By Basil Greenhill with Illustrations and Commentary by Sam Manning
Originally published in 1988, The Evolution of the Wooden Ship is a special tribute to the shipbuilding trade, not only because it traces its evolution and associated traditions, but also because it is in part based on the oral accounts of men who actually worked on the vessels. Basil Greenhill briefly traces the history of the wooden ship through her multiple forms and styles from her prehistoric beginnings to her demise shortly after the First World War.
The four central chapters are devoted to describing in detail the building of the most common trading vessel, a simple 100-ton two-masted wooden schooner. Tom Perkins, a master shipwright of great experience, who rebuilt the West Country sailing barge Shamrock for Britain's National Trust and National Maritime Museum, adds technical details in the language of the trade and portrays the life of the men who worked in the yards. In addition, the building of different types of wooden vessels, three- and four-masted schooners and barques in different countries is discussed, from locations as varied as Wales, the Aland Islands of Finland, and Atlantic Canada.
To complement the scholarly text by Dr. Greenhill, Sam Manning, a noted maritime illustrator, further explains many of the intricate processes of shipbuilding in his clear and accurate drawings and in his notes. These illustrations are an invaluable source of explanatory detail and are of great historical value.
Dr. Basil Greenhill, director of the National Maritime Museum (U.K.) 1967 – 1983, was an internationally recognized authority on maritime aspects of historical studies. He was Chairman of Britain’s Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites and of the project to restore and preserve the world's first modern ship, the SS Grew Brittan, in Bristol. He was the author of over forty books and numerous articles on maritime history. He best known book was his two-volume The Merchant Schooners. He also wrote Victorian and Edwardian Sailing Ships, Ships and Harbours, and Merchant Steamships.
Sam Manning, who lives in Camden, Maine, is a former boat builder who has been described as one of the best artists in the marine field.
Table of Contents
Part One: The background
2 The evolution of the wooden ship
Part Two: The building of a wooden ship
3 The slipway
4 The skeleton
5 The hull is completed
6 Fitting out and launching
7 Four other building traditions
1 Wales: small three-masted schooner
2 Finland: large three-masted schooner
3 Canada: three-masted barque
4 United States: four-masted schooner