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Re: Viking Longships




Dear Friends,

As far aa I am aware, no authority claims that Viking ships were constructed
from 'green' wood. That was one of the many reasons for casting grave doubts
on Pohl's bizarre allegation that Henry st Clair sailed back to Orkney in a
ship constructed in Canada.

Our knowledge of Viking long-ships, which is now considerable, derives in
lareg part from the various archaeological finds of these ships in Norway
and Denemark.

The most superb example among these finds is that at Gokstad. This ship was
built to be both sailed and rowed. The construction is clinker built of  16
rows of planks caulked with threads of tarred wool. The planking is lashed
to the ribs with withies held in cleats, not nailed. Furthermore, the ribs
are not fastened to the keel, a method of building which gives the hull
considerably more flexibility than modern shipbuilding. There are sixteen
oar-holes in the 14th row of planking on each side of the vessel, each
furnished with wooden shutters which could be closed when the vessel was
under sail. Therefore there is a two plank gunnel above the oar-holes giving
the boat greater freeboard under sail. The keel is 20.10 metres in length
and is cut from a single piece of wood in such a manner as to derive the
greatest possible strength with the least possible weight. The height from
the keel to the top of the gunnel, amidships, is 2.02 metres. The overall
dimensions of the ship are 23.30 metres from stem to stern,  the maximum
beam is 5.20 metres and the weight of the hull, fully equipped, is estimated
at 20.2 metric tonnes.

Thor Heyerdahl and Tim Severin were not the first modern adventurers to
demonstrate the feasibility of Atlantic crossings in ships of ancient design
for, in 1893, a replica of the Gokstad ship under the command of Captain
Magnus Andersen, crossed the Atlantic in time for the Chicago world fair.
The captain remarked that the ships performance was remarkable and that her
rudder was a work of genius. On the 15th May 1893, she out-sailed the
steamships of that time by covering 223 nautical miles in twenty-four hours,
an hourly average of 9.3 knots. The same year a replica of Columbusí flag
ship the Santa Maria also crossed the Atlantic but only averaged 6.5 knots.
Thus it can be clearly seen that in design quality, build and performance
the 10th century Viking ships were far superior to the 15th century vessels
used by Columbus. Of all the Viking ships that have been excavated so far,
the Gokstad ship is the closest in design to the Viking longships that
sailed to Iceland, Greenland and on to Vinland, as recounted in the Viking
Sagas.

Best wishes

Tim

The most superb example among these finds is that at Gokstad. This ship was
built to be both sailed and rowed. The construction is clinker built of  16
rows of planks caulked with threads of tarred wool.13 The planking is lashed
to the ribs with withies held in cleats, not nailed. Furthermore, the ribs
are not fastened to the keel, a method of building which gives the hull
considerably more flexibility than modern shipbuilding. There are sixteen
oar-holes in the 14th row of planking on each side of the vessel, each
furnished with wooden shutters which could be closed when the vessel was
under sail. Therefore there is a two plank gunnel above the oar-holes giving
the boat greater freeboard under sail. The keel is 20.10 metres in length
and is cut from a single piece of wood in such a manner as to derive the
greatest possible strength with the least possible weight.14 The height from
the keel to the top of the gunnel, amidships, is 2.02 metres. The overall
dimensions of the ship are 23.30 metres from stem to stern,  the maximum
beam is 5.20 metres and the weight of the hull, fully equipped, is estimated
at 20.2 metric tonnes.


Thor Heyerdahl and Tim Severin were not the first modern adventurers to
demonstrate the feasibility of Atlantic crossings in ships of ancient design
for, in 1893, a replica of the Gokstad ship under the command of Captain
Magnus Andersen, crossed the Atlantic in time for the Chicago world fair.16
The captain remarked that the ships performance was remarkable and that her
rudder was a work of genius. On the 15th May 1893, she out-sailed the
steamships of that time by covering 223 nautical miles in twenty-four hours,
an hourly average of 9.3 knots. The same year a replica of Columbusí flag
ship the Santa Maria also crossed the Atlantic but only averaged 6.5
knots.17 Thus it can be clearly seen that in design quality, build and
performance the 10th century Viking ships were far superior to the 15th
century vessels used by Columbus. Of all the Viking ships that have been
excavated so far, the Gokstad ship is the closest in design to the Viking
longships that sailed to Iceland, Greenland and on to Vinland, as recounted
in the Viking Sagas.



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