10 Facts about Viking Longships


It has been known about the Viking longships that they are being considered a type of naval power that possessed the high value because of its dimensions that were quite long and wide. As per the prehistory, they are evaluated and believe that Viking ships were not marked as a standard type of vessels. These longships were generally used by the Norseman or Vikings for trading purpose, during wartime, and while exploring other regions. Till today, the appearance of the longships depicts the Scandinavian boat-building traditions. Also, these longships are made up of wood with sailcloth, usually made up of flax, hemp or cotton, nylon, and polyester. Also, it has a variety of details engraved or carved on the frame or body of longships. These longships show the individual designs along with the designer footprints engraved on it, and also it had the zonal features. 

Till now, the Viking Orion has been declared the best longships compared to the rest of the ships. These longships have amazing facts which have been illustrated: 

Regarding the constructions of the Viking longship, it can be judged that the design structure is taken back from the period of Stone Age, and majorly, these longships are run with the combination of manpower and wind waves. Due to its composition, these longship patterns make headway for a longer duration.

10 Facts about Viking Longships
Photo Credit: cdn.britannica.com

These longships were constructed with a shallow draft, which has been used to manage the speed of the ship as it allows the sailors to plan and direct the course of a ship in the water by allowing them not to sink and thus, enabling them to make beach landing with no trouble. 

Viking longships shallow draft
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As far as the Viking longboat has been concerned, they are quite big, as the length of these longboats is between 45 to 75 feet, and it requires almost eight shipwrights along with a novice to construct it. Also, it required a total time of 28000 hours, that means six months. These longships are very important as it was used to bury the richest kings. 

Boat graves at Vinjeøra Norway 4
Photo Credit: thesun.co.uk

To construct these longships, Viking people usually used the clinker method in which it is made by overlaying oak timbers because of its capability to withstand the pressure or damage, the quality of being easily bent along with its strength and fixing them with a hammer. Then, the leftover spaces between the planks are filled with tarred wool and animal hair to ensure that it is closely sealed or fitted so that no water enters through.

longships clinker overlaying method
Photo Credit: international-yachtpaint.com

It has been known that these longships have been acknowledged for its top speed, which is around 17 Knots (as sailors tend to use a coil of rope which is attached to the piece of wood to measure the speed of the ship). 

Viking longship high speed wood to measure the speed of the ship
Photo Credit: bluebird-electric.net

It is also having been known that these longships are wonderfully decorated with the dragon headpieces at the front side and other magical things exhibited on their trunk. Dragonhead was quite famous during the Viking ruling period, and it was used to arouse the fear in the spirits or soul of those lands where Vikings plan to decide to attack the particular area.

Viking longship dragon headpieces
Photo Credit: upload.wikimedia.org

About the Viking ships facts, there are two different types of ships i.e., warships which are quite small in size, longer in shape, shallower in comparison to merchant ships, and have been controlled with the spade along with override with the speed of sail. Also, these warships are completely open and are designed to move without beating about the bush. In contrast, merchant ships are constructed by using the same method of clinker structure method like longships.

Viking ships facts
Photo Credit: i.pinimg.com

The important fact about these longships is that their well-proportioned longbow and tough structure allows them to with all speed to reverse the ship without having to turn around. Also, the age of these longships has been determined by its geographical exploration. The various archaeologists summed up the recent discovery that all the sailors of longships prefer to use sundials to chart their route and direction.

viking geographical exploration longship high speed
Photo Credit: nationalgeographic.com

One of the largest longships is Roskilde 6, which is 121 feet long and made up of oak with a T-shaped cross-section. It has been declared a warship that is being crafted prepossessing and is being kept at the museum in Norway, which displays the maritime techniques and lifestyles of the Vikings sailors. It has been aware that this huge longship was constructed at the end of the Viking period and comprised more than 30 benches to accommodate the man. 

largest longships is Roskilde 6
Photo Credit: ancientpages.com

As per the Viking longship facts, it has been known that approximately 60 men can be seated on the open deck’s benches, but the largest longships can carry around 100 men or more than that. More often than not, it has been seen that these Vikings used these longships for the rapid surprise attack on their enemy by the troops and also used to carry their warriors. Cargo longships are used for trading. 

Viking longship facts 1
Photo Credit: historyhit.com


To conclude about the Viking longships, they are considered as the most effective because it comes in various shapes and sizes and known to be as the most ideal one as it possesses the capability of sailing through the heavy wind or ocean storms and on the other side some of the longships are quite lighter one as easy to carry over to the land. Also, because of the Viking’s longship, the traders were able to do trading business, carry out wars, animals on the boat, and able to provide security and protection to its crew members. It has been well known from the longships homeland that if moving towards England, it will take six days in good conditions with an average speed of 8knots. 

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