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New Jersey toy manufacturer Zac Cotton, along with his perpetually inebriated secretary and girl friend, Max MacKenzie, and roughneck employees Mitch and Stony Grantoni, charters Duke Bradley's sailing schooner, the Altair , to tour the Hawaiian islands. Duke soon suspects that the group has other motives for the trip. One evening, they are all invited to a luau at a prosperous pineapple and sugar plantation. After the others have returned to the boat, Mitch and Stony set fire to a sugar cane field to create a distraction while they rob the plantation's payroll office and kill a clerk. They hide the stolen cash in hollowed-out pineapples and return with the crate of fruit to the vessel. Duke then sets sail for the tiny island of Nahua where the group has reservations at a lodge. At sea, after Max says something to offend Zac, he hits her, prompting Duke to warn him never to raise his hand against anyone onboard again. The next morning, a coast guard captain's catamaran approaches the Altair and, over a bullhorn, the officer informs the group of the robbery and murder the night before and asks what time they left the luau. When Zac quickly responds that they left earlier than they really did, Duke wonders why he lied. Zac's answer appears to satisfy the officer and the catamaran leaves. Later, Zac and Mitch discuss their expected rendezvous with a schooner coming from Tahiti to pick them up. As the Altair approaches Nahua, Lanai, daughter of lodge operator Kanaha and girl friend of crewmember Kieoni, swims out to welcome them and they all go ashore in a dinghy. After dinner, Max dances briefly with Duke, angering Zac who calls her a tramp. When Mitch laughs at Zac's comment, Duke grabs him by the throat. After Stony retaliates by threatening Duke with a knife, Duke warns that he will break Mitch's neck unless Zac tells Stony to drop the knife. Duke then quits, demands payment for the charter and states that Zac and the others can return to the mainland by coast guard plane. When Duke goes to the dinghy, he finds Max there and after she tells him about her unhappy life and how she came to be involved with the brutal Zac, Duke invites her to leave with him. The next day, while Zac searches for both Max and the Tahitian schooner scheduled to take them to the Philippines, Duke and Max are already at sea and she promises him that her drinking days are over. After a ship's radio broadcast alerts Duke that a hurricane is rapidly approaching and that all vessels must return to the nearest safe harbor, Duke has no choice but to turn back to Nahua, even though Max fears that Zac will kill her. Meanwhile, on the island, Mitch, who has been lusting after Lanai, has a confrontation with Kieoni, which ends with Zac shooting a machete from Kieoni's hand. When Duke and Max return, Zac and his thugs are waiting on the beach for them. While Zac hits Max, Mitch and Stony beat Duke and knock him out. Later, they are all forced to seek refuge in the lodge as the hurricane approaches. When Zac hears a radio broadcast reporting that the Tahitian schooner has gone aground on a reef and the captain and crew are believed lost, he states that after the hurricane passes, they will head for the Philippines on Duke's boat, although Duke states that the schooner will never make it across the Pacific. After the storm ends, Zac decides to take Lanai along as a hostage to ensure Duke's cooperation. Lanai then attempts to escape, but Mitch stops her and wounds Kieoni when he tries to interfere. As the group is about to leave, Zac shoots a native girl, Balalai, in whom Stony has expressed a romantic interest. Enraged, Stony draws his gun, but Zac shoots him and leaves him behind. At sea, while Zac and Max are below deck, Duke knocks out Mitch with the sail boom, then jumps overboard with Lanai to swim seven miles back to land for help. When Zac discovers they are gone, he turns the boat around to look for them, spots Duke, and Mitch pulls him aboard with a grappling hook. Later, when they find Lanai, Zac is about to use the hook on her but Mitch, still desiring her, tries to save her by attacking Zac and is killed when the gaff pierces his stomach. During the confusion, Duke seizes the opportunity to surprise Zac and, after a brief struggle, they both fall into the water where the fight continues until Duke forces Zac's head into the boat's propeller blades, killing him. While Kieoni recovers with Lanai's help, Duke and Max realize that they are in love and head back to Honolulu.