Ship Name

Utrecht Boat (1050 AD)






Ancient/Medieval (to 1350)

Year Launched


Home Waters

Coastal waters N.Atlantic



Length (feet)


Beam (feet)


Primary Propulsion

Human energy

Propulsion Specifications

Towed or punted


Hollowed oak log

Historical Note

The mysterious Utrecht ship found in the bed of the Dutch Rhine in 1930. The Utrecht ship is apparently more primitive in conception than contemporary Nordic ships.

It consists of a broad bottom plank carved from an oak log in the form of a shallow dug out approximately 17 meters long by 1.95 meters wide which curves up at the stem and the stern and also transversely to form a husk shape. Further planks are attached to frames tree-nailed into the bottom plank to give an overall beam of 3.6 meters. There is not proper stem post and no proper post so that all of the strakes are led up to the apex of the bottom board where they all terminate well above the water line.

Ships of this time are found on Carolingian coins from Quentovic (QV) and have been identified generically as hulks. The Utrecht ship has been carbon dated to about 790AD. It represents a method of boat building quite distinct from the Nordic and Celtic traditions.

Related Source

Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia (1997),
History and Archaeology of the Ship

Record ID: 45