Movies at Sea: The 8 Best Boating Movies Ever

Watching movies is always fun, even when the flick is painfully bad. But films are even more enjoyable when they feature our favorite hobby — boating! Below are the Boat Ed team’s choices for our favorite nautical-themed movies:

Steamboat Willie

Steamboat-willieimage credit: The Walt Disney Company

Picked by Megan, Steamboat Willie isn’t just a classic — it’s one of the first cartoons! In this short animated film we’re introduced to the iconic Mickey Mouse as he pilots a river steamboat, woos Minnie Mouse, and “plays” animals like musical instruments.

The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Stormimage credit: Warner Bros.

Jan’s pick tells the real-life story of a fishing boat crew caught in a “perfect storm” after ignoring warnings to avoid a building hurricane. Touted by Jake as the “best boating movie ever,” The Perfect Storm is a cautionary tale for all boaters to put safety first.


overboardimage credit: MGM Pictures

Adonis and Jay both named this movie as one of their favorites! Starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Overboard tells of a spoiled heiress who falls overboard and gets amnesia. Her axed carpenter, whom she previously treated poorly, seeks revenge by convincing her that she’s his wife. Kind of creepy when you think about it, but still, hilarity ensues.


Jaws Movei Imageimage credit: Universal Pictures

You can’t have a list about boat movies and not include this Steven Spielberg classic, picked by Mike. In the film, a giant great white shark wreaks havoc on a small resort town. It’s then up to the police chief, a marine biologist, and a professional shark hunter to kill the shark and save the town from the man-eating reign of terror.

Captain Phillips

captain phillipsimage credit: Sony Pictures

Jake’s choice stars Tom Hanks playing Captain Phillips, a real captain who was taken hostage after his ship was hijacked by Somali pirates. The movie, released in 2013, received critical acclaim and was a box office success. In other words, it’s a must-see!

All Is Lost

all is lost posterimage credit: Lionsgate

Cindy’s pick? All Is Lost, which she calls “a boating movie to make even an avid boater like me think twice about losing sight of shore.” In the drama, a man fights to survive while lost at sea. What makes this movie unique is its sole cast member (Robert Redford), who only speaks a few words throughout the intense film.

Life of Pi

life of piimage credit: 20th Century Fox

Both Jared and Lindsy pegged Life of Pi as one of their favorite boating movies and with good reason. The stunning film tells the story of Pi Patel, a 16-year-old who survives a shipwreck that kills his entire family. Stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, he must find a way to survive on his own.

Master and Commander

Master-and-Commander-Movie-720p-HD-Free-Downloadimage credit: 20th Century Fox

Robert’s choice stars Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey, who commands the Surprise during the Napoleonic Wars. After Napoleon chooses Britain as his next target, Captain Aubrey is ordered to track and destroy the Acheron, a French privateer.

Honorable Mention

Finding Nemo

finding nemoimage credit: Disney/Pixar

This movie is set under the sea rather than on it, but still it’s a great family-friendly movie worth mentioning! Finding Nemo follows Marlin, an overprotective clownfish father who loses his only surviving son, Nemo, and sets out to, as the title suggests, find him. Watch this movie with your little ones and get them excited for boating! They may even spot a few “Nemos” themselves while out on the sea.

Watch these films as you gear up to go boat season, and let us know which pick is your favorite!


  1. I would have had Old Man of the Sea with Spencer Tracy on the list. A pure classic with the fact men use to fish like that and very realistic for its time. Thanks Hemingway.

  2. ALL IS LOST? Really? Have you even SEEN that ‘film’ or been on a boat? At best it is a documentary of how to die at sea thru stupidity.

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