Helge Ask 1990 - 1991
The keel for the museum's reconstruction of Skuldelev 5, Helge Ask, was laid in 1990. But one question kept being asked: Which ship should we build? The original or the repaired?
Unlike the other ships, Skuldelev 5 is build using both new wood and recycled timber. A few years before it ended up in Roskilde Fjord, it was also repaired with both new and recycled wood. This is exemplified in the top strake with oarports. During the repair the top strake was replaced with a new plank with oarports that did not fit the thwarts (rowing benches) and the original placement of the oars. The oarports was closed with small wooden plates and new ones were carved right next to.
Helge Ask was reconstructed as Skuldelev 5 originally appeared. The bottom of the hull and the entire port side - approximately 65 % - is preserved and it was therefore possible to recreate the starboard side.
Helge Ask is lying in the Museum Harbour. The small longship is decorated with yellow and braun-red colours, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry. A snake or worm is painted around the aft and for-ship to copy the carved decoration found on Skuldelev 5. When sailing on longer voyages Helge Ask is carrying a red dragon head and tale.
Before reconstructing Skuldelev 5, the museum dreamed about showing the extremes of Viking maritime culture: peaceful trade (Roar Ege) and bloody battles (Helge Ask). After this building process, the dream of reconstructing all five Skuldelev ships began to grow.