Vikings sail again

  • 2007-07-03
  • From wire reports

KAUNAS 's A Lithuanian man has taken the helm of a Vikinglongship for the first time in centuries.

A faithful reconstruction of the type of ship that used to plyBaltic waters to trade and raid along the coastline has been built byhistory enthusiasts from Vilnius who are interested in Vikingshipbuilding techniques and culture.

"We've done what nobody has ever done in Lithuania -we've revived ancient shipbuilding," said Marius Duoplys,captain of the 'Drakas' in an interview with the Lietuvos Ziniosdaily.

The ship is based on plans from the early Middle Ages but wasbuilt using modern techniques and computer design. Measuring 12meters by 2.5 meters, it will carry a crew of up to 20 and has a topspeed of 12 knots [26 kph]. It took nine months to construct and costnearly 100,000 litas.

The Drakas was constructed near Kaunas city and underwent itsfirst trials this week. It will spend its first summer in the citybefore sailing up the Nemunas River to the Curonian Lagoon.