The best bookshop in town

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Traditional Fishing Boats is an illustrated guide to British and Irish sailing fishing boats and their evolution over hundreds of years; some early motor- and steam-powered vessels are also included. Written by Mike Smylie, it explains the influence of foreign fleets upon the British and features the author’s own design plans.

Sam Rabl’s Boat Building in your own Backyard is a classic that includes plans and building instructions for a good range of small boats, including dinghies and pocket sail and motor cruisers. Perhaps the star is Uncle Gabe’s skiff – a very nice traditional skiff that I’ve thought about building many times. It’s a collectable book and costs a few bob, but it’s well worth the price just for a set of plans drawn by a master of small boat design.

Restore your Wooden Boat looks intriguing, doesn’t it? And it’s VERY cheap! Almost an impulse purchase, I’d say. I’m terribly tempted myself…

5 thoughts on “The best bookshop in town”

  1. Some very tempting books in there. What's the book you mention in connnection with the Trow, is it working boats of britain, or something like that?

  2. I couldn't agree more. The book you're referring to is Eric McKee's Working Boats of Britain, and it's a superb piece of research with some famously attractive drawings. I didn't include it because I thought it wasn't available, but now I find it is – but there was only one copy left when I looked.

    Better move fast if you want it!

    I've got some photos of some real Fleet trows somewhere. I'll post them some time.

    These are heavy boats, and the stern wasn't the shape we know for looks by the way, but to give the sportsman with the gun a clear vantage point and a comfy seat. I wonder whether they developed the seating arrangement after some poor soul got shot in an accident?


  3. A Fleet Trow post is something I’ve been meaning to request. I hadn’t realized that people shot from them.

    In the days when design was more guess work than science I’m sure many poor souls got shot or otherwise mamed in the quest for what today amounts to a comfy seat!


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