Coracle boats of the ancient Britons

Coracle boats of the ancient Britons

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coracle boats, coloured historical artwork. These small circular or oval keel-less boats were constructed by ancient Britons from reeds. They were made watertight originally with horse or ox hide and were light enough to be carried on a man's back. The advantages are its manoeuvrability and lightness, which makes it ideal for netting or angling in shallow or rock-strewn rivers. The tradition mainly survives in Wales, where coracles are still used by salmon fishermen.

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