05 October 2010

A boat for Skjoldungelandet

This article appeared in the latest Viking Ship Museum newsletter, 3 October 2010

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A boat for Skjoldungelandet


Did you miss the construction of the Sea Stallion? Now’s your chance to get close to the construction of a Viking ship in full scale.

Kraka Fyr - a reconstruction of Skuldelev 6. The construction of another copy of the beautiful boat from the Sognefjord in western Norway is beginning now.

The keel has been laid for what will become the reconstruction of Skuldelev 6, the small fishing and cargo vessel from Sognefjord in western Norway. The Viking Ship Museum’s boatyard is building the boat in cooperation with the National Park Project, Skjoldungelandet. The boat will be used to present and explain the historic landscape around Roskilde Fjord.

“The new construction will provide a unique opportunity to experience, or re-experience, the reconstruction of a Viking ship in full scale,” says museum curator Louise Kæmpe Henriksen from the Department of Outreach, which was responsible for the exhibition displayed in the shipyard in connection with the construction. “It’s been 6 years since the Viking Ship Museum launched the Sea Stallion from Glendalough after a 4-year construction process. But the work is not completed, even though all 5 ship finds now have sailing reconstructions. The new construction will allow for other interpretations of the original ship, and will invite the visitors to the museum to follow the boat builders’ work up close.”

Another reconstruction

The Viking Ship Museum’s boat collection already includes a reconstruction of Skuldelev 6. In 1998, the museum’s boatyard launched Kraka Fyr, which has sailed with guests at the museum since then. There is also an active guild linked to Kraka Fyr. The guild sails the boat frequently throughout the season from May to September and a great deal of experience has already been obtained with this type of boat.

When the original boat was built around the year 1030, it was as a relatively low-sided fishing boat with six so-called strakes, which formed the sides of the boat. At a later stage in the life of the boat, it was converted from a fishing vessel to a cargo vessel by adding a 7th strake. In this way they achieved a more spacious and seaworthy vessel.

The new reconstruction shall be built with the original six strakes.

A new hypothesis

The construction will provide the museum’s boat builders with the opportunity to test new interpretations of the original wreck. Skuldelev 6’s stem was not preserved when it was excavated and the current reconstruction was therefore built with a so-called stepped stem, as in Skuldelev 3 (Roar Ege). “The new construction’s stem will resemble the stems from the second ship from Sognefjord, Skuldelev 1,” explains the head of the boat yard, Søren Nielsen. “This sea-going cargo ship had a lower stem and a radically different design than the stepped stem, and we are therefore offering a different suggestion about how the original boat might have looked when it sailed into the western fjords of Norway 1000 years ago.” Read more...

By: Preben Rather Sørensen

03/10 - 2010

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