Gokstad boat is launched

Published 28th Feb 2014

Viking Ship Museum has launched the latest reconstruction of the largest of the three small boats from Gokstad find.

Before launching boat builders from Oselvarverkstaden in Norway were invited to assess the boat based on their knowledge of traditional West Norwegian boat building.

"The Viking Ship Museum is working to preserve, not only boats, but also the craftsmanship surrounding the clinker-built boats in pre-history and medieval times. The Boatbuilders from Os’ constructive criticism helped to put the re-construction of the Viking Age Gokstad boat into a larger perspective", tells Søren Nielsen, Head of Maritime Crafts, Reconstruction and Public Activities at the Viking Ship museum.

"As a boat builder you are forced to make choices when building a new boat, just as you are when re-constructing a boat find. In some cases, small choices have a major impact whether the boat is good or less good, or whether the boat ends up close to the original boat or not".

The original boat from the the early 10th century find from Gokstad in Norway is 9.77 meters long. The light and agile boat has five pairs of oars, and has also been equipped with a sail that is reconstructed to about 16 m².

Boat builder Birger Andersen was responsible for the reconstruction work at the Viking Ship Museum's Boat yard. Also boatbuilders Maik Riebort , Martin Rodevad Dael , Asger Rørdam and boat builder 's apprentice are Malthe Solhøj and Niels Jepsen has worked on the boat.

The boat will be equipped with a rigging of handmade ropes and, to complete the reconstruction, a hand-woven wool sail.

The boat will be used in exhibitions at home and abroad to communicate viking ship's history. First exhibition is already April 2014 in Spain, and the boat may also go to China in 2015.

» Read more about Oselververkstaden in Norway here (external link , opens in new window ) ...

Gokstad boat is launched - but not named yet
The name of the boat? We do not know yet and you are welcome to have your say at the Viking Ship Museum's Facebook page.

» Follow this link to the Viking Ship Museum's Facebook page ...https://www.facebook.com/Vikingeskibsmuseet