Mike Smylie is a maritime historian concentrating on the fishing industry and working vessels. He has writes widely on the subject for publications including Classic Boat, The Boatman, Watercraft, Maritime Heritage, The Marine Quarterly, Maritime Life and Traditions, Fishing News and the European Maritime Heritage newsletter.
He is the author of over 20 published.
He is a member of the Society for Nautical Research, the South West Maritime History Society, the Coble and Keelboat Society and the Anglesey Antiquarians. He is a co-founder of the 40+ Fishing Boat Association which was founded in 1995 against the background of the scrapping of decommissioned fishing vessels, and edits their thrice yearly magazine Fishing Boats.
He is also known as Kipperman for his work in promoting the consumption of herring for its healthy benefits, for which he was awarded the BBC Radio 4 Food Campaigner/Educator Award in November 2004, and as Kipperman has made numerous appearances on radio and television.
Trained as a naval architect, he obtained an HND with distinction in 1975 and became a Technician Engineer (T.Eng). In 2003 he was awarded an MPhil for his research work on the fishing craft of the Clyde by the Scottish Institute of Maritime Studies at St Andrews University. He also has a RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate and was a BSAC Sport Diver before giving diving up. His other interests include walking, climbing and mountaineering, ancient fish-traps and travelling. He has three children and lives between the Cotswold market town of Wotton-under-Edge, where he owns the Fish out of Water gallery, and a mountain village in Greece.