Fast and Bonnie – A History of William Fife and Son Yachtbuilders by May Fife McCallum

Fast and BonnieThis piece of yachting history chronicles the development and progress of Fife, once the premier yacht builder in Britain. It follows its beginning in the nineteenth century until its closure in 1939, during which period almost 1,000 boats were designed and built.

Three members of the Fife family, in succession, were integral to its progress. William Fife I, originally a builder of fishing smacks created the paddle steamer industry and aimed to build yachts that were “fast and bonnie”. William Fife II developed designs that were modern and forward thinking, while William Fife III took the yard to the apogee of its success, with clientele that numbered some of the crowned heads of Europe. This tale of enterprise and craftsmanship is interspersed with anecdotes about the family behind the yard, their clients and their craftsmen.

The author, May Fife McCallum, a descendant of the founder, has had privileged access to private papers, business records and photographs. Over many years she has researched this archival material and also recorded the reminiscences of family friends and of local people personally associated with the yard and its workforce. She is thus uniquely suited to write the definitive work of one of the businesses of which Scotland can be most proud. (Amazon review)

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