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Thread: Search for info on an Oselver or ? Faering

  1. #1
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    Default Search for info on an Oselvar or ? Faering

    Know anything about this Faering???

    http://www.woodenboatrescue.org/faering--%20oselvar.htm photo gallery.

    She was housed in the barn from the 1960s or earlier. Later she was at a marine store in Addison Maine as a showroom floor decoration from 1984 to 2006 when I became the new owner. She will now be back in the water (where boats belong) for summers and falls in and around the Deer Isle Maine area. She will also be used as a travel expedition boat, first stop Newfoundland, and a RAID boat. In the winter she will be at my home in hanging from the living room beams (Yes, I will watch the humidity level, can't be as bad as being a display boat inside for last 20 year).


    I would like to find out the following and any other info:
    Build date
    Build location
    Builder's name
    Owner trail and story
    Original set-up


    I would post pix, but I am just not up to figuring out how to get good ones on yet so,....sorry. Feel free to post them on the thread if you know how...I am not lazy, just sick of being stupid with the pic thing on the forum.

    There are some builders marks and I feel she is a Oselvar but date and builder are unknown.

    I have the rigging, but an not sure about a couple of holes on the gunwale on the starboard side, and a hole in the amidships frame/thwart support. There seems to be two mast steps, one for the sprit rig (round base) I have, and the other more in the middle with a square base. Where these rigged as Squares sails first or...? The rudder does not have the original hardware and the one that is there does not seem very strong. Is the original type hardware still available.

    The boat is said to have come over "on a steamer" with a Norwegian couple when they moved to the USA. They had her in their barn in Maine for many many years. At the age of 90 something they brought the boat to a man and asked him to re-finish her (this was 1982) and all he did was wash her with a pressure washer to get "the black off". The boat was then as it looks now. The couple died before they picked up the boat and the man kept her unitl last week when I bought her. He is not sure if she had been varnished before that or not. The finish seems to be varnish of sorts, but might be linseed oil.



    Cheers, Bruce
    WBRF admin
    Last edited by OEX; 05-03-2006 at 03:23 PM.

  2. #2
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    Isn't that the boat that was for sale for a while on eBay, opening bid at $5,000? There were no bids, and I've sometimes wondered what happened to it. Glad to see that it's in good hands.

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    Bruce - that's a beauty...wish I could find something like that hiding in a barn here in the midwest.

    Here's an off-topic question. How do you like your FJ Cruiser. It and the boat make a nice pair!

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    I think this question came up before and I strongly believe that the Oselver shown was built in 1978-9 at the Bath Apprenticeshop by Mark Swanson and another apprentice whose name started with an 'S' under the supervision of Paul Schweiss. Thus the 'three S' mark.
    All the details looks the same as the one I saw building there while I was working right next to it on a Sognebat. There was a booklet written called "Norwegian Craft in North America " IIRC and there would be pictures there that might confirm that. She was rigged with both a square sail and a sprit rig with jib as an alternative. We sailed her both ways and the square sail was remarkably good.
    She went to someone up near Addison who didn't use her much and may have gotten her black appearance from being left outside up there.

    My .02, fwiw.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

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    You might try Paul Schweiss...he's in Anacortes, I believe. I ran into him about a year or so at Fisheries. (he's a good guy). I talked to him about making new garboards for my Oselver. Wonderful boat.

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    Note how the planks were screwed into the stems,definitely not traditional.I'm with rbgarr on the Paul Schweis connection.She's too fancy and in too good shape to have been an old norwegian built work boat.

    Beautiful boat ,I'd love to have one.

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    too cool. Wade Smith (Head of Mystic Seaports John Gardner Boat shop) and I were just going over her. He found a mast step coin, a penny from 1982. He also wondered about the Apprenticeshop connection (he is a graduate from there).

    Screws into stemhead? This is not done? The Addison connection, do you remember this or is it just because I mentioned it? rbgarr, did you actually sail this one if it is the same?

    She is rather beamy for a traditional Oselver, it seems (71 inches).

    She was on e-bay recently (not sure about in past), but I did not pay anything as much as that. I kind of bought it by accident since ebay has this "best offer" thing, I bid without thinking. Did not pay that much either.

    Anacortes, where?

    New FJ Cruiser, I run an off-road driving school and lead land expeditions as my real job. The FJ is the first IFS (Independent Front Suspension) vehicle I have ever had as a training vehicle. So far so good, though I am adding a front diff locker, 3 inch suspension change, rock slides, front and rear bumpers, etc---so it will be a new training vehicle to add to the other three LCs and Land Rovers I have. It is superb on the road, very good off-road, and I got 18.5 mpg hauling the Faering from Augusta to CT---better than the 10mpg I get in the other fleet vehicles.

    Thanks for all the help, I will contact all the players mentioned in this SAGA (had to say it) and let you know---too bad the story of the old couple bringing her from Norway on a steamer might not be true---hate loosing a cool story. The boat is fantastic though and I will be having loads of fun with her.

    cheers, Bruce
    WBRF

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    I have the book from the Apprenticeshop. This is a link to a photo that I stuck in my web closet because we can get it bigger there than with Imagestation and you can download it and blow it up for inspection. It shows one of the pix of the boat Bruce posted on the left (changed over to black and white) and a scan of a photo of the Apprenticeshop boat from the book on the right. There do seem to be some questions raised (like the number of rivets holding the gunwales on) but otherwise, the two are very, very similar.

    http://webpages.charter.net/tbradsha...ing%20Pair.jpg

    If it is that boat, here she is sailing with the square.

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    P.S.
    Check out what appear to be knots in the planking near the top of the aft frame on the boat's port side. They seem to be present on both boats. Also, there was something in the book about the gunwales not being correctly shaped or correctly beveled on top on the first attempt, so maybe they were later removed and corrected - causing the difference in the riveting.

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    I too have a copy of Norse Boatbuilding.Published in 1980.The photo Todd has up is the Sognabat. A Oselver was built at the same time which this boat may be. The mast step coin however of 1982 must mean that this was a later shop built boat. There are some additional details that confirm this in the photo on Todd's site. Note the belaying pins in the 1982 boat. The after frame is proportioned differently, and she has been narrowed up a skosh. I believe these are a little wider than some of the other faerings.

    Rig: for the square you need holes in the gunwale aft of the center thwart for the shrouds. You need holes further aft for the sheets. The holes that you have a yellow line running through are for the sail stick which holds the tack down.

    You should have some holes or half pins or some such for the square halyard and possibly for the priar which is kind of a center of the sail down haul.

    There seems to be a beehole block forward for the bowline which runs continously from luff to luff. The head stay gets half hitched around the stem head and is tied to the forward frame.

    Atlantic Challenge in Rockland has the Nordlandsfaering/ Afjordfaering 4 volume set as do I.

    Rudder hardware is but one of a number of varients.

    If you are in the neighborhood ( Cushing ME) you are welcome to look at my Afordsfaering which looks to be a little longer and narrower. I put in a forward mast step as well rigging the boat with a lug sail for the purpose.

    You did not say if you had spars or sails. The aforementioned books have useful proportional information if you need to design same.

    Ben Fuller
    Cushing ME

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    Todd---this is too funny, Wade and I are going back and forth to the boat and counting/locating all the knots. We think the sheer is cedar on my boat, and we think the we see old rivet holes plugged just showing under the gunwale. All the knots line up as in the pictures from the book, the ones forward in the book's picture on the floor board, you can't see these in the pic I posted, line up perfectly. News of the mention of the gunwale make it all fall into place. Wade knows Mark and is calling him tonight.

    This has been the most fun I have had it a while (nerd, yes?). This is all great, now I have all the people to tell me how she was rigged, how she sailed in various winds, etc.

    I could not be happier---Norwegian American just like me. Does the book say what they named her?

    Thanks all for the help and I will post after talking with one of the "S"s

    Cheers, Bruce

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    This is the full original photo that I scanned from the book (the boat on the left) and it's caption.


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    Ben---boy these messages are moving now. The pix I shot were with a 28mm lens, messes up perspective. The pins on the forward thwart are a different wood and style than the one in the bow or stern, Besides that and the gunwale all else just lines up too well for the boats to not be the same ones---finger print type deal.. Mast step coin---put when new owner launched her?

    What exactly does the book say about the gunwales, etc?

    Wade and I are 90% at this time, but...? Odder things have happened. Would love to stop in on the way up next time...thanks.

    Maybe we shall see you at a RAID.

    P.S. Wade says to say "Hi."



    cheers, Bruce
    Last edited by OEX; 05-02-2006 at 06:57 PM.

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    Unfortunately, that's about all the book has to say about the gunwales. It's stretching things to even call it a book as it's only 34 pages long and much of that is a reprint of some fairly general articles from WoodenBoat on Norse boatbuilding - which give you an appreciation for the craft, but not much nuts and bolts building info. There is nothing similar to The articles that WB sometimes runs where they go step by step through the process of building a specific boat. As far as the Apprenticeshop's two boats go, the entire text might fill up a single page.

    It sounds like Ben may be one of the best sources for info on how to make this one go. Of course you could always grind the heads off of all those rivets, disassemble it and document putting it back together, but it would sort of violate the "built by hand and by eye" principle that these boats are known for.

    I did look through the photos to see if there were any that might help with the rudder hardware questions, but there aren't any that show it.

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    My .02 for what it's worth: I kinda think that it is not a Paul Schweiss boat. He apprenticed in Norway...my guess is that bhe would not produce a boat with as swoopy a sheer as the original post.

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    The profile is about the same as that shown in the profile drawing in the Apprenticeshop book and we know that he did have a hand in the building of those boats. If you think the Oselver is swoopy, you should see the profile of the Sognabat. It has a sharper up-turn as you approach the ends where the Oselver tends to be more of a uniform curve. Both are truly gorgeous boats.

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    If the knots match its the boat, the coin non withstanding. I like the makers mark for being the original oselver. I am pretty sure that they never built another.

    What is the length of your boat? Sail and rig?

    My afjordsfaering has the biggest turning radius of any small boat I have rowed. Plank on edge keel and hollowed carved garboards put the turn of bilge about 18 inches above the keel. Still is not the most weatherly of boats. But amazingly dry beating up wind in a capping sea.

    The Norse books I have have proportional material which can be helpful in sorting out sail areas and mast lengths. I had to make a new main square sail and used the mast and yard length to sort out the area and shape.

    Ben Fuller
    Cushing Me

  18. #18
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    She is 19"3" and 71" beam. Marc S is going to get to us ASAP. Seems 99% to be the same boat. I have the sprit rig, but not the square rig. I want to get both set-up. She has a good size rig. Mast is 17 ft or so and sprit is just a bit 6 inches to a foot shorter and the snotter is about 4-5 feet up the mast. So quite a peak to the spritsail. I was planning on having Nat Wilson cut the sails once it is all worked out. What do you think?

    Cheers, Bruce

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    I think this is way too much of a project for you to handle. Send me your address, and I'll pick her up and find her a good home.

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    I live right next to those grey trees with new leave on um---you know? Just by the old red and white colonial house, on that narrow twisty road. Couple-three miles past Elm Street ;-)

    Very funny, you're starting to sound like someone that could be a WBRF rep for your area!!!! Well? You might just find something like this on you search weekends!!

    Cheers, Bruce
    WBRF Admin

  21. #21
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    As someone mentioned above, the black and white picture of the boat under sail with the square rig is the Sognebat. We finished it before the Oselver and couldn't wait to sail her, so launched her in the Kennebec. Mark is forward, Paul is steering and Lance Lee is sitting on a thwart facing forward. I may be the person sitting to leeward and I'm not sure who is sitting aft. The picture was probably snapped by Steve McAllister (sp?)

    It took all of us to handle all the 'strings' when maneuvering the square sail (I don't remember the sequence of steps when tacking... but she'd do it). I doubt it could be done happily alone or with only one other person. I never sailed either boat with the sprit rig so can't speak to a comparison. As mentioned she was very dry and had a wide turning radius. Fast and weatherly for a boat with only a four inch deep keel.

    The rudder hardware on the boats was cobbled together from available bronze hardware/bent rod and not very satisfactory IIRC.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

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    Afordsfaering is about the same length, but 10 inches narrower. It has 4 thwarts vice three which is useful for rowing with two.

    With the mast height can easily figure out the square. Grant Gamble who made mine would be another good candidate.

    You certainly need two to handle the square with ease. My boat needs an oar to get around. With a few tweaks it could be handled solo if you drop the spar for tacks. The drawings in the Nordlandsboat book shows the tacking sequence.

    Does the sprit also have a jib? Something that seems common in the fore and aft rigged faerings.

    I figure I go to windward about as well as a big schooner.

  23. #23
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    Yes she is rigged for a jib ands the sprit.; I think plenty of sail. She has so much hollow and beam I think she will surf very well down wind on an Oct day off Deer Isle. Square sounds like a handful---fun. I will start with the current rig and go from there.

    Cheers

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    The one guy that I know of that knows about these boats is Jay Smith. He has lived and apprenticed on the islands where these boats were are are still built. He comes to the Wooden Boat Festival at Portownsend WA each year and demonstrates building techniques for these vessles. I would imagine that if you contacted the Wooden Boat Foundation in Port Townsend, that they could get you in touch with him.
    JG
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 05-05-2006 at 08:23 PM. Reason: Spelling

  25. #25
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    Default Masfjord boats

    Here's a website documenting old boats from Masfjord (north of Bergen)http://www.masfjorden.kommune.no/batsamling/index.html

    Ferjer are a kind of transom ended 'skiff' wheras baatar refer to the faering type.Some pretty old and well used boats are documented here. Lot's of photos and they can all be enlarged to see details (I couldn't find a single screw fastening).Check out the Andvik trekeiping http://www.masfjorden.kommune.no/bat...ekeiping2x.jpg

    Chris

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    Well, actually, ferjer means ferrys and baatar means boats.
    Nice website. Masfjord is a neighbor community.

  27. #27
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    Another source of info might be Chip Stulen. IIRC he apprenticed in Norway and then came back to the US and set up a shop he called "Faering Design", first in Wisconsin, then in Vermont. He also used to sell riveting tools,nails, etc. I believe Chip is now a curator at the Shelburne Museum way up on Lake Champlain, where he led the effort to rebuild the Ticonderoga (no, not THAT Ti....this one was a steamer, IIRC ;-)). cstulen@shelburnemuseum.org

  28. #28
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    Well rdgarr was right all along, thanks!!!! Here is an e-mail from Mark Swenson.
    "Bruce:
    That's my boat! Tim L. (was in Wiscasset) and I built that boat during a season of Norwegian boatbuilding: the first of a series of Arendal prams (I ended-up building a host of those, from Maine to Oregon and back), a Sognab(0)at (built by Dave Tew; now an attorney in Atlanta, and Steve M; part of the scene in Rockport, Maine to this day), and the Oselver.
    I'll check my records... there may be sailplans or drawings, though I recollect that only the Sognabat had a square-rig. I may have photos of antique Norwegian Oselvers with different rigs (a fellow named Finn Totland gave them to me in Bergen). It'll take some time to dig those out.
    open him to the possibility. The rudder in the photos is missing? If that's the current rudder, it looks serviceable to me... I'd have to see it as well to offer any recommendations.
    I appreciate the opportunity to help, and thank you kindly for the photos! Nice to see her again.
    Sincerely;
    Mark Swanson"

    So mystery solved. The book on the building of the Sognab and the Oselver (Norse Boat Building in North America), has 7 pictures of my (Marks) Oselver being built, they call it the Three Strake in the book. Too cool. I will have her in the water ASAP.

    OK, now how do you post good pictures on this site---I just cannot find the info and can only post little crappy ones. If I can figure this out I can post pix of her.

    Cheers, Bruce
    WBRF Admin

  29. #29
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    Bruce, your rudder gear looks similar to the hardware designed by Iain Oughtred and Moray Mcphail that I bought from Classic Marine for our Elf. And rbgarr is Dave Tew.

    Steven

  30. #30
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    Mark Swanson had me in Georgia, but I'm neither an attorney nor did I live in Atlanta. I lived in Savannah until a year ago.

    Glad you got a response from him, and good luck with your boat! As far as I know the Apprenticeshop did not build anymore of those, though numerous prams (as Mark mentioned) were built by folks from there using similar building methods.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

  31. #31
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    Dave, what did you think of the whole building of the Sognabat? Do you remember a square rig on the Oselver?

    Also, has the particular Oselver of mine come up on threads on this site in the past?

    Thanks again, Bruce

  32. #32
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    Building the boat using those methods was a hoot.

    I'll defer to Mark's recall when he says that the square rig was not tried on the Oselver.

    Discussion of your boat arose here when she was listed for sale before.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

  33. #33
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    The boat was originally listed on ebay more than a year ago, with a minimum price of $5K. I think she was listed twice at that price, with no bidders.

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    Here is what Mark and I have said via e-mail......
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    Bruce:
    I've gone through what I have of drawings from that time period, and there are none that depict the rig, or the Oselver itself among them. If there were drawings of the sprit rig, or of any square-rig made for either the Oselver or the Sognab(0)at; as a volunteer builder, I had no reason or right to have any drawings or plans that I didn't draw myself.
    The sailwright was Nat Wilson. He may have records dating back to 1978-1979 that would include works done for Lance Lee and/or the Apprenticeshop from Bath, Maine.
    As to some of the fairleads through the sheer-strake: they appear to be the leads associated with a squaresail's lines, but I'd need more info. The rig used in the initial trials on the Sognabat might be scaleable from the booklet photos... the boat was the same approximate length as the Oselver: about 18' 6", if memory serves me.
    As I'm thinking here: Nat Wilson made a square-rig for a Nordlandsboat we (the Apprenticeshop) built in NYC as part of an exhibit coordinated with a Viking exhibition at the MMA in 1980... I rebuilt that boat years later and added a sprit rig. I may be able to find the owner's name and last known address. If that rig exists; it would help in establishing the relationships between the lines and the lead-points in the hull.
    A square rig this small has few lines actually: a couple to raise and the yard, one to draw in and down the center of the sail at the mast, braces: one to each end of the yard for control, tack and clew lines at the lower corners of the sail (these alternate depending on the tack being sailed) which act as the main and jib sheets (sort-of), and a pin (skott) which is the quick-release forward lead for the front sail-corner line... the aft line becomes the main-sheet, and is leward of the mast running well aft to a fairlead or block. The skott is inserted in the diagonally opposite (opposite to the aft running "main-sheet"), or "upwind" reinforced hole in the forward sheer-strake, pin out, handle in, with the line looped under and around it on the outside of the boat, then run amidships to the handler.
    Square crew: in the stern sits a Steersman and main sheet handler, who calls the tack and directs the other two sailors, the mast business and braces take another sailor just aft of the mast, and the skottman forward handles the forward line and the shift during tacking... it's quite a circus!
    Somehow: the oars (2 X max beam in what I recall for length) stow in among the feet and rope. There was at least one removable thwart that came out for square sailing to add to the maneuvering room aboard.
    I will seek the name of the customer of the NYC boat, and get back to you. I'll do what I can to find more info.
    Mark in Maine


    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Good guy.

    Cheers, Bruce

  35. #35
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    According to Eldjarn and Godal's NordlandsBaten og Afjordsbaten, the rig is in proportion to the boat.

    Mast varies from .7 to .84 of keel length. Sail max width at base is 9/16 keel length, Yard 2/3 of max Width. Hoist about .8 of max mast length. For small boats there is a reef at top and bottom.

    For small boats, faerings, there does not seem to be yard braces used. Rather there is the continuous sheet that goes through holes in stern and a contious bowline that goes from leech to leech through a bee hole block in the stem head. The windward sheet gets made fast on a pin through the gunwhale. The bowline tightens the windward leech or luff. The prior is the line to a crowsfoot on the foot.

    The Sogne boat sail does not show any taper to the sail and has braces so there was obviously some regional variation.

    Ben

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