BOOK REVIEW | Girt by Sea: An Unreliable History of Australian Shipping

As one of our occasional columnists here on Baird Maritime, leading and long-experienced Australian marine engineer Kent Stewart is well known to and much appreciated by our readers. This reviewer, though, cannot imagine why he suggests in his sub-title that these vignettes are “unreliable.” As an avid maritime historian, I strongly suggest that they are very reliable and very valuable.

Born into a sea-going family and passionate about matters maritime, Kent takes a deep interest in and, importantly, remembers so much that is important in Australia’s fascinating maritime history. This book is just the latest in a long line of them. All have been particularly well-written and interesting.

This book comprises a general overview followed by a lengthy series of concise vignettes describing the companies, vessels, and people that did so much to develop Australia through their role in its maritime industry. All are fascinating.

It may be a bit quirky (That is its author’s privilege.), but you won’t find a more interesting or informative one anywhere. It indeed makes for great reading.

Author: Kent Stewart

Available from Hesperian Press, Perth, Western Australia


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.