Preview: Viking Longship DRAKEN HARALD HÅRFAGRE

December 12, 2014

Erik Sayce

Built in Haugesund, Norway, and launched in 2012, the DRAKEN HARALD HÅRFAGRE is the largest viking longship built in modern times. The ship is 35 metres (115 ft) long with a beam of approximately 7.5 metres (25 ft) and a displacement of about 70 metric tons. She's built from oak using historic clinker construction methods, and she carries 300 square metres (3,200 sq ft) of sail (source).

This first video provides an interesting look at the traditional methods and materials used in her construction, including the tar and hemp - rather than modern adhesives - in lap and scarf joints.

DRAKEN HARALD HÅRFAGRE - The Construction of a Viking Dragon Ship

During the summer of 2014, the DRAKEN HARALD HÅRFAGRE made her first voyage, crossing the North Sea and visiting various ports in the British Isles.

Under sail, she requires a crew of 18-24 but for rowing takes 100, with two people on each of her 50 oars.

Prior to her construction, no one in modern times had had any real experience sailing a viking longship this big. And, as you'll see in this next video, managing her 3,200 square feet of silk sail is a complex task.

But there's no denying that she's majestic under sail, and she seems to live up to her ancestors' seaworthy reputation.

Sailing DRAKEN HARALD HÅRFAGRE - Summer 2013

More information on this project can be found on the Viking Kings website.

And you can follow the journeys of this majestic vessel on the Draken Harald Hårfagre Facebook Page, including the dramatic story of her demasting this past summer.

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