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Nordland båt
Dec 17, '20

A Viking Tradition

The Nordland boat (or Norwegian: Nordlandsbåt), is a type of fishing boat that has been used for centuries in northern counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark of Norway and derives its name from Nordland county where it has a long history. It has dominated the Lofoten and Vesterålen islands fishing industry for centuries and is closely related to the old Viking longships.


The Nordland boat has a clinker, or lapstrake hull design and has its rudder on the sternpost. Its length varies from 14 to well over 40 feet and usually has a length to beam ratio of 3-1 to 4-1. It has a high prow and stern, shallow keel, v-hull and has an inboard gunwale, which can be used to drain off the fishing nets when they are drawn on board. Some of the larger Nordlanders have a detachable cabin that is used for shelter, often having a wood-burning stove inside.

The Nordlander normally carries a large single square sail with the largest boats carrying a topsail. It's one of the few types of boats that still carries such a sail to the present day.

Oak had been a favorite wood for ship builders for centuries for its resistance to rot, strength, and durability. However, oak is not native to Norway north of the county of Trøndelag and is also a heavy wood which would make such boats difficult to pull up on shore, which was done on a daily basis. For these reasons, the materials used for the Nordland is almost exclusively pine, and in the northern regions, fir. Pine and fir are lighter woods which would make it easier to be drawn up on shore, but at the expense of durability.

Unique feature

One of the unique features of the Nordland is its ballast system. Dozens of fist size round rocks are placed at the bottom of the boat to keep the boat weighted down. In the event that the boat is either swamped or capsizes, the rocks are designed to roll out of the boat which would lighten the boat and thus keep it afloat.

The Nordland Boat today

Nordland boats today are no longer used as primarily fishing boats but as pleasure craft and have annual races. The coat-of-arms of Nordland County shows the traditional boat - the Nordlandsbåt.

Master Boat Builder

In 2001, we received a request from Asker municipality to build a boat for the Naval Academy on Børsholmen. The boat should be a classroom for students who have some adjustment difficulties in the regular school.

It was a special task. In addition to having an important function, it was also the largest boat we have built.

There were many large roots to this boat. 4 1/2 inch thick, and long stems and rotenders. The large band saw made it easier to lose a few kilos on them.

Terje forged for days. In addition to fittings, we had to forge a good deal of nails that are not in the trade. Everything was sent for galvanization.

The mound was long. The associations of ships were there. We were glad we had large electric razor.

The keel table is riveted.

Here the bottom is finished the boards.

The entrance to such a large boat is quite violent.

Aiming and shooting the remborda.

It is not that difficult work with the board, but it can be difficult with a 5/4 inch table. Not to mention the clinker.

Loddfjøla puts us on the table. These are the same legs as on the other cattle bores we have built.

The upper strap is a heavy table to turn to.

The wood on the way into the boat. We had to have the chopping blocks inside the boat.

Tofts and beets are made.

Splash tripod table and lifting.

The boat on its way out of the bulkhead. It almost had to be pulled out to get under the rafters.

Trial sailing in Håkøybotn. The boat went straight and was fine on the trim right away. The sails Bente has sewn are perfect.

Satisfied boat builders at full speed.

View from the raw on the way south to Asker.

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Dec 17, '20
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