Britain has a history of producing and using a wonderful array of fishing boats, some of which still sail under private ownership. These older vessels developed in their own unique ways, dependent on local traditions, the type of fishing, their place of operation and innovation from fishermen and boatbuilders alike. Later, with motorisation, they changed dramatically through the steam era until the advent of the internal combustion engine. Today fishing boats old and new attract scores of people to fishing harbours everywhere, inspired by picturesque scenes, the life on board or the new breed of vessels with their modern technology in an ever-increasing competitive market.
Mike Smylie is a maritime historian specialising in the fishing industry. He has written many articles on the subject for various magazines such as Classic Boat and is the author of 23 books. During the summer he travels widely through Britain and into the European mainland with his herring exhibition 'Kipperland', which tells the story of the herring industry. He is a founder member of the 40+ Fishing Boat Association and edits their thrice-yearly newsletter Fishing Boats.