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This remarkable volume lists, in alphabetical order, more than 5600 boat and ship appellations and is illustrated with over 400 drawings. For nearly all of human history the coasts and oceans (and rivers and lakes) have offered paths for exploration, settings for warfare, routes for commerce and colonialism and, of course, sources for food. And for all these activities an incredible variety of indigenous watercraft have been fashioned by sailors and fishermen and shipwrights: this book surveys them all and contains descriptions of form and function, means of propulsion, crew size, particular design features, as well as notes on construction methods and materials. There are, literally, thousands of cross-references, starred for easy reference and a wealth of vernacular and specialised terms. The inclusion of little-known, rare and extinct types, notes on cultural traditions, along with a reading list and a geographical index add to this book’s extraordinary value as a reference work.