This is the first installment of a three-part series on the history of the boat. For more information on our commercial and industrial basket strainers, click the link.

Depending on how far back you go in history, boats were either made from carved out tree trunks or formed into massive arc-like structures with wood planks and caulking. While it’s easy to imagine Christopher Columbus sailing across the Atlantic on the latter, it’s clearly no longer the standard for modern-day shipbuilding.

Because Fluidtrol Process Technologies is attuned to the fiberglass and composites industry and its progression, we wanted to take the opportunity to discuss the history of the boat, so we’re launching a three-part blog series to showcase the growth and transformation of this mode of transportation.

Going back thousands of years, dugout canoes were made from hollow logs—but they’re still used in the modern world in part of Dominica and Venezuela, according to Encyclopedia Brittanica. In fact, archaeologists believed they recently uncovered the world’s oldest boatyard, which dates back to 1700 BC. As years—and even centuries—passed, not much changed with the materials; although sails, oars, and larger scale models were part of the transition period over those thousands of years, wood was still the top choice for framework until the 18th century.

In 1787, an industrialist named John Wilkinson changed the course of history when the standard wooden design couldn’t hold the cannon, shells, and mortars he needed to ship, according to HistoryWorld, and so the iron boat was born.

What was the world’s reaction to Wilkinson’s creation? Stay tuned for Part II to find out and learn more about the next step of boats throughout history.