PDA

View Full Version : Gokstad Faering Build



JamesCaird
08-20-2018, 07:42 PM
Hi Guys- I have an interest in trying a Gokstad Faering to build to try some ideas about smaller Viking boats. I have built a number of other boats over the years but only including one other lapstrake design. I would be interested to know if there are any around in New England (generally Northeast) area that I might visit or maybe someone who could talk about building methods. I am thinking real wood planking, (not inclined toward plywood myself) but am happy with modern adhesives and all. Would like one to look and behave as designed, not necessarily going for he Viking authentic build method this time, if you know what I mean. Any out there? Many thanks/ JC in Mass. at Plymouth

Ben Fuller
08-21-2018, 05:20 PM
Don't know about the Gokstad but there are other much later færings in New England; we had both a sognabåt and an Åfjordsfæring at the Maine Boatbuilders show and I may bring one down to the Maine Small Craft Celebration in September. A færing built in Jay Smith's class at the WoodenBoat school is in the New Bedford area Main difference in build is introduction of stem rabbets.

Peerie Maa
08-22-2018, 02:52 AM
Don't know about the Gokstad but there are other much later færings in New England; we had both a sognabåt and an Åfjordsfæring at the Maine Boatbuilders show and I may bring one down to the Maine Small Craft Celebration in September. A færing built in Jay Smith's class at the WoodenBoat school is in the New Bedford area Main difference in build is introduction of stem rabbets.

The closest modern form is the three streak Oselver. But as you say there is the winged stem to consider. Did flo-mo not do a plank development for ply and modern stems?
http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?137436-Gokstad-Faering-Design-Study

Schooner36
08-22-2018, 06:09 AM
I have the one near New Bedford from Jay Smith's class and am working on finishing it. Would be glad to talk about it or show it to you. The two frames in the ends need to be put in and oars made and a sailing rig figured out. Will PM you.
Fred
21682

Edward Pearson
08-22-2018, 06:15 AM
There's (at least) one over the other side in the PNW.

https://smallboatsmonthly.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/img025PSweb-800x556.jpg

https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/faering-inside-passage/

I've got a feeling someone else built one up there.

Your optimum boat, for your local conditions on the windier East coast might be something else though...it's good to research and understand your local types and to understand why it's different from a Gokstad faering.

BOI
08-22-2018, 07:24 AM
There is a Gokstad faering replica on the East Coast, but far from New England, at the at L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site in Newfoundland, Canada.

21689

It was built by Jerome Canning, the boatbuilder at the Newfoundland Wooden Boat Museum. He has an interest in the traditional Norwegian boats and other European boatbuilding traditions as well and is a great person to talk to. It will probably be worth it contacting him even if you aren't able to see the boat http://woodenboatmuseum.com/about-us/contact-us .

Ben Fuller
08-22-2018, 02:20 PM
I've been poking around a little and asking question of Norse boat historians. They figure that stern rudders came in about 1350 and sawmills in east Norway about 1530. I suspect that the change from a winged stem to a rabbeted stem had something to do with developing pure nails with good holding power so that a rivet wasn't needed. I'd be inclined to build the boat with a rabbeted stem and perhaps hanging the rudder on the stern if you can make the appropriate hardware.

Peerie Maa
08-22-2018, 02:36 PM
I've been poking around a little and asking question of Norse boat historians. They figure that stern rudders came in about 1350 and sawmills in east Norway about 1530. I suspect that the change from a winged stem to a rabbeted stem had something to do with developing pure nails with good holding power so that a rivet wasn't needed. I'd be inclined to build the boat with a rabbeted stem and perhaps hanging the rudder on the stern if you can make the appropriate hardware.

Both the Gokstad and Oseberg royal yachts had rebated stems. The Roskilde boats mixed winged with rebated stems
https://c8.alamy.com/comp/AN7TDJ/uncovered-remains-of-the-viking-ship-gokstad-AN7TDJ.jpg
https://ourtour.co.uk/home/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/DSC03120-1024x768-1024x768.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Excavation_Oseberg_ship_2.jpg

The hooked hood ends were thought to be a device to improve water-tightness in a rebate and gain shaped by an axe blade. It is easier to make a scarf to a winged stem watertight which may be why they were used.

Schooner36
08-22-2018, 03:01 PM
Great photos
Thanks

Paul Schweiss
08-22-2018, 04:59 PM
I have the one near New Bedford from Jay Smith's class and am working on finishing it. Would be glad to talk about it or show it to you. The two frames in the ends need to be put in and oars made and a sailing rig figured out. Will PM you.
Fredg
21682

That is a nice færing, perhaps a Strandabarm or a Hardanger færing, but is nowhere near a Gokstad færing, none of the keel and stem details match.

When the Royalty died out in Norway, the regular folk still needed boats for fishing, for the Postman, for carrying freight, etc, and because they did not have unlimited funds they simplified the Viking construction methods to adapt the forms to what they could afford.

It is this great tradition that has preserved the building method that does utilize any molds. It is the method I learned in Norway many years ago, and have built many boats with.

These later boats still have no rabbet for the hood ends of the planks, the stem dimensions are very slim and their is nowhere near enough wood to have a rabbet.

Peerie Maa
08-22-2018, 06:19 PM
That is a nice færing, perhaps a Strandabarm or a Hardanger færing, but is nowhere near a Gokstad færing, none of the keel and stem details match.

When the Royalty died out in Norway, the regular folk still needed boats for fishing, for the Postman, for carrying freight, etc, and because they did not have unlimited funds they simplified the Viking construction methods to adapt the forms to what they could afford.

It is this great tradition that has preserved the building method that does utilize any molds. It is the method I learned in Norway many years ago, and have built many boats with.

These later boats still have no rabbet for the hood ends of the planks, the stem dimensions are very slim and their is nowhere near enough wood to have a rabbet.

The very narrow garboards and the lack of fastibands should identify the type. I am away from my books at the moment or I would look her type up.

Ben Fuller
08-22-2018, 10:20 PM
The very narrow garboards and the lack of fastibands should identify the type. I am away from my books at the moment or I would look her type up.

Jay Smith's is an Aspoya færing. Question is how far the OP wants to go in original construction methods. One of the first Gokstad reproductions commissioned by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich was built over a mold with conventional stems. Some built today follow the original strictly, others deviate. It may be heresy but it is all the same to the sea.

lagspiller
08-23-2018, 12:19 AM
Jay Smith's is an Aspoya færing. Question is how far the OP wants to go in original construction methods. One of the first Gokstad reproductions commissioned by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich was built over a mold with conventional stems. Some built today follow the original strictly, others deviate. It may be heresy but it is all the same to the sea.
Appears to be a type of Nordfjord færing to me. Aspøy would belong to that regional type. Definitely not from the Hardanger region.... Oselvar, Strandebarmer, Hardangerbåt...

From what I have read about sea trials of Gokstad færing copies, it is not the most stable båt... a little tricky to sail. If I were building something I planned on using, I'd go for one of the designs that developed from that period and hasn't changed much through the last 7-800 years of use in daily life. Each type has been fine tuned to the local sea conditions and type of use, so looking for a boat type made for conditions that are similar to the region the new build will be used would be a good idea. That is, if the boat is primarily built for use. If the object is building a boat for historic reasons, for a museum or because 'that look' is most important, then best performance is less important than the visual. I guess it is just a question of what the motivation is for the build.

heimlaga
08-23-2018, 01:33 AM
I am with lagspiller.

If you want a viking era boat you should build it to original specifications. Otherwise you miss the whole point.
If you want a good boat tu use you should build one of the later types that will fit your local sea conditions.

Peerie Maa
08-23-2018, 04:13 AM
One of the first Gokstad reproductions commissioned by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich was built over a mold with conventional stems. Some built today follow the original strictly, others deviate. It may be heresy but it is all the same to the sea.

When was that one built? I have their monograph of them building one true to the original with winged stems. No mention of an earlier attempt though. I saw that one on loan to a museum in York.

Ben Fuller
08-23-2018, 09:43 AM
When was that one built? I have their monograph of them building one true to the original with winged stems. No mention of an earlier attempt though. I saw that one on loan to a museum in York.

I should have checked my monograph. It is the 1973 version built by Kimber. What I did remember is that they used molds to get the shape rather than build in the Norse polar coordinate system. The stem was indeed winged but they laminated it to get the wings did not make it of oak. Kimber chose his wood carefully but didn't use split planks like I think they are now doing in Roskilde.

Peerie Maa
08-23-2018, 09:50 AM
I should have checked my monograph. It is the 1973 version built by Kimber. What I did remember is that they used molds to get the shape rather than build in the Norse polar coordinate system. The stem was indeed winged but they laminated it to get the wings did not make it of oak. Kimber chose his wood carefully but didn't use split planks like I think they are now doing in Roskilde.

Yes, Kimber tried to carve the stems from solid oak, but it split so rather than waste more wood and time he did glue up his blanks. He was familiar with modern tools and techniques, so used adze and a slick, the softwood shear strake with its integral gunwale was roughed out with a router.

lagspiller
08-23-2018, 10:40 AM
We put oak that is destined for keels and stems in the tidal zone for a couple of years. It is underwater and dry twice a day - keeping the worms out of the wood, but allowing it to stabilize/cure slowly. Its completely black and stinks like any tidal mudbank does when we take it out, but it is also completely 'dead'. No cracks or tendency to twisting as it dries, and clean, solid wood under the black surface.

Peerie Maa
08-23-2018, 10:43 AM
We put oak that is destined for keels and stems in the tidal zone for a couple of years. It is underwater and dry twice a day - keeping the worms out of the wood, but allowing it to stabilize/cure slowly. Its completely black and stinks like any tidal mudbank does when we take it out, but it is also completely 'dead'. No cracks or tendency to twisting as it dries, and clean, solid wood under the black surface.

Old stuff works. A rough out of a winged stem was recovered from a bog that dated to Viking times.

lagspiller
08-23-2018, 11:22 AM
Ha! When I built my house, an oak log was dug out of the bog that was dated to 3000 years age. Totally black, but sound. The neighbour had a huge bowl (about 40cm dia) turned out of a bit of the stump.

JamesCaird
08-23-2018, 04:03 PM
Wow- Thanks to all you guys for the feedback. Responses were slow at first and I was thinking everyone was out sailing.... Meanwhile- the build idea has evolved from the Gokstad Faering to something smaller (less expensive). The experiment does not include traditional methods but we are working toward a model which has the historic shapes and laps (no plywood) . I was thinking maybe more toward a plank bottom than a keel. Part of the experiment involves traveling up streams and hauling over land. To be realistic I think we need 18ft overall as a minimum. But think toward what some Viking types might be doing on these North American shores back in the day. It is not about ocean voyaging but rather about getting inland by whatever routes present. Many thanks to you all already. Will keep on with the thread if if all comes together/ Cheers/ JC

Fredostli
08-24-2018, 01:42 AM
The experiment does not include traditional methods but we are working toward a model which has the historic shapes and laps (no plywood) .

I am curious, What building method are you working on exactly?

Fred

JamesCaird
08-24-2018, 08:18 PM
Hi Fred- We have not decided all the details yet. The interest is to have a boat of the correct shape and weight and look correct with laps, and framing details, gunwales, etc. Plank edges to be riveted or clinch nailed. Stems do not have to be winged but we can run the plankends into rabbets. The experiment is to include traversing rivers and some portaging north and west of the Great Lakes, USA/Canada.

Peerie Maa
08-25-2018, 02:58 AM
Hi Fred- We have not decided all the details yet. The interest is to have a boat of the correct shape and weight and look correct with laps, and framing details, gunwales, etc. Plank edges to be riveted or clinch nailed. Stems do not have to be winged but we can run the plankends into rabbets. The experiment is to include traversing rivers and some portaging north and west of the Great Lakes, USA/Canada.

Well, you are going to need some wide oak boards for the lower two planks, quarter sawn, and pine or Douglas fir for the shear strake, to match the weight.

JamesCaird
08-27-2018, 02:08 PM
Were the Viking builders steaming plank ends or shaping? Or something else like soaking and twisting the plank ends? With any luck we may be finding out! Cheers/ JC

Schooner36
08-27-2018, 02:56 PM
Matt Barnes, a shipwright from Mystic posted a blog showing how they fire bent them. http://www.americanshipwright.com/ Lots of interesting stuff there.
Fred

flo-mo
08-27-2018, 03:25 PM
Some information about the building method of the Gokstad Faering: https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/professions/boatyard/building-projects/previous-projects/the-small-boat-from-gokstad/

Sharpen your axe ...

https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/frontend/Fotoarkiv/01.2008_06_13_09_12_04_WK.jpg

https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/frontend/Fotoarkiv-andre/__.jpg

https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/frontend/_processed_/3/3/csm__.2008_09_30_12_57_42_WK_ce6e93749a.jpg

https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/frontend/Fotoarkiv/13.2008_10_10_12_56_56_WK.jpg

https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/frontend/Fotoarkiv-andre/_3.jpg


https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/frontend/_processed_/7/0/csm__4_d67708ffab.jpg

Peerie Maa
08-27-2018, 03:49 PM
Were the Viking builders steaming plank ends or shaping? Or something else like soaking and twisting the plank ends? With any luck we may be finding out! Cheers/ JC

They did, and Norwegians still do hew from solid to put in twist.

Bill Mercer
08-28-2018, 01:37 AM
I'm having a hard time telling how straight the grain of that winged stem is--the upper section looks like the grain follows the shape more than the lower half. In fact the garboard wing looks like it's completely cross grain where the plank is scarfed on. Is that a problem?

Peerie Maa
08-28-2018, 04:41 AM
I'm having a hard time telling how straight the grain of that winged stem is--the upper section looks like the grain follows the shape more than the lower half. In fact the garboard wing looks like it's completely cross grain where the plank is scarfed on. Is that a problem?

They were building that way for decades, so no. The wings will thicken towards the "stem" and the wood was well seasoned in water, see posts #18 - 20.

lagspiller
08-28-2018, 11:22 AM
The stem is made in two pieces. Stem - lot - keel. There must be a joint close to the bottom edge of the photo where the stem goes over to the Lot with an 8:1 overlapp. That straightens out the grain...
But on the whole, it is the boards that supply the strength - and their grain is longitudinal, of course. Strong.... light.... supple. That's how it works. In opposition to the 'modern' method where flexible strength is replaced by brute force and inflexable mass. A very different building concept.

Peerie Maa
08-28-2018, 12:04 PM
Those images are foreshortened. There was no need of a lot on the Gokstad faering, all of the curves were gentle, I dare say that the stems came oat of the but of the tree where it swells into the roots.
http://eesti-viikingid.ee/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Faering-6m-joonised.jpg

lagspiller
08-28-2018, 04:10 PM
I see. Different from the later boats.
Another difference is easy to spot in the drawing - in the overhead view. The bow/stern is extremely narrow... pointed... in the Gokstad færing. Very little updrift, little to carry the boat in waves or under load. That was probably solved by discovering how to shape the gunwale and press it into place. That changes the shape of the hull, and fills out the forward and aft sections.

Peerie Maa
08-28-2018, 04:29 PM
I see. Different from the later boats.
Another difference is easy to spot in the drawing - in the overhead view. The bow/stern is extremely narrow... pointed... in the Gokstad færing. Very little updrift, little to carry the boat in waves or under load. That was probably solved by discovering how to shape the gunwale and press it into place. That changes the shape of the hull, and fills out the forward and aft sections.

That may be the down side of the winged stem. Unless you can carve "twist" into the wings and have the streaks comply you are stuck with fine ends.
The Roskilde Knarre was full bowed, but she only had a winged stem at the waterline, and fuller rebated planks above.
https://ourtour.co.uk/home/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/DSC03120-1024x768-1024x768.jpg