Valgerda
An 18' 7" Hardangersjekte
By John Atkin
A Little Norseman -- The Hardangersjekte
This type of boat originated in the Hardangerfjord, Norway -- thus she is a Hardangersjekte, "jekte" meaning boat. In their homeland the boats are used for fishing and other practical work. They were designed for rowing, but many of the boats now are rigged with a tall, narrow sail plan -- with hollow spars and light standing rigging.

The "working boats" were fitted with an old-fashioned standing lug and they depended for stability on a cargo of fish. Because of their lack of initial stability, I designed a new keel - the original boats had a long, shallow keel approximately 4 inches deep. When loaded, they had sufficient lateral plane to hold the little craft on the wind. With expert handling, they had little difficulty in reaching port. In many respects, the Hardangersjekte has the same basic characteristics as our Bank dory, the Maine peapod, and similar workboats. Present-day Coast Guard loading rules would not give the Hardangersjekte a very good rating, but they have tremendous reserve stability and are excellent sea boats.

I've shown the standing lug rig -- solid spruce mast, yard, and boom. Sail area is 72 square feet, which will be sufficient to reach and run as well as to work to windward after a fashion. I'm fond of the simplicity of the standing lug rig, and I feel that in a boat of this type, a low aspect ratio is more effective. I prepared the rather shoal fin keel, fitted with lead ballast of approximately 106 pounds, because of her lack of initial stability and the unlikelihood of her carrying a cargo of fish.

Valgerda is 18 feet 7 inches overall by 14 feet 9 inches on her waterline by 5 feet 8 inches beam, with a draft of 1 foot 6 1/2 inches. Freeboard at her bow is 2 feet 6 3/8 inches and 2 feet 1/2 inch at the stern. She might very well be called a "double-chine" hull, which describes the sectional form very well; she will not be difficult to build. I have estimated that the finished boat will weigh about 600 pounds.

Her original construction incorporated 1/2 inch Scandinavian pine laid in three strakes, which would require planks some 20 inches wide. Obviously this would be difficult, indeed, to come by! As a result, I've shown her planked with 1/4 inch plywood, Harborite or Bruynzeel mahogany -- both of which are excellent. The planks need not be in single lengths -- and butt blocks may be used.

A comprehensive "how-to-build" article about Valgerda, written by my father, is available along with working drawings, including her lines; table of offsets; construction plan, elevation, and sections; sail plan and interior arrangement plans.

 
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