The karvi was the smallest Germanic ship that could be considered a long ship.


A karvi was a ship that had between 6 and 16 benches, meaning it would hold between 6 and 16 rowers and one cox. A karvi had length to width dimensions of 4.5:1.


All ships were made with green wood, which bent easier and stayed in shape better. Planks overlapped and the grains were at 90 degrees to the plank. Oak was the preferred timber because it was connected with Odin, though trees of all sorts were used. All longships were built with the bow and stern identical. Sails were always square and made of a rough wool cloth.


The karvi was not much more than a transport for warriors. Its mobility allowed a crew to sidle next to a merchant ship so that the crew could attack. It durability allowed the vikings to travel across the English Channel.

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