Gokstad Boat Launched © The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde

Gokstad Boat

A huge Viking ship from 900 AD was found in a mound in Gokstad, Norway in 1880. With it were also found three small boats. A copy of one of these has recently been launched…

During 2013 the shipbuilders in Roskilde have been busy building a exact replica of one of the small boats found in connection with the Viking Burial in Gokstad from app 900 AD. (In which one of the large Viking ships exhibited in Oslo at Bygdøy was also excavated).

The original boat from the early 10th century was 9.77 meters long. The light and agile boat had five pairs of oars, and was also equipped with a sail. Its size has been reconstructed to about 16 m².

The boat had five lapstrakes –strips of planking – reaching from one end of the vessel to the other and was clinker built as befits the traditional way of boat-building in Scandinavia.

Gokstad Boat copy made at the viking ship museum in Roskilde
The maiden voyage of the Gokstad Boat 2014
© The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde

“The Viking Ship Museum is working to preserve, not only boats, but also the craftsmanship surrounding the clinker-built boats in pre-history and medieval times. The Boatbuilders from Os’ constructive criticism helped to put the re-construction of the Viking Age Gokstad boat into a larger perspective”, tells Søren Nielsen, Head of Maritime Crafts, Reconstruction and Public Activities at the Viking Ship museum.

Boat builder Birger Andersen was responsible for the reconstruction work at the Viking Ship Museum’s Boat yard. Also boatbuilders Maik Riebort , Martin Rodevad Dael , Asger Rørdam and boat builder ‘s apprentice are Malthe Solhøj and Niels Jepsen has worked on the boat.

The boat will be equipped with a rigging of handmade ropes and, to complete the reconstruction, a hand-woven wool sail. This has as part of an experiment been woven by blind students from the The Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted

The boat – now named ‘Eik Sande’ – will be used in exhibitions at home and abroad to communicate viking ship’s history. First exhibition will be in April 2014 in Spain; the boat might also go to China in 2015.

Currently no plans are made to let the boat be part of the fleet of museums-ships, which are used for excursions of the Firth of Roskilde.  Traveling to Roskilde in the summertime, it might be worth while to check out the schedule here


Gokstad Boat is Launched


The Gokstad Ship


The replica of the small boat from Gokstad, which was launched february 2014 © The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde


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