Over three hundred ships were built in the district – In the early days small coastal smacks were built on beaches at various places on the Glaslyn and Dwyryd (Traeth Mawr and Traeth Bach). The largest in this period was the “Gomer” a Snow/Brig.
When Porthmadog came into being in 1825 ships were built here and in Borth y Gest at several shipyards. The last ship to be built was the “Gestiana” in 1913.
After being launched the ship was fitted out with masts, rigging, sails and all equipment. Porthmadog was considerably self-sufficient. In addition to building the wooden ships, there were sail lofts, rope walks and wooden block and pulley manufacturers. The ship’s biscuits were even baked in the town.
There is much iron work on a ship – the pintles that hold the rudder in place, the anchor and chain, the cogs and pawls on the windlass, the metal pieces that strap the spars to the masts, eye bolts and other fittings for the rigging and many other items. This work was carried out by the smithies and foundries.