How did they used to make rope? At the ropeyard at Hardanger Maritime Centre, you can see for yourself how different kinds of rope are made by hand.
This is the only ropeyard in use in Norway. Ropes of hemp, manila hemp, coir, linden bast, horsehair, skin and hair are made in the 80-metre-long ropeyard. Ropes are also made from artificial hemp. You can watch ropemakers performing the craft, which is based on ‘technology’ dating from the Middle Ages.
When a rope is made by hand, it is easy to adapt it to its intended use.
The ropemakers produce rope for numerous different purposes, such as for ships’ rigging, for sailmakers, museums, horse owners, lassos, decoration and railings.
Why not pay us a visit?
Our most important customers are those who own old traditional boats and vessels. The centre works on the reconstruction and restoration of these historical vessels. A holistic approach is important in projects like this, which means handmade rope is a must in the rigging. The small boat workshop also produces new, classic traditional boats, and restores old boats that also need rope for thole pins and rigging. The ropeyard is open to the public, so feel free to pay us a visit!
Hardanger Maritime Centre has kept the tradition alive
In 1995, the centre employed its own ropemaker, Anja Hertzberg. She was the first person to have taken a craft certificate as a ropemaker in Norway for more than 40 years. Since then, many others have learned the craft at the centre. Ingunn Undrum started out as a ropemaker apprentice in 1997, and went on to take the journeyman’s examination in 2001. She has worked as a ropemaker at the centre since then, and has taught two new apprentices. One of them, Sarah Sjøgren, who has also taken the journeyman’s examination, is now a colleague at the ropeyard. Hardanger Maritime Centre is the only place in Norway keeping this traditional craft alive. Ropemaking again became a recognised trade in August 2013. The unique knowledge it represents is also used in research, and in connection with the documentation and reconstruction of the use of rope through history. The ropemakers also hold courses and give lectures at other venues. They often bring a small, mobile ropeyard with them so children and adults alike can make their own rope. We have delivered rope for the standing and running rigging on the Viking ships Draken Harald Hårfagre and Saga Oseberg. The centre has also delivered all the cordage and rigging for the new bankskøyta vessel in Ålesund.