Oar locks are used to secure and support the boat’s oars when rowing. The Vikings had both oar ports in planks and oar locks, such as those seen here on the Gislinge boat. The oar is placed against the oar lock when rowing and the band secures the oar when it pulled back for a new stroke or when backing water.
The oar locks in the Gislinge boat are made of crooked oak: a log with a laterally branch. If it had been made from a straight-growing piece of oak, the horn of the oar lock would have broken off with the first oar stroke. Here, as before, it is very important that the fibres in the wood follow the same shape as the finished element.