Two Danish Side Rudders

By Ole Crumlin-Pedersen, published August 1966


The Vorså rudder, found in 1958, and the Jungshoved rudder, found in 1897, are both illustrated in this article. Sea trials of a copy of the Vorså rudder add to earlier discussions of the properties of Danish side rudders, thought to date from the ninth to twelfth centuries. Danish boy scouts under Mr Hartvig Nielsen in 1963 constructed a full-size replica of the Ladby funeral ship, excavated on Funen in 1935. Trials on this vessel, over the following summers, demonstrated that the rudder’s unsymmetric shape balanced its unsymmetric mounting on the starboard quarter. Sensitively helmed, it allowed light and effective control of the vessel, whether under oars or sail.

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Filed under: Baltic | Medieval
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design

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