View Full Version : Halsnøy-færing
01-14-2008, 12:39 PM
(Sorry about the picture link, but the forum filter doesn't recognize the url as a photo. You will have to click on it to see the boat.)
Since the topic of færings comes up here time and again, I thought I would share a photo from today's newspaper... a 1:4 model of the Halsnøy færing. Found in a peatbog in Sunnhordland (area south of Bergen, Norway) in 1896. The original boat is in the cellars of the museum in the keeping of the guy in the photo - museums lecturer and archeologist at Bergen maritime museum. Too fragile to exhibit - it is from year 300-400 A.D. .... about 500 years older than the famous Oseberg and Gokstad ships. I have seen dates that go all the way back to year 100, but the later ones are apparently what the museum uses.
The original boat was 17 ft.
The boards in this one were sewn together with fibers made of a Lind tree, but otherwise it doesn't look much different than a 'modern' færing, does it. :)
01-14-2008, 12:54 PM
Wow...Certainly the fastest thing afloat in 300 AD!
Just think, they couldn't afford SB fasteners back then, too...
01-14-2008, 08:22 PM
I am intrigued by the symmetry of the ends. If compared to the Jesus boat from only a few hundred years earlier, they are significantly different in their ends. Of course there is a major difference in geography too. The Jesus boat always looks backwards to me.
01-14-2008, 08:45 PM
The Faering closely resembles Outred's Elf, a pulling and sailing boat but a little tender for a work boat you think? The 'Jesus' boat looks like a working fishing boat, a netter, look how full she is aft, even a degree of tumblehome? You could haul nets over those bulwarks without upsetting her at all.
01-15-2008, 12:56 AM
The halsnøy færing closely resembles the Oselver. Even the museum archeologist said that - and they usually are careful about generalizing. Maybe not so unexpected, the Oselver (which the Elf is modeled on) comes from the same geographical area.
They were not used as ships tenders. They were coastal workboats - mostly fishing ... handline, longline and net. In the fjords and up to 10 km offshore.
01-15-2008, 09:21 PM
Maybe this picture shows it better. To me it looks like the bow is to the right and the stern is to the left. This is from the orientation of the sail and what I am guessing the rudders/steering oars are to the left of the mast??
01-15-2008, 11:39 PM
The Lind lacing in the boat is a common historical use for Lind. Here in the states we call it Bass Wood. I was told that is from "bast" or "to bind up". A cousin in Sweden is a professor at the agricultural university in Lund. He did his masters work by traveling all over Europe taking tissue samples of every documented ancient Lind he could find. Doing a genom study. I read it was used to make Knightly shields due to it's light weight and resistance to splitting.
Beautiful model. Lets hope that they make a full size replica some day. Tack John
01-16-2008, 05:50 AM
Bass Wood, huh. I didn't know what tree it was in English. You are right that the fiber was called Linde-bast, but I didn't think that would make any sense to anyone... I think of bast as being a kind of twined, rough fiber. We still use the phrase 'bundet og bastet' ... bound and tied.
I did a quick search and found that it was a holy tree in norrone mythology. Not a bad thing as extra insurance in a shield or boat building.
That 'Jesus-boat' looks rather Phonecian to me. Especially the bow.
01-16-2008, 08:01 AM
I once saw half a television documentary where they told that sewn boats were built in western Russia until the second world war. They had a long interview with a young man from somewhere in Viena/Kvitsjöegnen/Vitahavskarelen. He was trying to learn the trade while the old men are still alive. The Maritime museum in Helsingfors has a sewn boat from lake Onega/Äänisjärvi. I think they used some tree roots for sewing over there. The program was in Finnish so I did not understand all details.
I hope i have given the geographical names in many enough languages to make it understandable which region I am refering to.
Greg P H
01-19-2008, 03:06 PM
I love Faerings..
American linden Tilia Americana, which is relative of the 'Lime' tree of Europe Tilia Cordata
The bast is made from the fibrous inner bark.
02-06-2008, 10:11 AM
My first wooden boat post!
I know you are excited....anyways, I like the Shearwater by Joel White. Iain Oughtred's Elf is great, sure, but pricey plans, etc. I am looking for a simply faering for row/auxilliary sail for basic backwater exploration and fishing. That's just my excuse for "really wanna build a boat." Anyways, does anyone have any photos of a Shearwater? They are few and far between, I've googled it pretty well.
02-06-2008, 11:00 AM
Beautiful. I get on the board and ask for pictures of the Shearwater, then look down at my Small Boats magazine to find an entire four-page feature article about it. Problem solved!
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