18th Century Church Boat
What the actual size Church Boat looked like.
Here is an actual view of one of the full size boats which still exist in Sweden. Again, the Oar Locks would be a clue as to which Parish owned and used the Church Boat. This boat is approximately eighty feet in length to accomodate the many faithful riding to church. This boat in Rättvik was kept in an open pole barn to protect it other boats were kept in enclosed boat houses.
The Church was one of the principal spheres of activity in the rural community. People traveled long distances to attend in the early years of New Sweden Colony, as they had done in Sweden. The traditional church boat was used for centuries on the abundant rivers and lakes in Sweden. It's appearance resembles the rowing ships used by the Vikings. The church boat purchased in 1699 by the church in Christina (now Wilmington, Delaware) may have been patterned after one of these traditional church boats. Each parish in Sweden had unique Oar Locks and each family had their oar inscribed with a unique symbol or "bomark". A boathouse was usually built to store the boat over the Winter.