Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dragon Harald Fairhair

The largest Viking ship built in modern times.

Named after Harald Fairhair, the king who unified Norway into one kingdom, the great dragon ship is coming together in the town of Haugesund in Western Norway.

Though recreating this ship mixes modern with traditional methods, the timeless beauty of the Dragon Harald Fairhair is indisputable.

Thirty five meters long and nearly eight meters wide, this Viking ship requires one hundred oarsmen.

Longships with carved dragon heads would be a fierce image in wars involving superstitious people.

Heeling and rowing tests were done with models to examine the salient characteristics of the longboat designs. Beautiful Sixareens!

Experts in traditional Norse boat building and the square sail are engaged in the development and construction of this ship as an experimental archaeological research program.
The aim is to recreate a ship with the superb seaworthiness that characterized the open ocean longships of the Viking Age.

The Dragon Harald Fairhair will have the same sea qualities as the great ships (storskipene) of the "leiðangr" - the Norwegian war fleet. According to old Norse sagas these ships combined the excellent sailing characteristics of ocean going ships with the ordinary warship's use of oars.


Pablo said...

You've posted some great videos lately. Keep up the good work!

doryman said...

Nothing but the best for my friends, Paul.

Tweezerman said...

The size of this open vessel is unbelievable!

doryman said...

There aren't many frames in these old lapstrake boats and none of them are continuous (athwartships), so most of the strength of the boat comes from a massive keel and the plank laps themselves. To me that's the incredible thing about a ship of this size - it hardly seems to have enough framing to tie it together.

A shallow keel, no built-in ballast and a sail that looks like a bed sheet. You might wonder how they sailed beyond their own shores. But these ships foreshadowed much of the technology we use today.

doryman said...

100 oarsmen. Two men to an oar. 25 oars per side. 1/2 maximum horsepower per oar = 25 hp total. Hull speed; 12 knots.
The epitome of efficiency.