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a Viking age Knarr


The Find

In 1933 the remains of a Viking age cargo ship, an "Knarr" was found. It was found just south of Älvängen half an our north of Gothenborg by the river Göta Älv. The find is put on permanent display at Göteborg Stadsmuseum.

The construction

We started with a model in scale 1:10, since we did´nt had a locality for the big construction. It proved to be good. We lerned a lot and were able to construct the big ship after both the model and the archeological drawings. We started the building of Vidfamne in january 1992 and it took just over two years to construct. Lack of money and lack of good timber delayed the building of the ship. It took over three month to find the right timber for the stems. The lack of investors due to the recession were compensated by good relief workers.


We have been sponsored both in merchandise and money. Culture fonds are the biggest contributors but also communitys, Energiverken, Ericsson and others. Skanska gave us the building, Vulkan in Anderstorp sponsored all the rivets, are some of our big and small contributors. The construction has costed ca 650 000 Skr in ready money, but is worth ca 5 miljon Skr, including all material and labour.

Rigging & sail

The Mast is in spruce, 14,8m high and weights about 430kg. It is planed by hand and finished with wood tar. The Mast is standing on the tree top. That means with the root end up. The biggest pressure on a Square sail mast is in its top, therefore is the strong root end up and the tree top down. The yard is 8,6m long and weights about 70kg. It's also made of spruce. The sail is made of linnen purchased in Norway. The 88 square meter sail has been ret impregnated and coloured and sewn by Harald Carlsson for free.

The christening

The Christening happend at the launch. The ship is named after Ivar Vidfamne a Viking king from Sweden.


It might be hard to find Vidfamne during the intense sailing periods, but the summer harbour is at Klippan Harbour in Gothenburg. You can go there by ferry, bus or by tram.

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