I found Ben Gunb's boat. I had never seen a boat such as ancient Briton made. But I have seen once since . That is what it was like. What is the meaning of ' that is what it was like ' ? Thanks in advance .
Without more context it is very hard to tell what is meant by "That is what it was like." As it's given in this excerpt, it really doesn't make sense.
That being said, the phrase "that is what it was like" can mean several different things, as the word "like" can have many different meanings. The most common, I think, is to describe how it felt to experience something. In this case it seems a bit more likely that "that is what it was like" is describing something physical, i.e. that it was ancient, rather than something subjective (how he felt about finding the boat).
Truth be told, however, it seems like something is missing from excerpt given.
This is an abridged or adapted excerpt from Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. It helps to read it as it was originally written:
I had not then seen a coracle, such as the ancient Britons made, but I have seen one since, and I can give you no fairer idea of Ben Gunn's boat than by saying it was like the first and the worst coracle ever made by man. But the great advantage of the coracle it certainly possessed, for it was exceedingly light and portable.
So, the rather clumsy (in my opinion) "This is what it was like" is a truncation of the original "I can give you no fairer idea of Ben Gunn's boat than by saying it was like the first and the worst coracle ever made by man."