In no particular order, we've pulled together some of the best sailing and boat-themed films of the 1980s. Vote, and let us know which one is your favourite!

Das Boot (1981)

With its instantly recognisable score, Das Boot is an epic war film following the fictional story of U-96 and its crew.

As the German submarine patrols the Atlantic Ocean during World War Two, the crew must deal with near misses, bad weather and boredom as they live in the confined space of their U-boat.

The suspense can be felt throughout the film, as the submarine’s captain (Jürgen Prochnow) struggles to keep up the morale of his men as they deal with damage to the U-boat and dwindling supplies.

The ending will leave you numb!


Dead Calm (1989)

This is one sailing trip you NEVER want to experience!

This psychological thriller is based on the 1963 novel Dead Calm by Charles F. Williams.

It sees Rae Ingram (Nicole Kidman) and her husband, John (Sam Neill) go to the aid of Hughie Warriner (Billy Zane), who they find on his damaged boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Claiming the rest of the crew have died, Warriner is invited on board.

What follows is the ultimate battle for survival.


The Bounty (1984)

The infamous mutiny of the HMS Bounty has spawned several films.

In this version, Captain Bligh (Anthony Hopkins) is facing a court marshall for the loss of the HMS Bounty after the crew mutiny, led by Bligh’s former friend, Christian Fletcher (Mel Gibson).

Told through flashbacks, the film charts the initial voyage to Tahiti, Captain Bligh’s struggle to retain control after his crew fraternises with the locals and the subsequent revolt by his men.

It follows the perilous journey of Captain Bligh and his few loyal crew, as they attempt to find their way back to the Dutch East Indies, as well as Fletcher’s voyage back to Tahiti and the realisation that he and his men can’t remain on the Pacific island.


Violets Are Blue (1986)

This romantic comedy drama follows the return of photographer, Gussie (Sissy Spacek), to her home town on the coast after 15 years away.

Back home, she reconnects with her now married high school sweetheart, Henry (Kevin Kline) and discovers they both still have feelings for each other.

Look out for the sailing scenes on board a lovely sloop and a Hobie cat race.


Blue Water Odyssey (1988)

If you are thinking (or just dreaming) of circumnavigating then this documentary is definitely worth a watch.

Blue Water Odyssey follows the Driscoll family on board the original Sea Witch as they sail around the world in five years.

Although it looks a bit dated, it has some great sailing sequences.


With Jean-du-Sud Around the World (1983)

Many consider this the greatest sailing film of all time.

With Jean Du Sud Around the World follows sailor Yves Gélinas’ solo 28,000 miles circumnavigation aboard his Alberg 30 sloop, Jean-du-Sud.

He sails from France to Quebec via the Roaring Forties of the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn.

Gélinas shot the 16 mm film in order to share his experience with fellow sailors, especially the use of his self-steering gear.

The film was awarded the Palme D’Or twice and has now been re-released in High Definition.

A must see for any sailor!


Yellowbeard (1983)

Expect plenty of laughter and hilarity from this film, which stars Monty Python’s Graham Chapman as the main character, Yellowbeard.

The infamous pirate escapes prison in search of his treasure which he has buried decades earlier.

Discovering that the only map to its location has been tattooed onto the head of his son, Dan (Martin Hewitt), Yellowbeard sets out on the high seas with his son and crew.

However, it seems that Yellowbeard is not the only one after the treasure….and faces competition from the likes of his former bosun Mr. Moon (Peter Boyle) and the Head of the British Secret Service (Eric Idle).


Midnight Crossing (1988)

A thriller about lust and greed with a lot of action taking place on a sloop.

When Jeff Schubb (John Laughlin) and his wife, Alexa (Kim Cattrall) go cruising to the Bahamas with Alexa’s employer, Morely Barton (Daniel J Travanti) and his wife Helen (Faye Dunaway), it is far from a dream holiday.

Once at sea, Morely suggests sailing to an island off Cuba, where he has hidden his fortune, offering Jeff half the money for his help.

What follows is a dangerous voyage, where the four face threats from pirates as well as from each other.


The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)

This science fiction film is based on the urban legend of the Philadelphia Experiment, where the US Navy is alleged to have cloaked the USS Eldridge to enemies during World War Two.

Initially set in 1943, the movie follows two sailors, David Herdeg (Michael Paré) and Jim Parker (Bobby Di Cicco).

They are stationed on a ship used for an experiment to make it invisible to radar.

When the experiment goes wrong, the pair find themselves in 1984.


Death Ship (1980)

A sailing horror film set on board a “killer” Nazi torture ship.

When survivors from a cruise ship disaster board a mysterious black ship, little do they know that they would have been better off staying on their makeshift lifeboat!

The deserted vessel seems to have “a life of its own” and one by one, the survivors are dispatched.

Not recommended viewing for those who scare easily.