43 Ships, Boats, & Yachts From Pop Culture [UPDATED]
"Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails; that's what a ship needs. But what a ship is … what the Black Pearl really is … is freedom." — Captain Jack Sparrow
There's something so captivating about a majestic, powerful vessel braving the high seas. There's a vast sense of freedom that's both liberating and terrifying. Many stories are told upon the expanse of the ocean, and the boats, ships, and yachts often become legendary characters themselves. Staten Island Yacht Sales has created a visual treasure trove of some of the most iconic fictional ships collected from movies about ships at sea, TV shows about ships, pirate movies, classic sea adventure movies, and more:
Updated 01/20/2022: Due to popular demand, we updated the infographic to include the S.S. Minnow from Gilligan's Island and The Stugots from The Sopranos.
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Many of the ships featured in movies are actual seafaring vessels with names. Let’s navigate the origins of some of the most popular fictional ships showcased on this infographic.
What Ship Did They Use for the Black Pearl?
Is the Black Pearl a real ship? Sadly, no. Many variations of the Black Pearl have been used throughout the films. In the first film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the Black Pearl was actually a steel barge with wooden structures extending from it to resemble a real ship. Another one was built on a soundstage in order to achieve optimal control over the fog machines. The moody, enigmatic captain’s quarters were constructed on stages at KABC-TV in Glendale, California.
For Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, a more seaworthy Black Pearl was built. It was developed around a ship called the Sunset, which once provided service to oil derricks in the Gulf of Mexico. By building the Black Pearl’s impressive exterior around a functioning ship that could actually navigate on the ocean, it gave producers more creative flexibility and streamlined the filming schedule. After construction was completed at the Steiner Shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, it sailed 2,000 nautical miles to arrive for the filming of the first scenes at Capucine Point on Dominica.
For Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides, the Sunset found a new identity. Since the Black Pearl does not figure physically into the storyline of that film, the Sunset was reconstructed to serve as the base for the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the notorious and brutally beautiful ship that struck dread into the hearts of pirates across the high seas.
Is the Black Pearl a real ship? Sadly, no. Many variations of the Black Pearl have been used throughout the films. In the first film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the Black Pearl was actually a steel barge with wooden structures extending from it to resemble a real ship. Another one was built on a soundstage in order to achieve optimal control over the fog machines. The moody, enigmatic captain's quarters were constructed on stages at KABC-TV in Glendale, California.
For Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, a more seaworthy Black Pearl was built. It was developed around a ship called the Sunset, which once provided service to oil derricks in the Gulf of Mexico. By building the Black Pearl's impressive exterior around a functioning ship that could actually navigate on the ocean, it gave producers more creative flexibility and streamlined the filming schedule. After construction was completed at the Steiner Shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, it sailed 2,000 nautical miles to arrive for the filming of the first scenes at Capucine Point on Dominica.
For Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides, the Sunset found a new identity. Since the Black Pearl does not figure physically into the storyline of that film, the Sunset was reconstructed to serve as the base for the Queen Anne's Revenge, the notorious and brutally beautiful ship that struck dread into the hearts of pirates across the high seas.
What Is the Yacht Used in Succession?
In Succession, the superyacht boarded by the Roy family is known as the Solandge. It's a spectacular 279-foot yacht that was sold for $180 million to an undisclosed buyer in 2017. The superyacht boasts features such as an outdoor cinema and nightclub, helipad, beauty salon, precious gemstone embellishments, and an amethyst and rose quartz chandelier.
What Was the Yacht in Wolf of Wall Street?
Nadine, the ill-fated yacht in Wolf of Wall Street, was portrayed by the real life 145-foot charter yacht known as Lady M. Did the yacht Nadine really sink? The real-life Nadine did: Shortly after Jordan Belfort procured the lavish vessel which was once owned by Coco Chanel, disaster struck when a raging storm overpowered the Nadine and caused it to sink in 1996.
43 Ships, Boats, & Yachts From Pop Culture
- Lifeboat, Life of Pi - During a storm, Pi is forced into a lifeboat upon which he meets a peculiar cast of characters as he drifts at sea.
- Donzi 38ZX 2, Bad Boys II - Camouflaged speedboat used to collect smuggled Ecstasy from a cargo ship.
- The Riverboat, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - Infamous for bringing children on a scary, psychedelic boat ride down a chocolate river.
- The Death Boat, Clash of the Titans - Ferry that delivers souls across the River Styx to the Underworld. It is navigated by Charon, who requires a coin in exchange for passage.
- Slice of Life, Dexter - Dexter's fishing boat, which he primarily uses to dump victims into the Atlantic.
- La Quila, Jungle Cruise - Ramshackle steamboat named after the Incan moon goddess, “Quila.” It was often accompanied by pet wildcats such as the jaguar Proxima.
- Spinacher, Popeye the Sailor Man - Infamous for bringing children on a scary, psychedelic boat ride down a chocolate river.
- Stealth Ship, Tomorrow Never Dies - Catamaran-style stealth ship that was resistant to radar and sonar, making it nearly undetectable. It was created with the sole intent to provoke conflict between the UK and China.
- Orca, Jaws - Shark fishing vessel captained by an eccentric war veteran. His ship was hired to catch the rogue shark Bruce.
- John Rambo's boat, Rambo IV - Longboat used by Rambo to fish and transport people down the Salween River. It is described as a “shit boat” by Burmese pirates.
- Jenny, Forrest Gump - Shrimping boat named after the love of Forrest Gump's life.
- Thunderbird 4, Thunderbirds - International Rescue's go-to vehicle for underwater rescue operations.
- The Aurora, The Adventures of Tintin - Ship used to reach a fallen meteorite during.
- Argo, Greek mythology - Ship crafted by the gods that Jason and the Argonauts used to sail from Iolcos to Colchis to retrieve the Golden Fleece.
- S.S. Minnow, Gilligan's Island - Named after Newton Minow, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, who the executive producer of Gilligan's Island believed "ruined television."
- Going Merry, One Piece - First ship manned by the Straw Hat Pirates. Over time, it became so beloved by the crew that it developed a life of its own.
- The Henrietta, Around the World in 80 Days - Paddle steamer boarded along the protagonist's attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days.
- The Stugots, The Sopranos - Boat owned by Tony Soprano. The name of the vessel refers to male genitalia in Italian. In reality, it is a 42-foot fishing yacht.
- Our Mutual Friend, Lost - Sailboat named after the last novel that Desmond intended to read before he died; birthplace of Penny and Desmond's son.
- Trimaran, Waterworld - Heavily modified trimaran that is essential for the Mariner to navigate the ocean-covered world.
- The Inferno, The Goonies - Director Richard Donner kept the construction of the impressive ship a secret from the child actors in The Goonies so he could capture their genuine awe when they first encountered it.
- The Wanderer, Captain Ron - An old yacht inherited by Martin Harvey from his deceased uncle. It was once owned by famous actor Clark Gable.
- Andrea Gail, The Perfect Storm - Commercial fishing boat that is caught in a raging hurricane during a late-season fishing expedition.
- Woodwind II, Wedding Crashers - Sailboat upon which John attempts to impress Claire and her father but fails miserably due to his lack of knowledge.
- Khetanna, Star Wars - Luxury sail barge engineered by Ubrikkian Industries to suit the needs of crime lord Jabba. It could hold a crew of 26 and 500 passengers.
- Jolly Roger, Hook - Pirate ship that is Captain Hook's base of operations. It is the only “pirate territory” in Neverland other than Skull Rock.
- Corsair Ship, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Ship belonging to the Corsairs of Umbar, a corrupted race of Man notorious for their piracy of ships along the coast of Gondor.
- Pequod, Moby Dick - Nantucket whaling ship named after the Algonquian-speaking Pequot tribe of Native Americans.
- HMS Surprise, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World - A versatile sailing ship used by Captain Jack Aubrey to intercept Ancheron, a French privateer seeking to plunder British whaling boats.
- Durmstrang Ship, Harry Potter - Magical ship that could travel underwater, although such an act was a breach of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.
- Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean - Infamous pirate vessel with distinctive black sails, described as “nigh uncatchable.” It was once named The Wicked Wench, but Captain Sparrow changed the name after it became charred black from being lit ablaze by the governor of the East India Trading Company.
- Nadine, Wolf of Wall Street - Megayacht that was originally owned by Coco Chanel. It met its demise in a Mediterranean storm at the hands of a drug-addled Belfort.
- Flying Dutchman, Pirates of the Caribbean - Ghost ship that was originally given the sacred task of gathering all of the poor souls that died at sea and ferrying them to the afterlife.
- Red Dragon, Rush Hour 2 - Luxury yacht owned by Ricky Tan, a sadistic crime lord.
- Mediterranean Queen, Murder Mystery - A NYC cop and his hairdresser wife attempt to solve a murder that took place on this megayacht.
- Solandge, Succession - The Roy family gathers upon this majestic megayacht for a private meeting along with a few Royco executives.
- The Gertrude, Superman Returns - The original owner and namesake of this superyacht was Gertrude Vanderworth, Lex Luthor's late wife. Its most striking feature was its glass bottom.
- USS Ardent, The X-Files - American destroyer escort whose crew and passengers became afflicted with a mysterious aging disease.
- Silence, Game of Thrones - Ironborn longship that served as the flagship of the Iron Fleet. Euron Greyjoy cut out the tongues of his crew after they tied him up to prevent him from jumping overboard during a violent, maddening storm.
- Bebop, Cowboy Bebop - Fishing trawler originally built to catch and transport Ganymede sea fish. Jet converted it into an interplanetary vessel that serves as transport and residence.
- SS Anne, Pokemon - Renowned luxury cruise liner that sails around the world, stopping each year in Vermilion City, Kanto.
- RMS Poseidon, Poseidon - Luxury ocean liner that is intercepted by a massive rogue wave, capsizing it.
- Ark, 2012 - Series of nine ships that were created to preserve humanity, world history, fine arts, and animals after the Apocalypse. Each Ark could hold over 100,000 people.
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