The Vessel

Skjoldungen was built in 2010-2012 and is the boatbuilders second attempt at an interpretation of the archaeological ship-find, Skuldelev 6 - a fishing boat from western Norway dating from ca. 1030.
Skuldelev 6 was built near Sognefjord, around the same time and place as the cargo ship, Skuldelev 1. It was originally used for inshore fishing in the deep Norwegian fjords, but was later modified for use as a cargo vessel along the coast of Norway.

No stems were found with Skuldelev 6, and the two reconstructions - Kraka Fyr (1998) and Skjoldungen (2012) - offer two different interpretations of how the stems may have appeared.

When constructing Kraka Fyr, the boatbuilders based the design on the stem from Skuldelev 3 - a Danish boat with a high and narrow stepped-stem. In the intervening years, archaeological finds of stems from western Norway have shown that Skuldelev 6 may have had a different appearance. Skjoldungen was therefore built with a round and blunt-ended stem, based on three different Norwegian stem-finds.

Norwegian pine

In the Viking Age pine was the most readily available building material in Norway. Therefore, Skjoldungen, Kraka Fyr and Ottar - the Museum's reconstruction of Skuldelev 1, are built of pine.
The other Skuldelev ships were built with planks of oak. This meant that the boatbuilders had to learn new techniques when it came to reconstructing Skuldelev 1 and 6, as oak is cleaved radially while pine is cleaved tangentially.

The original boat
Built near Sognefjord in western Norway, ca. 1030. Found in Roskilde Fjord 1962

Built at the Viking Ship Museum's boatyard at Roskilde, Denmark 2010-12

Length: 10,8 meter
Beam: 2,4 meter
Draft: 0,5 meter
Materials, hull: Pine, oak, birch and alder
Materials, sail and rig: Wool and rope of hemp, horsehair and bearded seal
Oars: 14
Sail: 25m2
Max speed under sail: Ca. 10 knots
Average speed under sail: Ca. 5 knots
Average speed 14 oars: Ca. 3 knots
Cargo capacity: Ca. 2 tons