Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

BOOK REVIEW: Traditional Boats of Ireland – History, Folklore & Construction

3rd September 2008

Beautifully illustrated and drawing substantially on local knowledge and oral history, ‘Traditional Boats of Ireland’ reveals much about Ireland’s social and economic history: the harnessing of the sea’s resources; and how ideas as well as people, goods and animals were transported around Ireland’s extensive inland and coastal waters.

Professional historians, folklorists, archaeologists, curators, archivists, linguists, fishermen, boat-builders and owners have all been consulted, forming a team recording individual boat histories and types, and it would be difficult to exaggerate their achievement. Four essays introduce the reader to the history and oral tradition of boats and boatmen, along with cultural and environmental influences in boat building. This is followed by case studies dealing with specific examples, arranged by area.
Then there’s a section on the inland waterways and the boats that plied their trade there, followed by six essays on ‘skin’ boats, principally the curach, this followed in turn by a glossary of nautical terms, some of which originated in Latin or Old Norse, for example.
A total of 55 essays by 36 individual authors, illustrations of construction plans both current and dating from the 1930s, make this piece of history a valuable addition to any nautical library.
Traditional Boats of Ireland – History, Folklore and Constructio,  edited by Criostóir Mac Cárthaigh, published by Collins Press supported by the Heritage Council and other State organisations. Price: 60 euro (hardback). Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating