Skuldelev 2 is a war machine, built to carry many warriors at high speed. With a crew of 65-70 men, it was a chieftain’s ship, like those praised in ancient scaldic verse and sagas.
Tree-ring analysis of the timber show that the ship was built of oak in the vicinity of Dublin around 1042. Vikings settled in Ireland in AD 800 and established several fortified bases along the Irish coast. These bases developed into towns, which today is amongst the biggest in Ireland. Here Vikings lived as merchants, mercenary soldiers and shipbuilders.
The long, narrow shape of the ship and the enormous sail allowed at great speed. And the manning of 60 oars made it possible to keep the ship moving even without wind.
The Viking Ship Museum’s reconstruction of Skuldelev 2, The Sea Stallion from Glendalough, is on display in the Museum Harbour.
You can find out more about this reconstruction here…
(Details from Vikingeskibs Museet)
• Dating: 1042
• Place of construction: Dublin, Ireland
• Preserved: 25 %
• Material: oak
• Length: 30 metres
• Breadth: 3.8 metres
• Draught: 1 metre
• Displacement: 26 tons (fully equipped)
• No. of oars: 60
• Crew: 65-70 men
• Sail area: 112 m2
• Average speed: 6-8 knots
• Top speed: 13-17 knots
• Average speed for oars: 2.5 knots