The Boats that Built Britain

This 6-part series started on BBC4 last May and was so popular it was later transferred to BBC2.

‘ The Boats that Built Britain’ was the flagship programme in a major new season called ‘Sea Fever’ which looked at the crucial way in which the sea has helped shape our island. My series, produced by Form Films, examined the pivotal boats involved in Britain’s exploration, trade, fishing and defence. I sailed on board six charismatic vessels, discovered facets of the sea I never imagined, and even took to the water in a skip!

Tom Cunliffe and Larry Walford, Form Films director, homeward bound on the pilot cutter Cariad after a tough day on the water.



The Matthew, a snapshot of the past

The stalwart crew of the Reaper

Roy Nelson, veteran and gentleman

The replica of Cabot’s 1497
ship, The Matthew
The Reaper – a huge, lug-
rigged 1895 Scottish fishing
boat
Higgins WWII Landing
Craft – 1945

The glory that is Square Sail

Pickle - The bearer of good news and bad

Racing down the Bristol Channel

The Phoenix – a brig from
mid-19th century
The Pickle – the replica of
the 1805 schooner that
brought the news of Nelson’s
victory and death at Trafalgar
Olga and Cariad – two
classic Edwardian pilot
cutters