is a large, heavy bar located at the mainsail’s foot. Be aware of when and how it’s swinging across the boat to avoid getting hurt.

18. Learn navigation tools. Become familiar with how all of the navigation equipment and lights work. Learn what different signals mean and when to use them. Know how to use less sophisticated tools in case your onboard instruments fail.

19. Know how to use the winch. Learn safety guidelines for raising your mainsail and keeping your hands free of the winch and the line. Ask more experienced sailors to show you best practices, including safe ways to remove the winch handle.

20. Practice steering techniques. When driving a car, you need to know how to master the steering wheel. The same is true for boating.

21. Learn how to tie knots. Check out some online videos or ask an expert about basic knot tying techniques. You’ll need these when you’re out on the water and when you come back to shore.

22. Drop your anchor. Want to stop and rest somewhere? Learn the proper way to drop your boat’s anchor and pull it back out of the water when you’re ready to go again.

23. Avoid collisions. Chances are there are going to be other boats out on the water. Know who gets to pass first and when. Study the unique rules for the areas you’ll be sailing in.  

24. Command the sail. Get training on adjusting your sail to the wind. Know how to master turns and stop adjusting.

25. Understand different roles. Learn what each crew member does and how those roles fit into making a successful team.

26. Conduct emergency drills. The best way to prepare for an emergency is to practice. Do dry runs for someone going overboard, capsizing, and on-board fires.

27. Don’t give up. Keep practicing until you master the basics. Remember that learning how to sail takes time and help from your fellow mates!

We hope these sailing tips have helped you get ready for your first voyage. Fair winds ahead!   

How Much Does It Cost to Live on a Catamaran?

You have most likely watched one or two YouTube videos about living on a catamaran. You can sail to amazing destinations, immerse yourself in a wide variety of different cultures and answer the call of the sea.

The lifestyle is extremely appealing and conjures visions of exotic ports, soft ocean breezes and the sweetest of dreams. Before you decide to completely change your lifestyle, you need to be aware of the cost involved.

The Costs

If you intend to live on a catamaran full time, your overall cost is between $3,000 and $12,000 per month. This is dependent on whether you are single, have a family, boat maintenance and the size, condition and age of your catamaran.

There are also numerous variables you need to consider such as your lifestyle, hobbies, the amount of time you spend traveling, your region and whether you spend most of your time in a marina or at anchor.

The Location

Your location will impact your cost. If you are in the United States, your cost is cheaper provided you’re choosing to anchor as opposed to using marinas. If you prefer an island in the Caribbean or the Bahamas, your cost increases significantly. This is because everything available on an island, such as food and spare parts, must be shipped in. Your best option is to stock up on everything you can including water before you leave the mainland.

Travelling by sailboat in the South Pacific is a lot more expensive than in South America. If you plan to cruise the South Pacific or the Mediterranian for at least six months, your cost will increase by roughly 50 per cent in comparison to numerous areas in the western hemisphere. Before you set sail, research your desired location to prepare yourself for the costs.


You need to take your lifestyle into consideration. If your lifestyle on land is considered extravagant, your cost to live on a catamaran will be at the higher end. If you are willing to make a few sacrifices, you can lower your cost considerably. Do you require premium foods and beverages? Will you be satisfied with the local cuisine or catching your own fish? Are you willing to pay extra for your local brands?

The amount you are currently spending on food will not change much. You can reduce your expenses by eating on your catamaran and only dining out occasionally. In addition to exploring the beaches and oceans, you will be spending time on land. Do you intend to spend time in hotels or sleep on your boat? A lot of people visit the Mediterranian specifically for the culture and food.

Keep in mind you can spend time enjoying the local culture without eating at expensive restaurants or purchasing costly souvenirs. Spending your time learning about the culture, meeting new people and socializing is not expensive. Yes, you will need to leave your boat, but the way you spend your time when you do will affect your costs. Are you willing to settle for inexpensive cuisine or do you require only the best?

Air Conditioning

Depending on where you live, you may be accustomed to having air conditioning. Do you require a catamaran with air conditioning? Will you be satisfied with the fresh air coming from wind scoops and keeping out the rain? Do you need air conditioning when you are sleeping? If you are traveling to a cool destination, this is not an issue. If you plan to sail to the hot and humid tropics, air conditioning will increase your costs to the higher end of the scale.

Marinas and Fees

Do you plan to spend a lot of time in a marina or will you be content at anchor. The more time you spend in a marina, the higher your costs. Depending on your catamaran, you will only need to be in a marina for two days for every 10 you spend at anchor. This is more than enough time to fill your fresh water tanks, pump out your black water tanks, connect to power to ensure your batteries are charged and do your laundry.

The majority of marinas provide laundry facilities. Do you plan to use them or send your laundry out for cleaning when in a marina? You also need to consider the marina fees. The costs differ for each marina and location. Your cost will be about 50 percent more for a catamaran than a monohull. Your average cost per night is between $1.25 and $3.00 per foot. If you have a larger boat, your cost per foot can increase.

If you are staying for a minimum of six nights, your cost will decrease. You need to include these costs in your budget. Do you plan to purchase a catamaran enabling you to live off the grid? If so, all you need to do is plugin, get recharged, clean up and head back out. You may have no choice other than a marina when there is a tropical depression or the weather turns bad. You can save money by avoiding certain regions during cyclone and hurricane season.

Living at Anchor

Living at anchor is often called boondocking or living off the grid. This is when you do not have access to water, electricity or sewer. If you intend to save money by living this lifestyle, you need to be prepared. This means making certain you have enough electricity and water and big enough tanks for your sewage until it can be properly dumped.

The available solar power must be enough for your lifestyle. Your batteries must be able to store the power you require. Consider how often your generator will be running. This will require plenty of fuel and increase your expenses. Before you proceed, you need to decide exactly how you plan to live, make the necessary preparations and ensure you have enough money to cover your expenses.


Do you plan to drink while you are cruising? If you are on a budget, limiting your alcohol consumption will save you a lot of money. You can also drink what the locals prefer as opposed to an expensive import. The cost of alcohol depends on your location. In some areas drinking in a restaurant or bar is significantly cheaper than drinking on your catamaran. Your lifestyle will determine how much you spend on alcohol.

Maintenance and Repairs

One of your biggest expenses will be maintenance and repairs. Your boat will take a lot of abuse. The more you sail, the higher your maintenance costs. Do you plan to purchase a new boat or will you be satisfied with an older model? Maintenance and repairs will cost you less for an older catamaran. Approximately 10 percent of your cost per year will be for maintenance and must be included in your budget.

Repairs are simply a part of living on a catamaran. Do you have the knowledge and skill necessary to make some or all of the repairs yourself? If you pay for repairs, your cost will depend on the region you are in. If you budget for more than you spend, the extra money can always be used for your budget next year.

Water Makers vs Water Tanks

Do you plan to purchase a catamaran with a water maker or a water tank. If you do not intend to visit a marina often, consider purchasing a water maker. Your cost will be between $8,000 and $10,000. Your water maker will require electricity for the pump necessary to force the water through the filters. Will your water maker require a generator or run off solar power?

If you intend to use fresh water tanks, you will need a way to capture the rain. You can purchase a boat with a trough system. This will enable you to capture and divert rainwater. You can also purchase a catamaran with its own system. Your costs will be affected by your choice.

Sewage Tank vs Composting Toilet

You need to give some thought to sewage. If you are far enough from land, your sewage can be dumped acceptably and safely due to the size of the ocean. In many regions, you will be unable to dump your sewage when you are within a certain distance of the mainland or an island. You do not want to dump your sewage when at anchor because it will affect anyone diving around your boat and can wash up on the local beach. You need to determine how often your tank will need to be dumped.

One of your options is a composting toilet. You can use this type of toilet for a significantly longer period of time before you have to dump. If your catamaran does not already have one, consider having it installed. Yes, there is a bit of a learning curve. Despite this, you should be able to get used to it fairly easily. A lot of sailors claim there is less odor from a composting toilet than an electric model.

Hobbies and Activities

You need to decide what you want to do during your free time. You will not always be sailing, cleaning your boat or repairing your catamaran. Even though working on your boat will require a lot of time, you will have plenty of free time as well. Are you interested in snorkeling, scuba diving, free diving, hiking, surfing, exploring, touring, paddle boarding, fishing, kiteboarding, writing or reading? You need to figure out the cost of your hobbies and activities and include it in your budget.

Sailing vs Motoring

The advantage of sailboats as opposed to power boats is you can sail or use the motor. You will need to use your motor at certain times due to the currents and weather patterns in the region. You need to be aware of the weather for each season in the region you have chosen to sail and plan ahead. A good example is the extra fuel you will burn due to heavy winds.

You will be able to sail more, motor less and save a lot of money if you are patient and do not enforce any deadlines. You need to have an idea as to how often you will be using your motor to plan for the expense of your fuel. Your costs will also be affected by the season in which you are visiting the region.

Rental and Touring Vehicles

Although touring is considered a hobby, it is often classified as a special item. If you plan to visit an area with incredible on-shore excursions, you need to be sure you have enough money in your budget to cover the expense. The last thing you want is to sail to an area you have been dreaming about only to discover you do not have enough money to participate in most of the activities.

Depending on the area, you may need to budget for a rental car and a place to stay. If you plan ahead, you will not be forced to remain on your catamaran when there places you want to visit, cuisine you have been looking forward to trying and cultures you want to spend some time exploring.

Type of Catamaran

Your cost will be affected by the size, age, condition and type of catamaran you decide to purchase. The difference in cost for a catamaran a few years older is in the thousands. If you are handy consider buying a boat that requires a little work. Look at the condition of the boat including the sails, dingy and electronics. If you purchase a catamaran in the Caribbean you will pay an average of 10 to 15 percent less than purchasing the same boat in the United States.


If you do not have the funds to purchase your catamaran upfront, you can get the same type of financing you would with a car or home. Every company has different qualifications and interest rates. The amount of your downpayment and interest rate depend on numerous factors including your FICO score and the age of the boat. The interest rates are consistently changing.

Your best option is a lender specializing in marine loans. In most cases, you should be able to secure a decent rate. Make certain the lender you do business with is reputable, and check the clauses as you want a lender who allows you to take your boat into international waters.