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Reconstructions of Viking Ships

Many of the Vikings Ships which have been found have been reconstructed and tested. The reconstructed Viking ships have helped experts to reveal much about the way the Viking ships were built, rigged and the associated tacking. The Viking Ships have proved to be very well designed, and there is little doubt as to the Vikings great ship building skills.

One of the Skudelev ships which was discovered in Roskilde Fjord, Demark has been carefully copied and extensively tested at sea. The ‘Sebbe Als’ can easily travel twice as fast as the original calculations suggested it would (12 knots at half wind). The ship doesn’t tack very well, but a crew can easily row the ship 6 knots straight towards the wind. 6 knots is much quicker than tacking.

The Gokstad ship was found in 1880 in a burial mound in Norway. A replica was made in 1893 which was then sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Newfoundland. The ship was then sailed down to New York, up the Hudson River, through the Erie Canal and into the Great Lakes. ‘The Viking’ as it was named then sailed to Chicago in time for the 1893 Worlds Fair in which it was to be featured.

In the late 1980s a copy of a ship which was found on the island of Gotland was reconstructed. The replica was sailed and rowed along the Russian rivers, and even pulled at times all the way to Istanbul, Turkey. The journey took about three months.

There are several Viking ship replicas which are kept at the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum in Denmark. Tourists can sometimes enjoy a trip on one of the ships.

LastUpdate: 2015-04-10 11:53:56