And the stakes were high. Glasgow became wealthy through the tobacco trade Glasgow merchantmen could beat the English ships and sail to the Chesapeake in record time.
Dr. Eric Graham traces the development of the Scottish marine and its institutions during a formative period, when state intervention and warfare at sea in pursuit of mercantilist goals largely determined the course of events.
He charts Scotland's frustrated attempts to join England in the Atlantic economy and so secure her prosperity - an often bitter relationship that culminated in the Darien Disaster.
In the years that followed, maritime affairs were central to the move to embrace the full incorporating Act of 1707. After 1707 Scottish maritime aspirations flourished under the protection of the British navigation Acts and the windfalls of endemic warfare at sea.