ASA Members Recommend…movies & books


On our Facebook and Twitter pages we love to ask our fans for their opinions on all things nautical. In the last couple of weeks I’ve asked people for their recommendations on sailing movies & books. The guidelines were loose — as long as it has something to do with seafaring, it was fair game. Some of these are serious, some silly, some realistic, some not-so-much. Some you will certainly have seen or read before, some you may not have heard of. All of them are works that our members have enjoyed, and you might too. (Perhaps to fill the long winter months until sailing season starts again?)

These lists are not comprehensive by any means, but they’ll get you started. Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.

    Movies:
    Captains Courageous (1937) starring Freddie Bartholomew & Spencer Tracy, dir. by Victor Fleming
    Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) starring Russell Crowe & Paul Bettany, dir. by Peter Weir
    Captain Ron (1992) starring Kurt Russell & Martin Short, dir. by Thom Eberhardt
    Summer Rental (1984) starring John Candy, dir. by Carl Reiner
    Cabin Boy (1994) starring Chris Elliott, dir. by Adam Resnick
    Wind (1992) starring Matthew Modine & Jennifer Grey, dir. by Carroll Ballard
    Morning Light (2008) starring Chris Branning & Kate Theisen, dir. by Mark Monroe
    Morgan the Pirate (1960) starring Steve Reeves, dir. by Andre de Toth & Primo Zeglio
    The Bounty (1984) starring Mel Gibson & Anthony Hopkins, dir. by Roger Donaldson
    The Adventures of Horatio Hornblower (1998-2003) miniseries starring Ioan Gruffudd, produced by A&E

For a more comprehensive list of sailing movies, click here.

    Fiction Books:
    The Mutiny on the Bounty Trilogy by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall (first volume 1932)
    The Aubrey/Maturin Novels by Patrick O’Brian (series of 20; first volume 1969)
    Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome (series of 12; first volume 1930)
    The Horatio Hornblower Novels by C.S. Forester (series of 11; first volume 1937)
    Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
    Middle Passage by Charles Johnson (1990)
    John Dollar by Marianne Wiggins (1989)
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (1952)
    Jaws by Peter Benchley (1974)
    Sounding by Hank Searls (1982)
    Mutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne (2008)
    Nonfiction Books:
    Close to the Wind by Pete Goss (2000)
    Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz (2002)
    Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum (1900)
    The Last Grain Race by Eric Newby (1956)
    The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float by Farley Mowat (1969)
    Sea Change by Peter Nichols (1998)
    Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana (1840)
    Ten Degrees of Reckoning by Hester Rumberg (2007)
    Looking for a Ship by John McPhee (1990)
    Godforsaken Sea: Racing the World’s Most Dangerous Waters by Derek Lundy (1998)

Note: Though almost all of the books that made our list were written by men, I did come across this list of sailing-related books by and about women.

Got more suggestions? Write a comment!

Online Sailing Course
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Karen O'Brien
Guest
Karen O'Brien

I am new to sailing as in had my first lesson in October and will finish up my course November 20th and 21st for my certification. Anyway right now I am reading Sailing . It is a good book for me as a beginner because it is loaded with all kinds of information such as History of sailing, learning to sail, weather, navigation and much more. Anyway it is a good book for a beginner like myself.