July / August 2019

POLARIS

A Viking ship for Gloucester, Massachusetts
POLARIS

The Viking ship POLARIS is shown here soon after her 2017 launching in Washington State. Soon after this, she was trucked across the United States to Gloucester, Massachusetts, where she operates as a training vessel.

POLARIS shines honey gold, her Alaska yellow cedar planking reflecting in the sunlight. She is the newest, and definitely shiniest, of the very few Viking boats to ever arrive on New England shores within the last millennium. Built by F. Jay Smith and launched in Anacortes, Washington, in November 2017, then trucked to Essex, Massachusetts, for an East Coast launching in June 2018, the 36' 8" (11m) POLARIS is a slightly modified, United States Coast Guard–inspected version of SKULDELEV 6, one of six Viking-age ships excavated from the bottom of Roskilde Fjord, Denmark, in 1962. But rather than being used for fishing—as the original, similar sized, SKULDELEV 6 is believed to have been when it was built in about the year 1030—POLARIS is used primarily for team building, sail training, and providing summer visitors a unique experience on the water.

After more than 30 years as a corporate electronics engineer and business manager, Stuart Boyd, 59, was laid off and uncertain about his next career path. Originally from Northern Ireland, and a longtime resident of Hamilton, Massachusetts, he considered moving back to Europe. While looking for a job in Denmark he stumbled into the Viking Ship Museum in the town of Roskilde and went rowing and sailing in one of its boats. He “immediately felt the community aboard as well as the impact of small groups working together to row and sail these amazing ships.”

He returned to the Boston area and half-jokingly told his career counselor that “he could always build a Viking ship.” The career counselor took Boyd’s idea seriously. She told him to write up two business plans—one about how to make startup collaborations more successful and another one about building a Viking boat and using it as a place for “people who worked in the same company, but hadn’t worked with each other closely, to have the opportunity to do so in the boat.”

Purchase this issue from Woodenboat Store

From This Issue

Issue No. 269
Lapstrake boat

If your particular existential crisis urges you to climb a mountain, the

Issue No. 269
ROUTE 66 and BLUE CHIP

Legend has it that on the storied waters off San Diego, California, where

Issue No. 269
Lutwick’s Boatbuilding & Repair building

On a sunny July 20, 2018, the freshly painted schooner AMASONIA was eased back

Issue No. 269
Sardine carrier GRAYLING

In September 2003, the former sardine carrier GRAYLING made her annual autumn

From Online Exclusives

From the Community

Classified

Classified

Herreshoff 12 For Sale

Well maintained. Sailed regularly. Winter storage in Salem, MA. $20,000 or best offer.

Classified

21' Handy Billy launch

21' Handy Billy launch designed by Harry Bryan and built by Geoff Kerr/Two Daughters Boatworks.

Classified

1958 Ohlson 35’

A beautiful 1958 Olson 35' sailboat that's ready for a new home.