For as long as man has built boats there have been workboats. The earliest dugout canoes, primitive rafts, reed boats, kayaks, proas, curraghs and coracles were all used for particular work related tasks such as hunting, fishing, or for transporting people and cargoes. Builders of these craft learned the skills required for shaping their boats from local materials. Over time new materials and technologies were developed, which have made it possible for shipbuilders to fashion very large vessels like the oil tanker, ‘Knock Nevis’, which has an overall length of 458 metres.
In this age of technology, all manner of workboats, from the smallest inshore fishing boat to the largest ocean tug, carry out their tasks for a variety of reasons, mostly for financial gain, but others for enforcing the law, providing safety and rescue facilities, guarding drilling rigs, or for maintaining offshore wind farms etc..
During my summer cruise aboard ‘Ladybird’ I took photographs of a number of workboats, including the Poole Lifeboat and a Falmouth Pilot.