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This ship dates to approximately AD 700. It was found in a bog in Norway. Like the Hjortspring and Nydam ships, it was an offering to the war gods.


It has an overal length of 60 ft and a breadth of 10 ft. Reflecting the fact that it is smaller than the Sutton Hoo ship, the Kvalsund ship has only 8 planking strakes to either side of the keel.

The ship had only 20 rowers in total. The planking is of oak, but the frames are of pine.

This Norwegian ship had frames that were still lashed below the waterline, but above, the frames were attached to the two uppermost strakes with treenails.

The Kvalsund ship is the earliest ship we have that shows how the steering oar on Scandinavian ships was fastened. On teh inside of the hull, where the steering oar is mounted, is an exceptionally-strong frame. Cordage passes through the oar, a conically-shaped block of wood, through the hull, and then through the frame.

Although no mast step or rigging elements were found with the Kvalsund ship, this vessel could certainly have been sailed successfully, based on its shape alone. So it can be said that shipbuilders were making sailable hulls by around AD 700.

Note the sever curve of the stem and sternpost.

The Kvalsund ship has the same broad, fairly flat U-shaped hull that the Sutton Hoo ship had, but also, for the first time in a Scandinavian ship, a rudimentary keel.