The authors provide a broad introduction to the archaeology of vessels in Irish waters by reviewing the types of evidence available and presenting a survey of past work in this field. The evidence is examined chronologically, from the prehistoric to the early modern period. It reveals the use of sewn planked boats and Romano-Celtic boats in Irish prehistory, medieval wrecks, and Irish and foreign vessels engaged in trade, piracy and war after 1400. Despite being an island nation, little attention has been given to the archaeological study of Ireland's maritime heritage. Boats and ships have, however, played a pivotal role in the lives of many people of this region. It is only due to the increase in underwater exploration in the last 50 years that research has increased and the results are summarised in this volume.