The Boats that Built Britain

This 6-part series started on BBC4 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 Century Aspect, 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!


Viewers comments

Hi Tom, just wanted to congratulate you on the TV series. I have only just started watching them. I was a TV Producer before becoming an Instructor/Examiner and really appreciate properly made documentaries such as these. Well done!  Steve Hills

I have just been watching 2 episodes of your series about boats that made Britain great – one was about the Bristol Channel pilot cutter and the other was about the LCVP. They were very interesting and informative – without being stuffy in any way.  Brian Roberts

I’ve just watched the whole of ‘The Boats That Built Britain’. I wanted to say how much I enjoyed it – and the reason it was so good is fairly and squarely down to your enthusiasm about the subject, your deep knowledge of it and your love of the sea. It left me wanting to see and hear more of you. Has any far-sighted TV commissioning outfit asked you to make another series? And is there any other TV you’ve made that’s similar that I can get hold of? Many thanks for your intelligent film making.  Michael Wohl

I would like you to know that I just wallow in your wonderful images, descriptions, enthusiasm and knowledge as it brings back so many memories, having worked on so many different types of boat also. I really miss the sea; being ON it, not just by it. So this is a heart-felt thank you for the information and enormous pleasure you are giving me and certainly many other old “sea dogs”. Suzy Annett-Brown

Just wanted to say what a superb series you created and delivered about life on the seas. What came across strongly was the bond between a seaman and his vessel, the immense trust and love that it’ll return it’s crew safe and sound after a hard days work. Thank you so much for your presentation which was instantly engaging, coupled to an obvious colossal background knowledge. Graham Bell