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West Highland Steamers
Monday, 17 November 2008 14:30

Author: Duckworth and Langmuir
Publisher: Brown Son & Ferguson

From Baird Maritime:

A specialised maritime history that has been published in a fourth edition conclusively proves its popularity. Its authors shared a love of ships and the sea for the long years of their collaboration and beyond.

Until the late 1930’s the highlands and islands off the north and west coasts of Scotland relied very largely on a large fleet of small ships for their cargo and passenger logistics. For nearly a century these ships were steamers.

This period coincided with the flowering and dominance of the Clyde as a naval architecture and shipbuilding centre. It was an enormously inventive and innovative part of the world. These qualities found their way into many of the high quality ships that were built and operated there.

These ships performed the functions that are now carried out by cars, trains, trucks and buses. They are well described in anecdotes, remembrances and very fine photographs. Many were fine and sometimes revolutionary ships. Their evolution until the mid-1980s in fascinating.

A very complete record a very valuable history.

Ordering Information:

Brown Son & Ferguson
Glasgow, UK

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Time Charters: Sixth Edition
Monday, 17 November 2008 14:30

Authors: Terence Coghlin, Andrew W Baker, Julian Kenny and John D Kimball
Publisher: Informa Law

From Baird Maritime:

With six editions spread over two decades, two things are obvious about this book. There is obviously a strong need for the information it contains. Secondly, that content is constantly changing.

Obviously, the content also becomes ever more highly refined. It also becomes increasingly global and the subject increasingly complex.

In 39 very detailed chapters, the Sixth Edition is undoubtedly state-of-the-art. It is also completely comprehensive. Every imaginable development in this fast moving branch of maritime law is covered. Hundreds of cases, well known and obscure, are cited.

The law of time charters is old law, historic law. Much of it goes back to the ancient Greeks, if not the Egyptians. It has, however, been constantly updated resulting in ever increasing complexity. This indispensable text provides a chart showing the way through it.

Ordering Information:

Informa Law,
London, UK

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Unfinished Voyages: Western Australian Shipwrecks 1622-1850
Monday, 17 November 2008 14:30

Author: Graeme Henderson
Publisher: University of Western Australia Press

From Baird Maritime:

The long coastline of Western Australia is replete with shipwrecks. There are probably still many unknown ones to be discovered.

At first they were all Dutch ships. Mostly they were wrecked on their outbound voyages from the Netherlands to Batavia and other parts of the East Indies. Without chronometers, longitude was rather a problem for them.

The arrival of French and British explorers and then British colonists in the late eighteenth century changed the national composition of the wrecks. Once the West Australian settlements were established as a colony, the ships were almost all British even if locally built.

The author is Australia’s leading and best known marine archaeologist who started in the trade at the age of 16. He knows his subject and he also knows how to make it attractive to the general reader.

The ship wrecks are catalogued in a most attractive way highlighted with first rate photographs and some good contemporary lithographs. Excellent end notes and an extensive bibliography makes further study easy.

A very useful reference, that is a pleasure to read for its own sake.

Ordering Information:

University of Western Australia Press
Crawley, Australia

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Anti-Submarine Warfare: An Illustrated History
Monday, 17 November 2008 14:30

Author: David Owen
Publisher: Seaforth Publishing

From Baird Maritime:

Another example of naval history from the new imprint Seaforth Publishing. Seaforth is a welcome addition to the small select global group of publishers that specialises in maritime history.

The Seaforth standard has been well maintained with this well researched and presented examination of the important activities of anti-submarine warfare.

The First and Second World Wars clearly showed the lethal potential of submarines. More recently there has been further such illustration. There is now something of a submarine boom underway. A number of the world’s navies have been equipping themselves with them recently for the first time.

This boom will naturally require that thought be increasingly given to submarine counter measures. As the book points out, “the submarine was usually defeated”. That, perhaps, should be qualified with the phrase: “In the long run”.

These defeats have been achieved in a number of ways. Although, at first, submarines may appear invincible and terrible, applied intelligence has always led to their inevitable defeat.

That very important factor is really what this excellent book is all about.

Ordering Information:

Seaforth Publishing
Barnsley, UK

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The Voyage of the Beagle: Darwin's Extraordinary Adventure Aboard FitzRoy's Famous Survey Ship
Friday, 17 October 2008 14:48

Author: James Taylor
Publisher: Naval Institute Press

From Baird Maritime:

A handsomely presented, high quality, hard cover book, this is the first attempt to consolidate all aspects of the famous voyage that led to Darwin’s vital “On the Origin of Species”.

That book, arguably one of the most important in the history of humanity, was not just “created”. Nor was it created overnight, indeed not even in six days! It was the culmination of decades of reading, study, travel, observation, measurements and recording by a large group of scientifically inquisitive people.

All this is pulled together in the magnificently illustrated book. The voyages of Columbus, Magellan, Cook, Vancouver, Drake, von Humboldt and many others were all vital to the development of the world but Darwin, carried by the ‘Beagle’, in effect tied them all together.

This brilliant book effectively ties Charles Darwin and his work together.

Ordering Information:

Naval Institute Press
Annapolis, USA

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