Category Archives: Viking ships

The Nordic Lodge’s Viking Long Ship


Viking Ship at the Whidbey Island Fair

The Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge’s Viking Long Ship float, built by Lodge member Brian Petersen, made its first public appearance at the Fourth of July parade in Oak Harbor this summer and has been really getting around since then.  It appeared again in the Whidbey Island Fair annual parade in Langley on Saturday, July  22nd, and then again at the Farmer’s Market in Coupeville on August 26th, at the Oak Harbor Farmer’s Market on August 31st, and the Bayview Market on Sept 9th. Upcoming appearances are planned on October 7th at the Coupeville Market, and on Dec 2nd in the Greening of Coupeville Parade.

Brian says that he is very happy and proud to have been able to research and construct this symbol of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge.  He sees the float as a way to inform the public that there is a Nordic Lodge on Whidbey Island and to give the Lodge recognition within the community.  Brian  hopes that the exposure will also aid in increased membership.

Brian’s idea to build this Viking Long Ship was based on the fact that a Viking boat is a very recognizable Nordic symbol. He started by looking on the internet for pictures and plans for Viking boats.    He was finally able to track a boat down at the Nordic Lodge in Portland, Oregon.  Accompanied by enthusiastic Lodge member Dick Johnson, Brian made a trip down to Oregon  to see and photograph their ship.  He was also able to obtain a copy of the plans for their boat (such as they were). This gave him his starting point;  construction of his Viking Long ship began  on a resurrected boat trailer and with the newly acquired plans, a large cardboard box, and no idea of what he was getting into.

It turned out that the plans obtained were originally that of a ship conceived and built in Great Falls, MT as a one-third scale model of a Viking ship.  Brian reduced this scale even further to end up with a boat that is 16 1/2 feet long with a beam of 6 feet. It is entirely screwed together and is one unit in that the trailer base is part of the boat.

During construction, Brian was forced to improvise in places as the plans in hand were not entirely accurate.  “This is what builds character” he says.  “I believe the effort was worth it because the float will advertise the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge to our surrounding community.”

Brian’s hope is that this Viking Long Ship will be used and enjoyed by the Lodge membership for  many years to come.

Ah, Those Danes, Those Danes: Vikingships Meticulously Unearthed

Viking boatbuilder JaJay Smith 1y Smith returns to the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge on Saturday, January 17, 2015, to present an overview of the Vikingship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark, the early years of research, the first Vikingship replica & subsequent reconstructions, and the amazing thoroughness of the Danish marine archaeology teams as well as the marine architects and shipwrights.

Over the last 35 years Jay Smith has researched and built Nordic lapstrake boats, beginning in a small boat shop on a fjord in western Norway. A seven month apprenticeship in the Faroe Islands, sponsored by the Denmark-America Foundation, established a firm footing for future work and study. Since then he has made a living building and repairing boats, specializing in lapstrake construction. Periodic travel and research in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark has strengthened Jay’s understanding of Scandinavian culture, history, and boatbuilding. Over the years he has shared these unique traditions with enthusiastic young boat builders and wooden boat enthusiasts through hands-on workshops, lectures and classes. He now works from his shop near Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island.

The program will begin at approximately 10:30 am, following a brief Nordic Lodge business meeting (10 am) at the Nordic Hall, 63 Jacobs Rd., about one mile south of the intersection of No. Main and Highway 20 in Coupeville.

The Nordic Lodge enthusiastically invites anyone interested to attend.

Nordic Boatbuilder Jay Smith will be speaker at November 17th Lodge meeting

F. Jay Smith,  Boatbuilder in the Norwegian Tradition, will be the featured speaker at the Nordic Lodge meeting on November 17th at 10am, at the Coupeville Rec Hall. His talk will be: “The Boats of Western Norway 800-1800AD: A Short History”.

Jay is the owner of the Aspoya Boat Shop in Anacortes where he is presently building a 56′ replica of a Viking ship.   Jay went to Norway in the 1970’s as a student where he became enamored of Nordic culture. After college he returned to Norway where he worked in a boatyard and studied Nordic boatbuilding under a master.  Jay has continued to build boats for over 30 years. The ship under construction at present is a replica of a Norwegian Viking ship built at Sognefjord in the 11th C. AD.

Jay is a fascinating speaker, well versed in Viking history. This is a meeting not to be missed!  The general public is invited to attend.