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Building boats using medieval techniques. Modern re-creations of medieval boats and ships.
NOTE: See also the files: med-ships-art, nav-inst-msg, Seakeeping-p1-art, ships-bib, ships-msg, tools-msg, travel-foods-msg, travel-msg, nav-inst-msg, Nav-Crosstaff-art.
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NOTICE -
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
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Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: "Ciamar? I'm so confused..."

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Boat Building. Anyone do it?

Date: Mon, 03 Mar 1997 15:12:25 -0600

Organization: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
Morgoth wrote:

> Does anyone do any boat/ship building using medieval techniques,

> styles/etc?

>


> Fr. Morgoth, Cyberabbey of St. Cyril
check out:

http://pages.prodigy.com/valencia/skelmir.html

Hope that helps!

--Ciamar?

From: fvigil at aol.com (Fvigil)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Boat Building. Anyone do it?

Date: 3 Mar 1997 22:27:21 GMT


Master Hal Isenross has. E-mail him at harald at KSU.EDU.
Fernando

*****************************************

Sir Fernando Rodriguez de Falcon,

Baron of Three Rivers - Calontir

*****************************************

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: destry at netcom.com (Fellwalker)

Subject: Re: Boat Building. Anyone do it?

Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 00:24:38 GMT
We just did a coracle building demo at Great Western War in Caid last

month...we'll probably be buildingat least a few more this year (when I

trim my mulberry tree). We're also gearing up for some lapstrake Norse boats.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else building period boats :-)


--Morgan (Max)

Royal Crescent Navy, Caid


Sleepy Cat Graphis http://emporium.turnpike.net/Z/zen/index.html

P.O. Box 608048 - The Church of Zen Fatalism -

San Diego, CA 92160 Artful Things Gallery

From: morric at bitsmart.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Boat Building. Anyone do it?

Date: 3 Mar 1997 17:49:30 -0800
I'm surprised no one else has brought this up yet, but while we're on the subject: Author Hodding Carter and assoc's. have commissioned the construction of a clinker-built Viking ship by master boatbuilder Rob Stevens in Maine. An Atlantic passage is planned this summer. (from CBS News' "Travels with Harry") The ship's working title at the yard? The Kevorkian.

Morric


morric at bitsmart.com

From: Matthew Legge

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Boat Building. Anyone do it?

Date: Tue, 04 Mar 1997 12:27:27 +0800
Also in Fremantle Western Australia they are building a sea worthy

replica of the "Duyfken", a small Dutch vessal of the VOC circa 1606.

From: "Paul A. Byers"

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Boat Building. Anyone do it?

Date: Tue, 04 Mar 1997 12:42:21 -0600

Organization: The University of Arkansas
Master Hal of Calontir got his Larel for boat building and research.
Pavel

Calontir


Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: destry at netcom.com (Fellwalker)

Subject: Re: Starting a Boat/Ship Building Guild (Innerkingdom)?

Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 21:54:30 GMT


Morgoth (morgoth at nome.net) wrote:

: Anyone in top starting one, or is there already one?

: I can imagine at Pennsic and other a events, the

: Guildmaster/Mistresses of Each Kingdoms Guilds getting together

: to discuss what major project to work on next. Or just talk B.S.
The West Kingdom and Caid have "Royal Navies" (which are their nautical

guilds), and do include those interested in boatbuilding. Someone in

Artemisia was looking at our charters recently with hopes of starting one

there, also. I know AnTir used to have one, as one gentle built a number

of Viking boats, but I believe he's no longer in the SCA. Outlands doesn't

have one YET, but I've been throwing friendly hints in their direction

:-).

Caid has been building coracles, and we'll be working on a small Viking



boat (working up to a small Viking _ship_) this year (scheduling always

hinges on funds, y'know). West has expressed interest in participating if

we get the boat building going in conjunction with the Maritime Museum.

Caid and West met this year at GWW in Caid, and next year we hope to

have a few more boats on the lake :-) (and maybe a few more Navies to

join us? :-)


--Morgan (Max...sorry, not very eloquent this morning *yawn)
Sleepy Cat Graphis http://emporium.turnpike.net/Z/zen/index.html

P.O. Box 608048 - The Church of Zen Fatalism -

San Diego, CA 92160 Artful Things Gallery

From: tipan at pluto.njcc.com (TAI-PAN)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Starting a Boat/Ship Building Guild (Innerkingdom)?

Date: 5 Mar 1997 20:08:11 GMT
In article
, Morgoth says:

>

>Anyone in top starting one, or is there already one?



>I can imagine at Pennsic and other a events, the

>Guildmaster/Mistresses of Each Kingdoms Guilds getting together

>to discuss what major project to work on next. Or just talk B.S.

>

>Frater Morgoth


I know of the the

Guild for the Nefarious Mariners,

PO BOX 109

Nyack-on-Hudson, NY 10960


David J. Most (tipan at pluto.njcc.com)

aka Charles deHavlock

TAI-PAN of the Noble House, a MARKLAND chapter.

Jersery Jousters a chapter of Maryland Jousting Tournament Assoc.

PO BOX 5002

Trenton NJ 08638

From: Michael Newton

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Starting a Boat/Ship Building Guild (Innerkingdom)?

Date: 6 Mar 1997 01:58:18 GMT


> The West Kingdom and Caid have "Royal Navies" (which are their nautical

>guilds), and do include those interested in boatbuilding. Someone in

>Artemisia was looking at our charters recently with hopes of starting one

>there, also. I know AnTir used to have one, as one gentle built a number

>of Viking boats, but I believe he's no longer in the SCA. Outlands doesn't

>have one YET, but I've been throwing friendly hints in their direction

>:-).

> Caid has been building coracles, and we'll be working on a small Viking

>boat (working up to a small Viking _ship_) this year (scheduling always

>hinges on funds, y'know). West has expressed interest in participating if

>we get the boat building going in conjunction with the Maritime Museum.

> Caid and West met this year at GWW in Caid, and next year we hope to

>have a few more boats on the lake :-) (and maybe a few more Navies to

>join us? :-)

>

>--Morgan (Max...sorry, not very eloquent this morning *yawn)



>

>-- ...with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes...

>

>Sleepy Cat Graphis http://emporium.turnpike.net/Z/zen/index.html



>P.O. Box 608048 - The Church of Zen Fatalism -

>San Diego, CA 92160 Artful Things Gallery


You can add Calontir to the list. {ok, so we're riverbased, and nearly

landlocked, what's your point?} Master Hal, who has his Laurel in

boatbuilding, has been declared to be Calontir's Admiral, and is in

charge of our Navy, which at the moment consists of his two boats.


Lady Beatrix of Thanet

Date: 7 Mar 1997 22:02:00 GMT

From: ReginaLV

Newsgroups: soc.history.living

Subject: Re: Medieval Re: Boat Building. Anyone do it?
Clan MacColin of Glenderry, a Hiberno-Irish reenactment group in So.

California, has built several varieties of Irish-style frame-and-hide

boats over the last several years. Coracles and novaghs (sp?) are their

specialty. I could put you in touch if you like. E-mail me at ReginaLV at AOL.com.


Reg

From: J.N.Deakin at shu.ac.uk (Jim Deakin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Coracles

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 17:06:01 GMT

Organization: Sheffield Hallam University


Ages ago there were several people enquiring about coracles on this

list. This note was posted recently on the canals mailing list, and I

thought people might be interested.

-------------------------------------------

Return-path:

From: Sandy Boyd


I thought that it might be of interest to post the following list of

events for this year, all of which involve coracles or craft of a

similar type.
If any are of interest please go along and have a look and a chat.

Coraclers are always happy to talk to new faces and 'possible

converts' so don't be surprised if someone suggests one as a tender

for your boat.


Just in case you don't know, coracles are small roundish shaped boats, made of

laths with and waterproof skin and are usually propelled using a single paddle at the 'front'.


If you want any more information on these events please email me and I

will see what I can find out. If you want to know more about coracles

in general please email me and depending on where you live in the UK

it may even be possible to put you in touch with someone in your area

who can give you a demo.
The regattas are particularly good fun and at both Leintwardine and

Iron Bridge there will be plenty of spare coracles for you to try. If

you feel up to it you can borrow one and enter the races.

March/April Building of 21ft curragh in Co Mayo Ireland

27th April Coracle Demonstration Baggeridge Country Park

3rd May Coracle handling demonstration, National Museum of Wales

May Fair (3 days) 5th May Coracle exhibit Wooden boat show

Greenwich 30th May Coracle building course Iron Bridge, Telford

(3days) May/June Voyage of the curragh (above) from RedBay Co

Antrim to Iona. 14th June Demonstration / exhibition at the Classic

Boat Show, Beaulieu (2 days) 14th June Coracle Society AGM,

Leintwardine 14th June Coracle Regatta at Leintwardine 21st June

Demonstration / exhibition in Gloucester Docks / Waterways Museum

(provisional date) 18th July Demonstration / exhibition at Art in

Action, Waterperry House, Oxford 7th August Demonstration /

exhibition atTrabat Festival, Risor, Norway (4days) August(mid) Moose

Hide coracle on Yukon river. Klondike, Dawson City. 17th August

Demonstration / exhibition at Exeter Medieval Fayre 23rd August

Coracle Regatta, Cilgerran, Wales 25th August Coracle Regatta, Iron

Bridge, Telford 30th August Demonstration / exhibition at Dartmouth

Royal Regatta 6th Sept Demonstration / exhibition at Hull Sea

Shanty Festival (2days) 6th Sept Spey curragh at City Livery Yacht

Club Thames sail past 13th Sept Demonstration / exhibition at Severy

Valley Wildlife Park. 20th Sept Demonstration / exhibition at

Newbury Agricultural Show 1st Nov Coracle Society committee

meeting, National Museum of Wales.


Check with the organisers first but most of the Heritage Craft Fairs

will have Coracle Maker Terry Kenny demonstrating his craft.


This list is by no means complete and if anyone knows of other events

I would welcome the information so that it can be included in the

Coracle Society's list.
Sandy

--


Sandy Boyd, Distribution Manager

Acorn Computers Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1223 725032

Unit 12, Coral Park, Henley Road Fax: +44 (0) 1223 725904

Cambridge, CB1 3EA, United Kingdom WWW: http://www.acorn.co.uk/

From: "Keith Duke"

To:

Subject: ANST - Fw: info

Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 10:30:39 -0000


Hadn't seen this on the list, got it from a friend & thought I would

forward it...


>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 20:28:21 -0500

>From: "Martha K. John"

>Subject: Viking voyage

>

>Hi, folks -



>

>Since I'm not currently on this list, you may have already talked this

>information to death, but just in case you *don't* know about it, here

>'tis:


>

>The August issue of the Land's End catalog includes a four page article

>about the building of the Viking knarr "Snorri" for the "Viking 1000"

>voyage, supposedly recreating the voyage of Leif Eriksson. The article

>includes a reference to the web site, which I have just visited and found

>fascinating. Not only have they finished the ship, but they set sail on

>July 16 with a crew of 12 from Narsarauq, Greenland to sail a circuitous

>route that will eventually bring them to Newfoundland, where Eriksson was

>supposed to have landed. The site includes information about the building

>of the ship (in a very period manner, as much as practical, and with notes

>about what things deviate from the regular period practice and why), about

>each of the crew members, about the voyage, about Vikings in general, and

>lots of other good stuff. It even has a tracking map so you can see where

>they are today. (Still hugging the west coast of Greenland at the moment,

>but about to strike off across the Davis Strait, I think.) Anyway, if

>you're interested, the site is:

>

> http://www.Viking1000.org



>

>Have fun at Pennsic, y'all!

>

> Alix


> Martha K. John

> mjohn01 at mail.coin.missouri.edu


Piotr
Keith Duke - duke at gte.net

Piotr Balomirin syn Barsukov, Seneschal

Barony of Northkeep (In glorious, green Tulsa OK!)

Subject: Medieval Boatbuilding

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 98 10:07:58 MST

From: Michael Darch

To: "Mark.S Harris" Unto All and Singular, doth the Guild of Nefarious Mariners Send Greeting,
Some time ago, on the Twenty fifth day of November in fact, I happened upon

a message thread regarding Medieval Boatbuilding in the Society of Creative

Anachronism.
If you will forgive the presumtive nature of this corespondance, I would

like to make you aware of a site on the internet that is home to "The

Guild of Nefarious Mariners"
http://members.aol.com/nefmariner/index.htm
We are anxious to meet anyone who shares our interests in Ships and

Seafaring during the Middle Ages.


Bidding All, Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Darrike Shyppewright

Guildmaster

Guild of Nefarious Mariners

From: "sunshinegirl"

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Has Anyone Out There Ever Built A Coracle??? Help!

Date: 8 Apr 98 06:09:38 GMT

Organization: Southwestern Bell Internet Services, Richardson, TX


ysamingo at aol.com (YsaMingo) wrote:

> I've appently lost what little wits I had left and am

> interested in (eventually) building a fairly small coracle-- you know, one of

> the basket-boats that those pesky Celts used so commonly. ).

> I hope to use tarred canvas or something of the like rather than leather, as

> hides are so expensive. If anyone out there in the Knowne World can help, I'd

> much appreciate it.
I've mentioned St. Brendon's boat a couple of times. I finally found my

book I was referencing. It is _The Brendan Voyage_ by Tim Severin. My

copy is 1978, Avon Books. ISBN: 0-380-43711-2

The author and crew spent 50 days sailing from Ireland to NewFoundland in a

Leather boat, built as closely as possible to the descriptions in the

writings about St. Brendon. In addition to the account of their journey,

the book contains a synopsis of the Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis,

translated into English, as well as pictures of their boat, a schematic

diagram, and information on the materials that they used.

Melandra of the Woods

Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 22:55:22 -0500

From: Berwyn

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Stave Church


This may be of interest to Norse types. There is a full-size replica of

a Norwegian stave church being built at the Hjemkomst Heritage Center in

Moorhead, MN (Just across the river from Fargo, ND). We stopped for a

look on the way back from an event yesterday, and the sight of it

brought tears to my eyes. I'm not sure of the completion date, but it

looks like it is getting close.

The Center was built to house the Hjemkomst, a replica Viking longship

which was built in Minnesota by a man with a dream. He died before its

completion, but his son finished the project and the ship sailed from

Duluth, MN to Bergen, Norway.


If for some strange reason you happen to be travelling the northern tier

of states (Interstate 94), a stop will be worth your time.

More info on the boat and museum is at

http://www.atpfargo.com/hjem/hjemkomst/index.html


Berwyn

From: excmairi at aol.com (EXCMairi)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Stave Church

Date: 19 May 1998 12:10:18 GMT
There's also a viking ship being built behind walls next to the Norway

Pavillion in Epcot Center, DisneyWorld!


Mairi (Duke Gavin peeked behind the wall during a recent visit...)

From: J.N.Deakin at shu.ac.uk (Jim Deakin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Coracle info...

Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 13:03:56 GMT

Organization: Sheffield Hallam University


A couple of times in recent years, there've been requests for general

coracle info, and plans. Anyone interested in these boats could do

worse than have a look at

http://www.aardvark.force9.co.uk/bc001.htm

to see the process of building a modern one by someone who's new to

the task. Then go to his addendum page:

http://www.aardvark.force9.co.uk/bcadd.htm

for more useful addresses and links.


Niall of Stone Ford (Jim Deakin)

From: alban at aol.com (Alban)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Viking Ship article

Date: 21 Jun 1999 06:20:08 GMT
In the June 1999 (issue 148) edition of "Wooden Boat"

magazine, the cover article is "In the Wake of Leif

Eriksson: A Viking Ship Replica".

Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 19:08:41 -0400

From: "Daniel Phelps"

Subject: Re: SC - sailing times


If you are really interested check out "WoodenBoat" June 1999 # 148. There

is a really great article on a boat some fellows built, a knarr to be

precise, then shipped to Greenland from the Maine in the US and sailed it

back. Lots of great details.


Daniel Raoul

mka D.C. Phelps, who braved the Arctic Ocean only once, 5.5 weeks in the

middle of summer, I could still see my breath, it snowed flurries in July

for crying out loud. Now I live in Trimaris thank you very much.

From: kevin_oneill at my-deja.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: San Antonio Viking boat

Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2000 06:20:25 GMT


gunnora at my-deja.com wrote:

> Kevin O'Neill kevin_oneill at my-deja.com wrote:

> > Phil Bolger, the naval architect, has a lovely viking boat in his

> > book, "Boats with an Open Mind" that he says was commissioned by the

> > San Antonio SCA group. Was the boat ever built, either in SA or

> > elsewhere?

>

> Not built yet, they're still raising money. But in my opinion the



> plans suck. It calls for marine plywood for the strakes and a hollow

> keel faked up with planks. What makes a clinker-built ship that's this

> long work is its flexibility, to flex with the waves and not break its

> spine, and the heavy keel keeps it upright despite the shallow draft.

>

> Marine plywood is inpregnated, and doesn't have a whole heck of a lot



> of flex. And unless the keel is ballasted internally with something

> heavy, the boat will have stability problems -- plus a solid keel is

> going to be sturdier.

>

> It will *look* OK, and probably do OK on Texas lakes. But I don't



> think it will survive the ocean very well at all. It's too bad that

> the architect was going for looks only, rather than trying to

> understand how the actual ships work.

>

> If you're interested in finding out more, you can contact Thorgard ins



> Svarti in Bjornsborg, who commissioned the plans, or other members of

> the Ansteorran Longship Company.

>

> ::GUNNORA::


Thanks for the reply. Do you happen to have an email address for the

Longship Company?


Re: your comments on the design, perhaps I can stick up for Phil a bit.

First, plywood is more flexible than solid wood, not less. In general,

glued ply lapstrake is a very well thought of technique for a drysailed

or sometimes trailered boat. It will be stiffer than the original, but

it will be a one piece boat; I doubt it will break up before it swamps,

honestly. I don't know what uses they specified to him, but if it's

going to dry out and go back in at all regularly, the original

techniques would produce a short lived boat. Especially in fresh water,

an epoxy built boat is much less work to maintain, and could last

forever. It is less authentic, of course. I don't really think that

you could build an authentic boat of this type today, at least not

without a fortune to spend. That sort of length in old growth wood is

not on the shelf at the Home Depot.
In commenting on the keel, are you saying that the original was

externally ballasted? I was sure they were internal, beach stone

ballasted. Do you have a source on an externally ballasted boat of this

type? At any rate, the sail area is so moderate and the ce is so low

for a boat with an 8' beam, I doubt they'll have any trouble with

stability. In fact, I bet they'll want a topsail.


Not trying to be contentious, I just know, from experience, that

Bolger's designs work. They go where you point them, they go faster

than you think they will, and you spend a year or so after the boat is

built discovering all the clever stuff he did in designing it. And, in

my experience, when he tries to make them pretty, they take your breath

away. If they get the lines right on this it will be beautiful.


Thanks for the pointer,
Kevin

From: gunnora at my-deja.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: San Antonio Viking boat

Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2000 14:46:58 GMT
Kevin O'Neill kevin_oneill at my-deja.com wrote:

> Thanks for the reply. Do you happen to have an email address for the

> Longship Company?

>

> Re: your comments on the design, perhaps I can stick up for Phil a



> bit. First, plywood is more flexible than solid wood, not less. In

> general, glued ply lapstrake is a very well thought of technique for

> a drysailed or sometimes trailered boat. It will be stiffer than the

> original, but it will be a one piece boat...


And that stiffness is a considerable problem. Actual clinker-built

longboats have tarred caulking in between the boards, and the whole

boat has a considerable amount of flex, which is one of the strengths

of this type of ship. I'm going to list some references below, some of

which discuss reproductions of this type and what works and what

doesn't.
> I doubt it will break up before it swamps, honestly.


The design has such a long, narrow shape that it needs the flex, I

understand. You can certainly get significant damage to the boat even

if it doesn't break up completely. All my reading, and investigation

of the several Viking ship reproductions out there (many of which are

sailing around America this year in celebration of the Vinland

millenium) says that the flexible design persisted for many centuries --

because it works.
> I don't know what uses they specified to him, but if it's

> going to dry out and go back in at all regularly, the original

> techniques would produce a short lived boat. Especially in fresh

> water, an epoxy built boat is much less work to maintain, and could

> last forever.
I dunno. Master Ragnar Ulfgarsson, Lord Zared, Baron Raimond and Lord

Erlin du Colvin got tired of waiting for the Ansteorran Longship

Company (ALC) to finish building a boatshed before starting their boat

and built their own ship, the historical way. It was eventually

donated to the ALC and as long as you perform the regular maintenance

that I'd expect to do on any sailboat it has been fine.


> It is less authentic, of course. I don't really think that

> you could build an authentic boat of this type today, at least not

> without a fortune to spend. That sort of length in old growth wood is

> not on the shelf at the Home Depot.


The keel is the hardest part, and even there you can join shorter beams

to result in a single keel -- which they did in period. And the

strakes along the side were not always running the full length --

they're connected with butt joint and rivets at the intersection in the

original ships. There shouldn't be a problem getting the wood needed.
The worst problem modern longship builders will tend to have is in

recreating the actual cross section of the Viking Age planks. They

were splitting logs radially using beetle-and-wedge to produce planks

that tended to be narrower on one long edge than on the other, which is

helpful in the process of overlapping the strakes. You can, of course,

plane an edge of a milled board, but it's a pain in the backside and of

course labor-intensive.
> In commenting on the keel, are you saying that the original was

> externally ballasted? I was sure they were internal, beach stone

> ballasted.
Nope. The long, heavy solid keel provided a lot of the weight and

stability of the boat. It also was necessary in backing up the keelson

or kerling ("crone"), a massive block of oak that supported the base of

the mast spanning four ribs, and the "mast partner" or "mast fish", the

large oval rise in the middle of the boat into which the mast would be

stepped. Overall the whole ship was constructed heavier on the bottom,

with the plank rows beneath the waterline being 1" to 1.75", while

above the water line they might be no more than 0.5". I'm certain

additional interior ballasting was used, but the heaviness of the

bottom of the boat was an important design feature.


Of course, rather than my explaining, let me quote from the good,

relatively compact explanation in Wernick's "The Vikings", pp. 79-81

(see cite below):
"Most modern ships are built from the inside out, with a more or less

rigid skeleton of ribs to which an outer skin of planks or plates is

attached. This offers strength at the expense of weight. The Vikings,

however, built their ships from the outside in, first forming a thin

shell of oak planks and then adding ribs for strength. This gave them

a light yet supple and seaworthy craft that seemed to skim the very

tops of the waves instead of plowing heavily through them.
The secret of Viking success was superb craftsmanship. Their

shipwrights paid great attention to the way each plank was cut, and to

what thickness. Though saws were known in those times, the Vikings

preferred axes, and their skill with a blad approached genius. To

preserve the maximum strength of the wood, every tree was split

lengthwise into a number of segments, each one running from bark to

core; the shipwrights then adzed these triangular segments into uniform

planks of the proper length and thickness.


On an average vessel there would be 16 such planks on each side of the

hull. They would range in thickness from one inch below the waterline

to 1-3/4 inches at the water line, and slimming to 1/2 inch at the

gunwale. Even the thickest of the planks was thin enough to be bent by

hand into the necessary compound curves and affixed to the huge

stempost and sternpost; no steam bending was necessary. Working up

from the keel, the Vikings joined each plank to the one below in an

overlapping fashion known today as clinker, or lapstrake construction.

The planks were caulked with twisted and tarred animal hair, then

fastened with roundheaded iron rivets spaced 7-1/4 inches apart that

were driven from the outside and clenched through small iron plates on

the inside. The result was a seal that would remain watertight even as

the hull flexed in heavy seas.
Once the 32 planks of the hull were in place, 19 ribs formed from

naturally U-shaped boughs of oak were placed in the hull. They were

ingeniously lashed with flexible spruce-root bindings to knobs that had

been left on the inside of each plank when it was first hewn.

Crossbeams, anchored to the sides with wooden knees, spanned the hull

above each rib to complete the ship's lateral reinforcement and provide

a footing for the deck planks. In the center of the hull was the

keelson, a massive block of oak into which the base of the mast was

set. Spanning four ribs, it was reinforced by another huge block --

called the mast partner, or fish because of its piscean configuration.

Three tall crutches stood along the deck from bow to stern and held the

yard, sails, or spars when the vessel was under oar power. On the side

of the ship were three cleats probably used for fastening the sheet.
At the stern was the rudder, or steering oar, 10 feet high and 16

inches wide. Cut from a solid oak board, it turned on an oak block --

the wart -- to which it was attached by a spuce root. Whith typical

forethought, the Vikings attached a line to a cramp near the end of the

rudder blade, and thus could instantly hoist the rudder in shallow or

rocky waters.


All that remained were to lay floor boards in the hull and to fashion

oar holes (which would be plugged when the ship was under sail). The

oars were of pine, and were made in graduated lengths from 17 to 19

feet, so that rowers in the relatively high bow would hit the water at

the same time as the men seated lower amidships. At the stern a

slightly raised poop was fashioned for the helmsman.


At about 75 feet in length, 15 feet in the beam and six feet from keel

to gunwale, this long, low vessel weighed only 20 or so tons when fully

loaded with men and equipment and drew less than three feet of water."
While Wernick carefully stresses the same points I'm concerned with

(heavy keel, flexible constructions) for an in-depth discussion of the

mechanics of this type of ship you'd want to turn to the "bible" in

this field, Br¿gger and Shetelig's "The Viking Ships" (see cite below):


KEEL CONSTRUCTION
p. 113

"...a shipbuilder in the Viking Era knew how to shape the keel so that

it would serve its double purpose perfectly. It reinforces the entire

hull lengthwise from stem to stern, and at the same time it gives the

ship strength to resist the pressure from below in heavy seas."
p. 114

"At the ends of the keel the projecting ridge gives place to a rabbet

to which the end of each strake is fastened. The keel, transitional

pieces, stem and stern are connected by butt joints. That is to say

that the two pieces to be joined are cut at an angle where they

overlap, and then they are riveted with sturdy nails, two rows to each

joint and four treenails in the upper butt."
PLANKING CONSTRUCTION
p. 115-116

"Joined to the keel, prow, and stern is the ÇplankingÈ, the ÇskinÈ,

which forms the bottom and sides of the ship. The planking of the

Gokstad ship consists of 16 strakes, each overlapping the one below,

and fastened to it with round-headed rivets driven through both planks

from the outside. On the inside the nails are riveted over a little,

square iron plate called Çr—È (clinch-plate). Only on a small part of

the ship, close to the stem and stern, are the clinch plates on the

outside, as there was no room for using the hammer on the inside. With

this exception, riveting on the outside was considered slovenly and

unsightly. The nails used in the Gokstad ship are about 2/5" (1 cm.)

in diameter, and have intervals of about 7-1/4" (18.5 cm.). All joints

in the planking are made as butt joints with three nails across, of

which the two on each side are driven through the adjoining strake. An

old rule in those days was that two butt-end joints should not be

placed directly one above the other. Should this happen it was

considered a defect, the ship was ÇpiecedÈ.... Another fine point was

that the outer end of the butt joint always pointed aft, so as to shed

water and ice when the ship was in motion."
CAULKING AND SEALING
p. 116

"While the planking was being built up, all grooves and joints were

caulked with animal hair. Loose, wooly threads, approximately as thick

as wool yarn, were spun loosely together into a thick cord, presumably

with a thin, hook-shaped twig like those still used with the

boatbuilders in North Norway. The caulk was dipped in tar and placed

in a groove near the lower edge of every strake, so that it was placed

tightly together when the planking was riveted. Every seam and joint

was carefully caulked, as were the joints between the planking, keel,

stem and stern. The caulking was mainly done while the ship was under

construction, but in a few places it was done later, probably after the

ship had been put into use. The tarring of the completed ship also

contributed to the tightness of the vessel."
FLEXIBILITY
p. 118-119

"One cannot help asking why this cumbersome method of building ships

was still in use in the Viking Era. There was no need to be frugal

with iron for nails and bolts; iron was used widely for all kinds of

purposes at the time. There can be no doubt that Norwegian

shipbuilders could have made a more secure junction of ribs and

planking in the ships, as we know it was done in the smaller boats.

This peculiar construction of the ships must have had advantages which

caused its continued use, and was probably closely connected with an

essential feature of the Viking ships, viz., the thin planking, keeping

them light and supple in spite of their size. Light, supple ships were

easy to row and sail, and also to lay up when they were not in use, as

was the custom. If the planking were to be riveted to the ribs, a much

heavier structure would be needed to withstand the pressure of the

rough sea, otherwise the nails would give way.
The Vikings therefore kept up the old-fashioned method of construction

which had originally been a necessity, in order to retain all the

advantages of a light and supple ship. Ribs and planking connected in

the man ner described can give without breaking, and it also increases

the elasticity of the ship to the advantage of its sailing

performance. In the days of the sailing ships it was well known among

the more experienced sailors that an old ship which had loosened a bit

in the joints sailed better than new ships, and the same observation

was made with the copy of the Gokstad ship which sailed the Atlantic..."
RESOURCES

=========

Br¿gger, A.W., and Shetelig, Haakon. The Viking Ships: Their Ancestry

and Evolution, trans. Katherine John. 1951; Reprint New York: Twayne

Publishers, Inc., 1971. Out-of-print, to have Amazon.com do a book

search for it (this is where I got my copy) go to:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0900966602/thevikinganswerl
Christensen, Arne. "Boats and Boatbuilding in Western Norway and the

Islands." in: The Northern and Western Isles in the Viking World:

Survival, Continuity and Change. eds. Alexander Fenton and Hermann

Palsson. Edinburgh: John Donald. 1984. pp. 85-95. Out-of-print, to

have Amazon.com do a book search for it go to:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0859761010/thevikinganswerl


Database of Replicas of Nordic Ships. (Includes links to ship projects

that have their own websites, and contact information for several of

the replica-building groups).

http://www.abc.se/~m10354/bld/replicas.htm Accessed 22 September 2000.


Johnson, Larry. Viking Ship Plans. http://sjolander.com/viking/plans/

03 September 1999. Accessed 22 September 2000.


The Longship Company. (Located in Maryland, owns and operates two

vessels, the Gyrfalcon and the Fyrdraka). longship-company at egroups.com


The Mariner's Museum. Boatbuilding at the Mariner's Museum: a series of

boatbuilding classes led by the master craftsmen of the WoodenBoat

School of Brooklin, Maine. http://www.mariner.org/boatbuild.html

Newport News, VA: The Mariner's Museum. 1996-2000. Accessed 22

September 2000.
Minersville Area High School Viking Boat Project.

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/mhsviking/ Accessed 22 September 2000.


Petersen, Ole Crumlin, ed. Sailing into the Past: Proceedings of the

International Seminar on Replicas of Ancient and Medieval Vessels,

Roskilde 1984. Roskilde: Viking Ship Museum. 1986. (I found this one

in the University of Texas at Austin Perry Casteneda Library -- you can

probably get it through Interlibrary Loan. *Very* useful.).
Siddorn, Kim and Roland Williamson. Viking Ship Construction. Regia

Angelorum Webpage. http://www.regia.org/Ships%201.htm March 1999.

Accessed 22 September 2000.
Warner, G. The rby Viking Canoe. (Plans available).

http://www.lp.se/gerrie-warner/canoe.htm Accessed 22 September 2000.


Warner, G. A little about building viking boats.

http://www.lp.se/gerrie-warner/vikingb.htm Accessed 22 September

2000.
Wernick, Robert. The Vikings. Time Life Seafarers Series 7.

Alexandria, Virgina: Time-Life Books. 1979. Out-of-print, to have

Amazon.com do a book search for it go to:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0809427087/thevikinganswerl

(Includes nice diagrams of the boat construction with labels for the

names of the various parts, which is nice to use as a companion when

reading Br¿gger and Shetelig).
Contacts for the Ansteorran Longship Company

============================================

Master Ivar Runamagi, OP (ivar_runamagi at hotmail.com)

Master Rognvaldr Tilbuin, OP (rholtz at texas.net)

Lord Rolf the Dane (jeffreysbrehm at yahoo.com)
Lord Thorgard In Svarti is the moving force behind the ALC, but as far

as I am aware he is not electronically connected. Ivar, Rognvaldr or

Rolf will be able to put you in contact with him, however.
::GUNNORA::

From: "p.lazet"

To:

Cc: "p.lazet"

Subject: Information about the Mayflower III

Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 22:25:40 +0200


I write over all the replica's and reconstructions in the world. Till now 255 ships.

I know a little about the Mayflower III. I know she is build on the river Thems. Where is the ship build (on the kay or by a Yard. When is the keel layed. When is the ship launched. Who was her buildingmaster? Perhaps you know what was or is the reason that she buid? Is London her home harbour? What is her employment when the ship is back from her millennium voyage to Amerika?

Who is her owner?

Are the measurs the same as the Mayflower II.

Length over all 32,40 meter ~ 106,23 feet.

Length on the waterline 24,25 meter ~ 79,51 feet.

Breath 7,85 meter ~ 25,74 feet.

Depth moulded 5,57 meter ~ 18,26 feet.

Draught 3,87 meter ~ 12,69 feet.

Sailarea 470,00 m2 ~ 5.222 sq. feet.


Thanks for the information. Peter Lazet Jacq. Oppenheimstr.

Amsterdam The Netherlands.

From: "Soren Larsen"

Newsgroups: soc.history.medieval

Subject: Re: Small Things

Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 15:06:21 +0200


kenney at cix.compulink.co.uk wrote:

> jacklinthicum at earthlink.net () wrote:

>> Trenails seem to have been used on ships and buildings near

>> the sea.

>

> In part that is because iron corrodes faster than properly



> seasoned and preserved wood especially in a salt environment. The

> corrosion can result in an iron nail expanding and forcing wood

> apart.
OTOH are treenails more at risk from shipworms which is

one reason baltic ships of the nordic tradition would have

treenails while the atlantic norse ships would use iron rivets.
Ship worm is rather rare in the Baltic due to the low

salinity.


Soren Larsen

From: Chris Zakes

Date: July 1, 2007 10:39:29 AM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc."

Subject: [Ansteorra] Viking longship story
Interesting article on experimental archeology: a group of folks are

gong to sail a reconstructed viking longship from Denmark to Dublin.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6248978.stm
-Tivar Moondragon



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