The upper section was rounded to a diameter of about 150 mm (5.9 inches). Unlike other questionable representations of Viking dress, armor and culture – such as horned helmets or only dressing in biker-style studded leather gear – there is actually some historical evidence for portraying the sails of Viking longships … the spar became the luff.  These re-creators have been able to identify many of the advances that the Vikings implemented in order to make the longship a superior vessel. The keel was an inverted T shape to accept the garboard planks. The skills vere passed on as tacit knowledge, mostly orally and by by practising the craft, usually without any detailed drawings or accurate diagrams. Several working replicas of Viking longships … The rounded sections gave maximum displacement for the lowest wetted surface area, similar to a modern narrow rowing skiff, so were very fast but had little carrying capacity. In some ships the gap between the lower uneven futtock and the lapstrake planks was filled with a spacer block about 200 mm (7.9 inches) long. The greater beam provided more moment of leverage by placing the crew or any other mobile weight on the windward side. Longships were a type of specialised Scandinavian warships that have a long history in Scandinavia, with their existence being archaeologically proven and documented from at least the fourth century BC. Each frame tapers from the turn of the bilge to the inwale. This was also the area subject to collisions. Theme. Higher topsides were supported with knees with the long axis fastened to the top of the crossbeams. It had a steering oar to starboard braced by an extra frame. The kerling lay across two strong frames that ran width-wise above the keel in the centre of the boat. To assist in tacking the beitass kept the luff taut. At sea, the sail enabled longships to travel faster than by oar and to cover long distances overseas with far less manual effort. There is no evidence of any triangular sails in use. KS1 KS2 English History. During an excavation of a Viking Age farm in southern Greenland part of a circular disk with carvings was recovered. The longships had two methods of propulsion: oars and sail. Viking longships were used by Scandinavian mariners for everything from commerce to exploration to warfare. 119–179). It had a deeper keel with a 1.5 m (4 feet 11 inches) draught to stiffen the hull, a range of non-authentic triangular sails to help performance, and big fenders on each gunwale filled with reindeer hair to give extra buoyancy in case of swamping. More. Hale, J.R. Both appear to be sundials with gnomon curves etched on a flat surface. Although it is used for spars in modern times there is as yet no evidence the Vikings used spruce for masts. The Viking longships gave the Scandinavian raiders and traders an … One side of the head stuck out so it could dig into mud or sand. The snekkja (or snekke) was typically the smallest longship used in warfare and was classified as a ship with at least 20 rowing benches.  Skuldelev 2 was replicated as Seastallion from Glendalough at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde and launched in 2004. Sometimes there was a false outer keel to take the wear while being dragged up a beach. The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark, has built five reproduction longships based on those they have found in recent years, and they have put them all to the test. Modern facsimiles are reported to steer quite well but require a very large amount of physical effort compared to the modern fore and aft tiller. By looking at the place where the shadow from the rod falls on a carved curve, a navigator is able to sail along a line of latitude. Edged tools were kept sharp with sharpening stones from Norway. 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