Talk:Viking ships

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I have resurrected this article as I did not agree with the way 'Viking ship' redirected to 'Longship'. As I see it the longship is a sub-category of the collective term Viking ship, as is Knarr and Karv. --Grumpy444grumpy 12:45, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


I'm not sure about this: "A large type of longship, *known only from historical sources*, is the Drakkar." I think it's a reasonably good bet that the immensely long ship unearthed at Roskilde in 1997, sometimes (if inaccurately) called "Skuldelev 7," pretty well fills the bill, at 35 rooms and est. 130 ft in length.Solicitr 23:04, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

According to the Vikingship museum in Roskilde this ship was "only" about 36m (118ft) long, i.e. only about 6 m longer than Skuldelev 2 which could fit about 30 rowers. According to historical sources the Drakkar ships were capable of carrying hundreds of armed men. No such ship has yet been found. Grumpy444grumpy 20:38, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

HI, I'm a student. do you recomend any other articals. --8jayala 19:21, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Well , a viking ship was found in Salme , Saaremaa , Estonia.-- (talk) 17:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)


There seems to be a great deal of misunderstandings about what a Viking longship is. This is not a particular class of vessel, but a common description that covers several vessel classes. They can be characterized as a graceful, long, narrow, light wooden boats with a shallow draft designed for speed. The Drakkar is neither a particular class of vessel, but any Norse longship fitted with a dragon-like head in the stem (and occasionally in the stern). A longship could certainly be shorter than 30 meters. Indeed, both the Oseberg ship (21.5 meters long) and the Gokstad ship (just under 24 meters long) were Norse longships (both classified as a carve class vessel). Beside, a longship could have far more than 60 oars, as the Danish Roskilde VI is an example of. This fast and narrow cob class vessel had 78 oars and carried a crew of approximately a hundred men or more. 14:20, 3 November 2007 (UTC) It was known as the "serpent of the sea" because they built there ship in such a way that no one could catch them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 9 September 2009 (UTC) The entire world calls them "drakkar", but there is no mention of that name in the article, just a redirect. The term should be clarified by someone who knows something about it. -- (talk) 20:45, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

More informationEdit

I want to know what were some of the roles or jobs on a viking ship in maybe the 9th or 10th century? Anyone? Just want to know......hey if Kristin gets on its Abby-- (talk) 23:30, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Gave this question a headline. On wikipedia we only discuss how to compose the article, and is generally not sharing specific information or exchanging viewpoints. Try Reddit for example. There are several fora you could turn to. A physical library would perhaps be the best of all, where trained (and payed) librarians are eager to help you in every way possible. RhinoMind (talk) 03:20, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

willis the legendeEdit

willis is a Viking and a nazi — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:52, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

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Problematic textEdit

The following text assumes to know the thoughts of the reader. This is based on anecdote and assumption and not on scholarly evidence. If there was evidence to support the statement it would most likely be relative to the cultural and educational background of the reader.

"The initial thought when you hear the phrase Viking ships, is violence and raids but Viking ships varied greatly in both size and functions. What some people fail to realize is how the Viking ships were not just used for their military prowess but for long-distance trade, exploration and colonization.[2]"

To improve the quality of the article I recomend the statement cite the appropriate scholarly literature or rewrite the statement. Dr.khatmando (talk) 11:00, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

Good points! Even if the source states what is said, it is not an appropriate wording for a Wikipedia article. It should indeed be rephrased. I might do it soon if I find the time.
A suggestion:
In many popular contexts, Viking ships are often associated with terrorizing raids and ruthless violence, but this stereotypical perception clouds the fact that Viking ships varied greatly in purpose, design and size. It is true that some types of Viking ships - the long ships in particular - were used mainly for raids and war, but many other types were purpose-built for transport, trade, fishing or exploration on local or long-distance scales. RhinoMind (talk) 14:22, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

the Knarr section, absurd claims about abilities?Edit

The section describing the Knarr states that "They were cargo ships averaging a length of about 54 feet (16 m), a beam of 15 feet (4.6 m), and a hull capable of carrying up to 122 tons.[4] Overall displacement: 50 tons." Displacement is a measure of how much water is displaced by a given object. to put it simply, for a ship to float, it must displace an equal mass of water. So, having a ship with a displacement of 50 tons cannot carry more than twice that in cargo, without it winding up on the bottom. A quick peek at the Knarr's main page, it states they can carry 24 tons, with no indication of a ships actual displacement, but that is tagged as ambiguous. I don't know enough to know what the claims should be, but at best, the citations are referring to very different ships. (which is entirely possible, given the fact that each was custom built.)-- (talk) 04:30, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Displacement is confusing. Suffice it to say that the 50 ton figure is most likely an estimated loaded displacement for a larger ship of the type, about 67 feet based on a simple scaling up of the Skuldelev 1 replicas. The 122 ton figure might correspond to a 90 foot or larger version, not that there is necessarily any evidence of a knörr of that size. The only known example, the Skudelev 1 is 54 feet long, so the average length is unknown. The Knarr is based on the Skuldelev 1 which has a displacement of 20 tons according to the Vikingeskibs Museet [1] The replica, Ottar, has a displacement of 26 tons [2][3] NewGert (talk) 05:33, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Neither dragonhead nor tails ...Edit

... to this rhapsodic lay. And hi there.
How about a little collective lift to this article? It is disorganized and contains a lot of questionable statements.
First there is the definition. Is a viking ship any ship from the viking age? Or just the ships that roamed the Continental coasts? This is the same kind of confusion as viking/Norse.
Then there is the term "warship". Makes sense in modern times, with ironclad gunships etc., but the Vikings did not really practice much naval warfare, like one could with galleys: ramming etc.
Viking naval battles were land battles on a pontoon supported artificial battlefield, so I think "warship vs. merchant ship" can be something of a misleading division, at least without some meaningful definition of "warship" according to period military technology.
The main diff. appear to be two: width of beam, and corresponding load capacity and propulsion method. Narrow troop transports, rowed as much as sailed, and wider goods transports, most often sailed. Which is not to say that there could not be several, perhaps mainly, in-between forms, combi ships with variations over the Gokstad, like a karvi; or that transport ships aren't useful in war, so that war fleets might have been composed of several ship types.
Then there are a multitude of terms out there which are not in the article, like skeid, busse, byrding, sud ... which may not reflect separate types, but still.

Wrt. ordering, there are two sections on the religious importance of the ships; IMO two too many. The age of grand ship burials seems to have been over by the time we get to e.g. Harald Fairhair. But (etc.) ... Then there is the history of the ships, which somebody has beginning with the Umiak. The Umiak is a driftwood skeleton clad with hide made by people in Alaska, i.e. everything the viking ship is not.
Lapstrake built boats are made by constructing a skin, supported by internal ribs, as opposed to constructing a spar skeleton and covering this with skin or planks (caravel). It is much more plausible to look for the roots of viking ships in the Saami, Finnish, West Russian tradition (great woodworkers all) of large riverboats.
Not certain about this one, but "ships made for sailing fjords and coastal waters" as opposed to open sea: Coastal shipping is more dangerous than ocean sailing due to the incredible amount of rock contained in even only one single country .... unless one talks about sheltered waterways; but that would be ships much smaller and less seaworthy than e.g. Gokstad (to use it as an "average" neither-long-nor-short template). Of course _some_ this is _somewhat_ true, but a) it is contradicted later in the article and b) it presents as certain something which is very much conjectural. Of course the sturdiest ships had the best chance of surviving a Arctic Sea storm en route to Iceland, otoh a faster ship could spend fewer days in passage. But the dangers of ocean travel lay in navigation, lack thereof.
"The Viking kingdoms developed into coastal towns and forts, all of which were deeply dependent on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea for survival and development. Control of the waterways was of critical importance, and consequently, advanced warships were in high demand." No they didn't, no they weren't, no it wasn't, nor they weren't. And there were no "advanced warships". If anything, the viking longship was a throwback to older rowing boat / war canoe type ships, with added sail. That was a development, but hardly advanced and sails were certainly not an innovation by the Norse.
"Viking chieftains ... were commonly buried with /a .../ ship" - ok, then why have we found some 20 or so of them, not 6000? - "to transport them in the afterlife" - we don't know that.
And why is there a section on the færing, without any explanation?
Knarr: "cargo ships averaging a length of about 54 feet " etc. - an incredibly precise average based on finds of how many specimens? Illicit generalization.
Enter the longship: "Longships were naval vessels made and used by the Vikings from Scandinavia and Iceland for trade, commerce, exploration, and warfare " Now, is this the "warship" that could not carry much load? Is it the ship built for the fjords that could not brave the open sea? Or is the longship a knarr?
"the symmetrical bow and stern allowing the ship to reverse direction quickly without having to turn around; this trait proved particularly useful in northern latitudes where icebergs and sea ice posed hazards to navigation" is patently ridiculous. You'd have to be very unlucky to find icebergs south of Bjørnøya (Bear Island), a place vikings didn't go and certainly not in winter, which was not seafaring season.
" /Ships/ were often owned by coastal farmers and commissioned by the king in times of conflict". They could actually be owned by anyone, but then again, most people in Scandinavia were coastal farmers anyway, by a variety of definitions ... But the war fleet, the leidang, was a permanent standing naval force, not "commisioned in times of conflict"... They were comissioned by law, not the King, built and paid for by the skipreide, a tax unit responsible for maintaining, provisioning and manning one single leidang ship.
" ... waterproof caulking was used between planks to create a strong but supple hull". How does caulking provide hull strength?
" ... faithful hunting-dog". Sorry, no dogs found carried tags to let us know what they were and if they were faithful.
"The Vikings firmly believed that the dead man would then sail to the after-life". Speculation.
IOW I think the article is something of a mess, and btw also sorely lacking in refs. Time for improvement. T (talk) 00:41, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

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