Viking burial

A viking burial for a frog

Why I am building the boat: Balsa viking boat

How I made the plans: Viking boat plans

Boat construction: Viking boat construction


We wanted the boat to sink when it was done burning, so we added some rocks in the compartments at the bow and stern.

We also wanted to be sure Freddie burned before the boat sank, so we added a bed of wood shavings and kindling around the internal deck. We also used long pieces of cedar to look like oars raised in the sky.

We attached a wire loop to each end of the boat and then tied fishing line to the loops. This way we could easily keep the boat centered in the pond.

Adding Freddie

Freddie had spent the last several decades in a jar of formaldehyde and had pretty much decomposed into a cloudy solution. There were still some solid parts, so we created a net of cheesecloth with a wire hanger and poured him into it. We rinsed him off with alcohol to make him more flammable, wrapped him in the cheesecloth to create a shroud, and placed him in the boat.

Too long in a jar
Too long in a jar

The sending off

My mom created a sound track for the funeral which included “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds and “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night.

We gathered around the pond, started the music and then lit the boat on fire. It burned quite well and by the second round of Joy to the World, the boat had burned down to the bottom of the hull, turned over, and sank bottom up to bottom of the pond.

1 thought on “Viking burial”

  1. Thank you Jake for building such a great boat for Freddie’s send off and then documenting it! It was just perfect and better than I could have imagined!


Leave a Comment