Nordic Clinker Boat Traditions

Since its inception, it has been a goal of the Museum to build up a collection of clinker-built, Nordic boat-types, in order to illustrate how Viking Age boatbuilding traditions continue in the construction of small boats today. However, the boat collection is not just for display. It is the foundation of a living, cultural heritage connected to the clinker-built boats. The maintenance, development and regular replacement of boats contributes to preserving maritime craftwork. The boats are used by the Museum’s sailing service, boat guilds, guests and course participants. These groups safeguard the transference of the vital knowledge concerning the handling of the boats at sea. 
It is a ’living’ collection, where some boats are used, worn and replaced, while others are preserved but not used. 

The Nordic clinker-built boat is an important part of our collective cultural heritage here in Scandinavia. The boats have provided the foundation for Denmark as a seafaring nation through 1,000 years. Together with their associated maritime craftwork, they are a vital component in our understanding of both our cultural history and society.

The purpose of the boats has changed but people of all ages still seek the water and feel the urge to set sail and take to the sea. This gives the clinker-built boats a contemporary – and future – relevance. Therefore, a number of Nordic cultural institutions, associations and private individuals have joined forces in an application to have ‘Nordic Clinker Boat Traditions’ inscribed on UNESCO’s representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.