Færing sails to ScanFest and beyond
Bernt Balchen Lodge #3-566
Bernt Balchen member Harold Haugaard, who is half Norwegian, met his friend John Lunde (also half Norwegian) at work, and the two developed a friendship because of their mutual interest in all things Norwegian. Haugaard’s father came from Oslo, and Lunde’s father came from Bergen.
Both being retired, they started talking about building a Norwegian boat, and Lunde found plans for the boat that they eventually built in Wooden Boat Magazine. The plans were developed by a nautical designer, Iain Oughtred, who studied these utility boats in Norway for years and then drew up the plans.
The færing represents the most basic design of all Norse and Viking wooden boat building. Today all boats with two pairs of oars which are built within the Norse/Viking boat building tradition can be defined as færings, regardless of where they are built. The færing design is virtually unchanged since the Viking age, despite some geographic variations. The small boats found with the ninth century Gokstad ship resemble those still used in western and northern Norway, and testify to a long tradition of boat building. Færings are still used as small fishing vessels in areas of modern Norway, and occasionally raced.
To prepare to build this boat, Haugaard bought a “garage in a box” and erected it behind his house. They got the plans in the spring of 2013 and finished installing the permanent rigging the Saturday before ScanFest on September 6, 2015, where they displayed it. This boat is made of oak, cherrywood, and plywood. Haugaard has used it for fishing on a lake near his home.
Haugaard, as a young man, worked in the sheet metal trades, where he completed a five-year apprenticeship to become a journeyman. He continued to master all aspects of welding, metal-working, fabrication, mechanical drawing, and materials handling. His work involved coordinating teams of skilled metal fabricators, mechanics, and welders who installed often one of a kind facilities, equipment and machinery in New Jersey’s high-tech food and pharmaceutical industries. By the end of his career, Haugaard had become a sketcher/designer and superintendent. In retirement, he continues to enjoy fabrication and woodworking, and applies his talents to building classic American furniture, toys for his grandchildren, and exquisite wooden cabinetry for his family and friends.
Lunde is a retired food industry executive. His last assignments were in government relations and scientific affairs, where he specialized in the development of public-private partnerships. He traveled the globe to foster relationships with government officials, the Smithsonian Institute, the World Bank, USAID, USDA, NIH, and the UN. John is the son of Captain Birger Lunde, a Norwegian and American Sea Captain, who instilled in him a great respect for the sea and the Norwegians who plied its waters. He witnessed firsthand Norway’s unique approach to boatbuilding.
Harold and John displayed this boat at Bernt Balchen Lodge’s Annual Scandinavian Fair on September 12, 2015. Congratulations to both Harold and John for a job well done!
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 18, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.