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Building the Seksaering at the Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter

The more I watch this seksaering be built there at the small boat shop at the Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter, the more I am into this design of this traditional Norwegian boat.

Posted on February 26, 2020
by Josh Tolkan

The more I watch this seksaering be built there at the small boat shop at the Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter, the more I am into this design of this traditional Norwegian boat. There are so many amazing details. It is really a display not only of maximizing form and function, but also of remarkably simple yet effective technology. I have been learning a little bit about Scandanavian small craft and how the Hardanger designs fit into the history. The Hardanger fjord and western parts of the coast are more exposed to changing tides and storms. As a result they had to take their boats out of the water when they weren’t using them and built small boat houses on shore for them. The small boats from Hardanger and the western coast of Norway are built much lighter than those further in towards the Baltic sea. Additionally the Hardanger boats have a much more cut away stem profile. This is due to short choppy seas in the fjord. Coastal boats have a more full stem.

I find it interesting that these boats hold up so well over time despite being taken in and out of the water regularly. Peter explained that, while any traditional boat takes some time to swell up, when these boats are used on a regular basis and kept in a enclosed boat house when not being used, they retain their moisture and dont have major shrinkage to deal with. The planks are sealed together with strands of rope made from sheeps wool that is also coated with thickened pine tar. This is a flexible sealant that can absorb small changes in wood dimension.

As I think about it, what makes these Hardanger designs work well for the fjord here may also be good design choices for Lake Superior.  This week I also write more about the design and fitting or frames, the oars and oarlocks and a visit ro a mountain town.  If you'd like to read more go to my website (www.manywatersboats.com) and at the bottom of the page fill out the box to subscribe to my newsletter.