With our two Viking Replica Longships, both 36ft and fully rigged, we can organise Longship races, rowing, time trials and beach invasions. The vessels can also be used in land-based events with a purpose built road trailer for parades and processions.

The Longships are available for TV and film appearances and were recently used in the TV Series ‘The Vikings’.

With a fair wind and the sails hoisted they are a spectacular sight!

How the Longships came about

After the Portaferry Challenge of 1997 involving the use of two of the Isle of Man Longships, the Ardglass Committee decided to investigate the construction of their own Longships. With the blessing and consent of the Peel Viking Committee, the Ardglass Vikings borrowed a Manx longship to produce a mould of its hull and reproduce the two identical longships that have dominated Co. Downs shores for the past few decades.

Longship Names

The Ardglass Vikings Longships are known as the Black Swallow Launched July 17 1998 and the Ellen Dubh Launched 30th May 1999. The Local primary school children of Ardglass were asked to name the 1st longship and had been made aware of a swallows nest that had been present in the “Shield Hall,” where the mould and longships were produced. Once the Black Swallow was freed from its mould , swallow chicks left their nest. The hulls were given a black pigment so the names were chosen and influenced from their appearance. The Ellen Dubh translates from the Irish Black Nellie named after a former Proprietor of the Lighthouse bar who passionately and generously supported the boat-building project and played host to the Isle of Man contingent who visited and contributed in the early formations of the Ardglass Viking Association.

The technical bit

Both boats were constructed by volunteers of the community of Ardglass in the Shield Hall. The boats are hand-build made of fibre-glass hull with wooden infrastructure with watertight sealed bulkheads containing buoyant floatation. The boats have a draught of 2ft /60cm. The broad hull gives stability and with no keel, allows the vessels to be drawn right up on to the beach and enter into shallow waters. Complete with sails and rigging as well as the option of being accompanied by outboard motor, the boats can operate anywhere under control, in challenging weather and sea conditions within reason.