The Mariners Mirror Archive

Exeter Maritime Museum: the Museum of the Evolved Boat

By David Goddard

The story of the life and times of the Exeter Maritime Museum and the good work undertaken by actual on-water trials of a wide range of craft from all parts of the world.   Some surprising results are recorded. Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Post WW2
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Leisure & Small Craft

The Cots of Rosslare Harbour and Wexford

By Owain T. P. Roberts

Well-adapted for fishing the estuarial waters of Wexford, the cot is flat-bottomed and usually double-ended with a sharply-angled chine.  Historical affinities have variously been suggested with Somerset flatners, Newfoundland dories and earlier Celtic styles.  Built by the Wickham family for 200 years, although now reduced in length, present-day cots, as illustrated, are clinker built above […] Read More

Filed under: Irish Sea | Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft

The Lincoln Kayak

By Jennifer Vernon

The Eskimo kyak in Lincolnshire Museum is a rare early 19th century example of a hunting kyak from the Disco Bay-Holsteinsborg area of West Greenland. It is long and narrow with a flat bottom and high bow and stern points making it exceptionally seaworthy for sea mammal hunting in the North Atlantic by Eskimos. Its […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Arctic
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft | Shipbuilding & Design | Whaling & Fishing

The French Maritime Community: A Slow Progress up the Social Scale from the Middle Ages to the Sixteenth Century

By Michel Mollet, Membre de l’Institut.

Description of the maritime communities of the Ponant and western seaboard of France concentrating on fishing, merchant shipping, naval forces, navigation and exploration. Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Early Modern)
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft | Manpower & Life at Sea | Merchant Marines | Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers | Science & Exploration | Strategy & Diplomacy | Whaling & Fishing

Rafts and Dugouts in Central Italy: The Primitive Phase of Local Inland Boatbuilding

By Marco Bonino

Analysis of literary sources, archaeological finds, and surviving types of craft suggests a tradition of boatbuilding in the agricultural and pastoral economies of the lakes of Umbria, Latium, Campania and parts of the Marche that evolved independently of influences from standard Mediterranean shipbuilding. The evolution from rafts and dugouts to simple boats is traced and […] Read More

Filed under: Early Middle Ages | Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft | Shipbuilding & Design

An Eighteenth Century Felucca

By Barone G.B. Rubin de Cervin Albrizzi

Two contemporary and richly decorated units of this typical 18th century Neapolitan passage boats are still preserved: one at the Museum San Martino, in Naples, and the other one at the Museo Storico Navale, in Venice. The author refers to the latter and gives a full illustrated description of her structure and decoration, including the […] Read More

Filed under: Mediterranean | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Leisure & Small Craft

The Bark Canoes of North America

By W. P. Dunphy

The article describes in some detail the method of construction of North American bark canoes which have the unique characteristic that the skin provides the only binding on for the frame. Canoes in this form had been made, it is thought for many centuries before the white man arrived. However there are few native Americans […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Leisure & Small Craft | Shipbuilding & Design

Preserved Aboriginal Canoes in Western Canada

By Richard L. Coulton

The paper argues for a study of the development of aboriginal canoes, primarily to understand better the early evolution of the ship. But to be useful, a knowledge of aboriginal canoes would need to be reasonably comprehensive. The author provides a list, with illustrations, of canoe types native to Western Canada and encourages the production […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Archaeology | Leisure & Small Craft | Shipbuilding & Design

An Unusual Portuguese Fishing Boat

By Paul Johnstone and A. F. Tilly

The “saverio a arte de xavega” or “barco do mar” is a 55 foot traditional Portuguese fishing craft, propelled solely by oars and without any steering oar or rudder. Its relatively primitive design suggests descent from ancient Mediterranean vessels.   The authors provide a detailed description of the construction methods for these craft, based on observation […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft | Shipbuilding & Design | Whaling & Fishing

Traditional English Boatbuilding Methods

By Eric McKee

The author presents a survey of traditional wooden working boats that are currently built and used in Britain. He concludes, inter alia, that local topography rather than outside influences tend to drive the design of such craft. The survey identifies three basic types: flat bottom, plank keel and beam keel, with many regional variations of […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | North Sea | Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft | Merchant Marines | Shipbuilding & Design | Whaling & Fishing

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