Responsible for the sea-worthiness of countless vessels and therefore the lives of their captains and crews, Weyndling’s job took him the length of the coast and introduced him to many entertaining characters along the way. West Coast Tales, like Weyndling’s first collection of stories Ferry Tales, is a collection of memories from the beginning of his career as an apprentice in a Glasgow shipyard in WW2 to his time working as a ship surveyor on the East and West Coasts of Scotland. Designed throughout with original photographs and drawings, the book offers a comprehensive view over the twentieth-century Scottish boat industry, looking at fishing boats, small craft, ferries, boatyards and shipyards.
The dangers of the sea-faring life are also examined in Weyndling’s examinations of marine casualties. Although it is a book about boats, it is also a compelling portrait of life on the Western Coast and on the Islands. It is the people whose lives are connected so closely to ship and sea who are most vividly remembered by Weyndling, from taciturn skippers and stubborn captains to East End Londoners turned Islay farmers. Comic yet moving, West Coast Tales has a gentle and reminiscent tone, perfectly capturing the attitudes of the time whilst taking the reader on a journey through Scotland’s boating history.