Bye-boat

Bye-boat (by-boat), a name applied historically to any small inshore fishing craft, usually an open boat carrying 5-10 men, used in Newfoundland in the bye-boat fishery.

Bye-boat (by-boat), a name applied historically to any small inshore fishing craft, usually an open boat carrying 5-10 men, used in Newfoundland in the bye-boat fishery. Bye-boat operators or keepers were a large and significant factor in the Newfoundland cod fishery from the mid-1600s until the beginning of the 1800s. They usually competed with the larger fish merchant firms, although sometimes a merchant would outfit the operator and buy his catch. The bye-boat keeper and the fishing servants he employed travelled to his "fishing room" in Newfoundland each summer as passengers on a fishing ship. He and his crew would fish for the summer from one or two bye-boats he kept there, usually selling the cured catch to a fishing ship before returning to England in the autumn. A couple of men might be hired to remain in Newfoundland over the winter to protect the boats and room. See also Fisheries History.