Ships' Fastenings

From Sewn Boat to Steamship

978-1-64843-104-3 Hardcover (Printed Case)
7 x 10 x 0 in
336 pp. 111 photos. Appendix. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 12/30/2022


  • Hardcover (Printed Case) $75.00 s

Without effective and durable hull fastenings, boats and ships—from the earliest days of seafaring through the twentieth century—could not have plied the seas.

In this second edition of Ships’ Fastenings: From Sewn Boat to Steamship, author Michael McCarthy amplifies and extends his thorough treatment of the parts that hold the boat together, offering fascinating descriptions of a range of techniques that span from sewn-plank boats of the ancient world and Micronesia to Viking ships, Mediterranean caravels, nineteenth-century ocean clippers, and even steamships.

To further contextualize this comprehensive account, McCarthy provides a history of many of the discoveries and innovations that accompanied changes in the kinds of fastenings used and the ways they were secured. He discusses copper sheathing, metallurgy, the advent of Muntz metal, rivets of all types, welding in the ancient and modern sense, and the types of non-magnetic fastenings needed on World War II minesweepers. He even takes a glance at the development of underwriting and insurance, because the registries kept by Lloyd’s and others provided not only guides to the suitability of a particular ship but also dictated the form and method of fastening.

A boon to shipbuilders, historians, and archaeologists, Ships’ Fastenings is also a valuable guide for the enthusiast and amateur boat builder.

Ed Rachal Foundation Nautical Archaeology Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press