Leonard, Bill

Australia’s extensive coastline has a rich and diverse maritime history. In Search of Fish and Fortune celebrates the history of fishing and pearling as some of the first commercial trades established following European settlement on the western coastline of Australia, offering an insight into the evolution of design, craftsmanship, skills, and technology of fishing craft.

The development of the fishing and pearling industries and the means by which fishers and boat-builders plied their trade is told through the stories of 15 significant vessels from Western Australia’s five principle fishing areas. Stretching as far back as 1875, these stories are about the grassroots fisher folk and the builders of their unique watercraft that took on the many challenges inherent in Australia’s western seas and rivers, to help pioneer the diverse and prosperous fisheries that exist today.

Showcasing over 60 magnificent line drawings executed with inimitable precision and beauty by master heritage shipwright Bill Leonard, In Search of Fish and Fortune features maps and classic photographs that illustrate the stories of the vessels and the generations of boat-builders, shipwrights, and fishermen that constructed, owned, and sailed them.

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Western Australian Museum, November 2017.  304 pages, hardcover.