On the Wexford Herring Cot
From Prowse's History of Newfoundland
It was from this handy little craft that our
fishermen got the idea of the boat now in such general use all over the Colony; it displaced the lug-sails towards the end of last century. The fishing boats in the cod and seal fishery were formerly called shallops and shalloways, these words often occurring in our history. The shallop was a large boat, decked at both ends and open in the centre, with moveable deck-boards and pounds; there were cuddies both fore and aft where the fishermen could sleep. There were never less than three men in a shallop; their dimensions were--30 to 40 feet keel, 10 to 40 feet beam; many of the larger shallops had five men, and would carry 200 qtls. dry fish. The shalloways were open boats, what are punts. The sails in common use until after 1780 were lug sails. The sprit-sail boats were
probably copied from Irish models, like the picture of the Wexford herring cot. There was no fire below deck; the cooking apparatus, or galley, was built of stone, and was generally on the forecastle. The fishermen's clothing was made commonly of whitney and barked swanskin (oiled clothing had not been invented, and the barvel was universally used by the fishermen all over North America); for the seal fishery the men had bluchers and buskins; pewter pots were mostly used for cooking and drinking vessels. The first decked vessels for the seal fishery were about the size of ordinary Western boats, 40 to 50 feet keel, and 14 to 15 feet beam. The schooners all had deep, heavy keels; both the bottom planking and keel were made of birch and witch hazel. It took about seven men to haul out the birch stick for a keel. For the boat's frame juniper was generally used; the timbers were about a foot apart, and the planking was about an inch and a half thick, generally of pine, with black spruce for spars. The schooner rig came into vogue about the time of the commencement of the ship seal fishery. In the early accounts of this industry a distinction is made between the fishery as prosecuted in shallops and in schooners. The only novelty introduced about 1798 was the use of larger vessels in this business. There was always more or less of a seal fishery carried on by the residents with nets, pursuing them on the ice,and following them up with shallops and punts.