BY RICK MARTELL Is your boat on the hard, in the shed, or whiling away the winter under shrinkwrap? Take heart. Nautical films can keep your spirits high when you’re landlocked and feeling low. Here, in chronological order, are some of the best films ever made, both classic and contemporary, that revolve around boats and the sea.
CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS (1937)
STARRING Spencer Tracy, Lionel Barrymore, Mickey
Rooney DIRECTOR Victor Fleming
When spoiled rich kid Harvey Cheyne
falls overboard on a transatlantic cruise,
he’s rescued by a Gloucester fishing
schooner. Forced to spend the duration
of the boat’s voyage working as crew, he
soon discovers that his wealth is powerless at sea, learns some valuable life lessons, and returns a different lad. The film
is based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling.
AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)
STARRING Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn
DIRECTOR John Huston
In Africa during World War I, a displaced
missionary woman and a swashbuckling
riverboat captain form an unlikely alliance
when she persuades him to use his boat to
torpedo a German gunboat that’s patrolling
a nearby lake and thwarting British attacks.
Adventures abound as they head downriver
toward their target. Eventually, true love
blooms. The actors’ performances have
made this film an icon of American culture.
and potter Rick
Martell has lived
aboard and chartered his sailboat,
Lands End, with
his partner, the