Viking ships

Viking Ship

Viking ships were the main weapon in a robbery. In the beginning, archaeologists cannot explain the constructive secrets of such successful vessels. But, the second half of the 19th century was a major change in this respect.

Features of Viking ships

The Viking fleet was constructed as a langskip. That was an 8th-century warship with a large sail and a lot of rowers hiding behind a wall of circular shields. Langskip was often decorated with a dragon head in front, so we can also see Drakkar. Some boats had a bow with snakes’ heads. The Vikings call this ship a shucker.

Viking Ship
Viking Ship

Viking ships were characterized by their easy handling, speed, and resistance to weathering. Some of the ship’s components have been inventively connected. In stormy or windy weather, the elasticity of the connections makes it better able to withstand waves. Due to the high sail mobility, the ship could move very sharply against the wind. Vessels could land in the shallows, where their crews quickly landed or retreated if needed.

The Vikings often used this tactic in some conditions. For example, they fight defenseless rich monasteries along the entire North and West European coasts. Before the inhabitants had been able to summon any help, the Vikings left with their gold and silver stolen, and it was not easy at all.

In a period of the Viking era from the 8th to the 11th centuries AD, twenty-six such vessels threaten Italy, southern Europe, and even the coast of the African continent. The Vikings also carried horses on ships to make them more mobile on land.

Viking merchant ships
Viking merchant ships

Viking merchant ships – Knarr were used to transport goods and persons. Knarr had high hips, characterized by high bows with ornaments, a deck and a rudder oar in the ship’s axis. The deck had a square cutout (esophagus). The bridge was one with a square tarpaulin. To reduce the area of the sail when overloaded or to reduce cruising speed, the lower part of the sail is undercut. Exceptionally, oars were used to propel the ship. Approximate dimensions: length 15 m, width 5 m to 2 m draft.

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