View Full Version : What is this type of boat called?

Dave R
01-08-2001, 04:10 PM
And where might I find plans?

01-08-2001, 04:17 PM
I'm pretty sure it's a Norwegian 'snekke'. Most of the ones I've seen have a windshield and side windows on the forward end if the cockpit, and some are roofed over as well.

I don't know where you'd get plans.

[This message has been edited by rbgarr (edited 01-08-2001).]

01-08-2001, 04:25 PM
She is a beauty, if you find plans, please share the source!

01-08-2001, 04:52 PM
It could be a snekke all right, but the Norwegians have a lot of vocabulary for small boats, and this particular one may have a different name, since it doesn't have the superstructure mentioned by rbgarr. You might try Chip Stulen, Faering Designs; see his ad in WB. He is pretty knowlegeable about Norwegian boats, and at the least he may be able to suggest someone in Norway to whom you can write.

01-08-2001, 11:04 PM
I believe that the technical term is "gorgeous".

01-08-2001, 11:34 PM
I thought it was "d@mn gorgeous." Or maybe "heartbreakingly beautiful." I'm going to show this picture to the Sabb G in the shop and see if she moans. And DO let us know more. I think I'm in love.

Jamie Hascall
01-09-2001, 01:04 AM
Truly fine! Where did you find the photo? I notice on the source code for the pic that it says "tresnekke". Maybe you can follow that back for more details.

Boy Kermit, I'd bet that little Sabb would just be panting for a toothsome hull like that http://media4.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif .


Jeff Lane
01-09-2001, 05:19 AM
Gentlemen, the lovely boat in the picture is, indeed, a Norwegian "Snekke". Moreover, she is a "Tresnekke", as she is made of wood ("tre"). Further, she is a fishing snekke, ("Fiskesnekke"), hence the lack of windshield and other paraphenalia that would get in the way of serious fishing.

They come from the Southern and Western Coasts of Norway, mostly, and there are probably at least fifty boats like that within a radius of thirty miles from where I live, on the West coast of Norway, a little Southwest of Bergen.

The going price for one, depending on age and condition, length 20'-26' usually, is often somewhere between $3,000.- and $8,000.-, although I know of several in tired condition that have been burned to clear space for nice, shiny plastic boats.

Originally, they were built as small, sailing inshore fishermen. When I first came here in 1963 to buy my present double-ender, many of the snekkes on the South Coast of Norway, (called "skjekte"s in that area), still had the spritsail or lug rigs they were built with, but most also had small semidiesels as well, by that time. Nowadays they mostly all have diesels, about 10-16 bhp., usually Sabbs.

Those are about the only type of boats that I don't sell plans for, unfortunately. You might have some luck in finding plans, if you contacted the Norwegian Maritime Museum Library in Oslo, telephone:
(47)-22562037, ask for the Library; Most of those people speak English, although you must be sure that they have actual building plans, and not just overall general pictures, called "Arrangement Drawings".

If pushed to it, I could probably find some building plans from one of the local builders of that type, but I would have to charge for my time to do that. You would also have to buy the plans from the builder, and I haven't a clue as to what they would charge for a set, or whether they would be willing to sell them at all. You see, each builder has had his own version of that type of boat in production for usually many years. I can ask, if you want.

If I can be of further assistance on the subject of Norwegian boats, or having to do with boats in any way, feel free to contact me, at:


Cheers, Jeff Lane

[This message has been edited by Jeff Lane (edited 01-09-2001).]

Dave R
01-09-2001, 07:39 AM
Thanks to all and especially Jeff. I found this picture at http://www.baat.aller.no/baatweb/bm.nsf/Web+Sider/Lesernes+bilder?OpenDocument

Last July while cruising down the Norwegian coast on the Coastal Steamer route I saw lots of boats like this, or at least with the same sort of lines. Understandably I fell in love. There were quite a number of boats with the same shape that had small cabins on them. Some looked like pleasure boats. Bergen was a great place to see these and during the weekend we were there it appeared there was some sort of boat gathering. S/V Swan http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/swan/ was there. I even got a short tour of her. I wish I'd been able to get a better look at the snekkes, too.
The caption for this picture is "Dette er min 20 fots tresnekke. Martin R. Thorsen" If I had been a little more capable with my Norwegian I would have figured out what it was called.

Thanks again.

01-09-2001, 08:20 AM
whats not to love on the tresnekke?

go to the long website posted by Dave and scroll down to the 'laurinkoster'. Now thats gorgeous!

Jeff you are in boat heaven!!

Dave R
01-09-2001, 10:02 AM
By the way here is a shot from the same site of a design that seems fairly common there.
I assume this counts as a Snekke.

01-09-2001, 11:44 AM
thats the 'laurinkoster.

01-09-2001, 03:22 PM
Here's my Shetland Sixareen....


Jeff Lane
01-09-2001, 05:41 PM
Dave, that Bermuda-rigged boat is more of a cross between a snekke, and a very small "seilskoyte" (the "o" should have a diagonal line through it from upper right to lower left, but this keyboard doesn't speak Norwegian), rigged as a Bermudan motorsailer. I guess you could also call it a really heavily reworked snekke; You can see that the raised foredeck is an addition, and it may well have begun life as an open tresnekke not much different from the one in the first picture.
The reason for my opinion of the type change, with the rework, is the heavier, fuller character of the boat generally, the raised foredeck (takes it more or less out of the "snekke" class, regardless of size), and the fact that it is rigged nowadays at all (again, you showed me an unrigged motorsnekke). Not that you can't rig a snekke; their ancestors were not very much different from Stephen's sixareen, and yes, they all started with outboard rudders, just like the snekke/skoyte in your second photo, although nowadays most of them are built with inboard rudders. (Not the one in the first picture, though).

Snekkes are, for the most part, slimmer, shallower, smaller boats for their length than the one your last picture shows, and as they developed from open workboats, most of them are open, although the last forty years many have had cabins added for pleasure use.

There Must be a bit of gray area there, and there aren't any card-carrying authorities on the subject that I know of, (not me, either), but that is how a lot of years here has shown me to tell the difference(s).

Yes, I agree, I am in boat heaven. When I look at the angled and squarish, peculiar creatures so prevalent around much of the U.S., (not that they aren't effective, although a few curves wouldn't hurt that feature either), and compare those shapes with these, I often just shake my head, slowly. (Hoo, boy, I bet that paragraph gets some angry reactions!)

I will say one thing in the chined or flat-bottomed boat's favor, though. Although, in my opinion (no accounting for taste, mind) esthetically they are not in the same class, they are a lot easier to build than these boats are.

Cheers, Jeff Lane

[This message has been edited by Jeff Lane (edited 01-09-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Jeff Lane (edited 01-09-2001).]

Scott Mason
01-09-2001, 05:43 PM
All beuatiful boats! Stephen was that your sixareen at the Port Townsend show?

01-09-2001, 05:58 PM
Good eye... here's another from Port Townsend...

Dave R
01-09-2001, 08:55 PM
Many thanks Jeff. Tomorrow I'll post a couple of photos I took in Kristiansund for your perusal and thoughts.

By the way, your keyboard can speak Norwegian if you wish. Here's how I do it.
Hold the ALT key down while you type the following numbers on the numberpad at the right.

ALT+0197 for ┼
ALT+0229 for ň
ALT+0216 for ě
ALT+0248 for °

Dave R
01-10-2001, 07:01 AM
As promised hereare a couple of photos which I think were taken in the harbor at Kristiansund.
Does this one count as a Tresnekke or a Sk°yte?

Oyvind Snibsoer
01-10-2001, 09:45 AM
The boat in the last two pictures is definitely a snekke. I've always understod a snekke to be a small, open or semi-closed double-ended boat which has a small engine as primary means of propulsion. I've never seen snekke been used for a boat which uses sail or oars as primary propulsion, though this may be added mainly for safety reasons. The snekke is primarily intended for inshore use.

The sk°yte was originally a small sailing vessel, though larger than the traditional snekke. The sk°yte is a working boat, used primarily by fishermen and pilots. Originally an open boat, the Hvalersk°yte was decked around 1840, and is the type which Colin Archer based the designs for his pilot boats, and later his redningssk°yter, on. It's heavily built for the open sea. Often lapstrake built up until WWI, cravel later became predominant. Older boats were sometimes rebuilt with a cravel skin over the lapstrake construction. Sizes may vary from < 25' up to 60' - 70' or more


This is a model of a Hvalersk°yte, built by a 9th grade class from the archipelago of Hvaler. Hvaler is situated in the very SE of Norway.

A typical representative for the sk°yte, this is a Lista sk°yte, a type which was built in the very SW part of Norway. Built in 1917 for a fisherman, this particular boat is now owned by a museum. For more pictures, see http://www.museumsnett.no/karmoyfiskerimuseum/page/Kristina.htm .
After engines replaced sail for propulsion, the sk°yte was given a wheelhouse aft for greater comfort, though often no bigger than a telephone booth. The fish/cargo hold is in the center of the boat, and simple accomodations for the crew in the bow, often under a small poop deck.

Another common type of workboat is the sjark. It differs from the sk°yte in that it has a raised poop and the wheelhouse in the forward section, and a large open deck for working. It's thus similar in concept to the Lobster boat, though the wheelhouse is almost always fully enclosed. The latter makes good sense, since it's very common in the north. Traditionally it's a double ender with fairly deep bilges, though more unsightly modern GRP varieties such as the half-planing "speed-sjarks" are becoming more and more common in the coastal fisheries. The sjark has primarily been used in the coastal fisheries, and is only rigged with a mizzen for stabilizing the boat.

A traditional sjark. For sound, click http://www.edbkunnskap.no/sveinb/sjark2.htm

A modern cousin, far removed, on steroids.

[This message has been edited by ěyvind Snibs°er (edited 01-10-2001).]

Dave R
01-10-2001, 12:07 PM
Tusen takk! Very interesting. I saw many sjarks during our cruise. It's nice to put names with the vessels we saw. Now I'll be smarter about them when we go back. Hopefully that will be next year.

01-10-2001, 12:39 PM
Back to the snekke.

On page 93 of the current WB is one converted to a sail from an inboard. Built in the 1950s and still going.