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The Tune ship

The Tune ship was probably a fast, sea-going vessel that could quickly transport people from one place to another.

© Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo/ Eirik Irgens Johnsen

Good sailing ship 

Even though the Tune ship is smaller than both the Gokstad and Oseberg ships, it had a stronger mast support, which would  have made it possible for the sail to be as large as 100 square metres. Combined with the shape of the hull, this probably made the ship a fast, sea-going vessel with excellent sailing properties. 

The ship’s function

In contrast, its cargo capacity was not particularly good. The ship might have been used to transport goods of high value that weighed little, such as furs, glass and slaves. The ship was also well suited to moving people quickly, an important quality for a warship. Perhaps this was the Tune ship’s main function?

Laid to rest without oars

The Tune ship was built around 910 AD and is a clinker-built ship made of oak. The ship has probably had 12 oar holes on each side. This means a crew of 24 as well as a helmsman and a lookout. The ship was placed in the grave without oars.

Performed well in the waves

The ship is estimated to have been 18.7 metres long, 4.2 metres wide and to have had 12 rows of strakes. The upper rows of strakes and the bow and stern posts are missing. In the ship’s present state we can only see the 10 lower strakes, but there are holes and marks for fastening the upper two rows. The two extra strakes would have given a sufficiently high freeboard to prevent fairly big waves from swamping the ship.

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Published July 7, 2016 4:17 PM - Last modified Sep. 22, 2016 4:46 PM