People are drawn to the harbours and boats of Scotland whether they have a seafaring background or not. Why do boats take on different shapes as you follow the complex shorelines of islands and mainlands? And why do the sails they carry appear to be so many shapes and sizes? As he traces the iconic forms of a selection of boats of Scotland, Ian Stephen outlines the purposes of craft, past and present, to help gain a true understanding of this vital part of our culture. Sea conditions likely to be met and coastal geography are other factors behind the designs of a wide variety of craft. Stories go with boats. The vessels are not seen as bare artefacts without their own soul, but more like living things.