BOOK REVIEW | Thomas Summers & Co – Boatbuilders of Fraserburgh

For those who have never been there, Fraserburgh is a very traditional northern Scottish fishing town that now also services the oil and gas industry of the North Sea on to which it fronts.

The town is very salty and very traditional, cold and bleak. Those are the conditions for which, and in which, Thomas Summers & Co’s boats were always built. They are the ultimate in Scottish wooden fishing boats. So much so, that they have become “collectors items”, being preserved and much loved by fishing boat enthusiasts.

From 1949 to 1964 Thomas Summers built a host of traditionally shaped wooden fishing vessels ranging from about 10 to 25 metres LOA. Many of them are still fishing while others are used for pleasure.

This is a great record of a very productive shipyard that reigned while wood was still a competitive construction material. They were beautiful boats but not, alas, practical in the modern commercial fishing environment.

(By Mike Smylie)

Available from The History Press, Cheltenham, UK.


Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.