The book traces the history of the various craft that have been used for transport on Britain’s rivers and canals from the earliest times to the present day. The first section deals with the long history of the development of river craft, from prehistoric log boats to the whole range of sailing barges, such as the Humber keel and the Thames barge. By the middle of the 18th century, canal construction brought in a new generation of craft, not just the familiar narrow boats, but the wide boats such as the Leeds & Liverpool short boats, maintenance craft and even passenger boats. Steam power was introduced in the 19th century for a variety of crafts from tugs to pleasure steamers, while the 20th century brought in the diesel motors for boats and barges of all kinds. Today, there is still some commercial traffic, but an ever-increasing demand for boats for pleasure. Much of this story is told in terms of preserved craft and is also based on the author’s own experience aboard many of these craft, whether crewing a Thames barge or working in the engine room of a Clyde puffer.