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Gokstad ship

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Author Topic: Gokstad ship  (Read 575 times)
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« on: May 24, 2010, 01:30:45 pm »

The Gokstad ship is clinker-built, constructed largely of oak. The purpose of the ship was not intended for long voyages but intended for warfare, trade, and transportation of people and cargo. The ship is 23.24 m long and 5.20 m wide. It is the largest in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. The ship is steered by a quarter rudder which is fastened to a large block of wood attached to the outside of the hull and supported by an extra stout rib. The block is known as the wart and is fastened by osiers, knotted on the outside passed through both the rudder and wart to be firmly anchored in the ship. The ship was built to carry 32 oarsmen, and the oar holes could be hatched down when the ship was under sail. It utilized a square sail of c. 110 square meters, which, it is estimated, could propel the ship to over 12 knots. The mast could be raised and lowered. While the ship was traveling in shallow water, the rudder could be raised very quickly by undoing the fastening. Dendrochronological dating suggests that the ship was built of timber that was felled around 890 AD. The Gokstad ship was commissioned during the reign of Harald Fairhair at the end of the 9th century. The ship could carry a crew of 40 men but could carry a maximum of 70.[1]

The ship's design has been demonstrated to be very seaworthy. The Viking, an exact replica of the Gokstad ship, crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Bergen, Norway to be exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago during 1893. Other replicas include the Gaia, which currently has Sandefjord as its home port, and the Munin, (a half scale replica) located in Vancouver, BC.

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