HOWB 027 – Eric Friberg Nordic wooden boat builder

by admin on March 22, 2012



Interview – Eric Friberg of  North Fjord Boats.

Eric has a rich maritime heritage.  His family moved from Superior Wisconsin to the Seattle area in 1965 so his dad could work in the Seattle shipyards.  Soon after, his father built a wooden fishing boat and headed to Alaska.   The boat was a 30′ Bristol Bay double ender made for the rough waters of Alaska.

When Eric was just 10 years old, he spent the summer in Alaska fishing with his dad.  In his early 20’s, Eric started boatbuilding on his own – making kayaks and other small boats.  One of his first projects was a Greenland stitch and glue kayak kit – from England of all places!  He learned to Eskimo roll with this boat and spent a lot of time paddling Puget Sound, including navigating the treacherous Deception Pass and getting caught in a gale which tested his rolling skills.

A few years later, Eric stumbled upon the book Norse boatbuilding in North America and became hooked on the Viking method of clinker boat building.  Then he found Jay Smith, who he apprenticed under, and shortly after went to Scandinavia to visit the boatbuilding shops and museums.  Five years ago Eric turned his part time passion into a full time career and founded North Fjord Boats.

Tune in to this podcast to hear the complete interview with Eric.  Click on the green player button above for all the details.  ENJOY!

Here’s some pics (click to enlarge):

Eric outside the "outside" shop. Big honking steam boxes in forefront.


Eric's modified version of Bolger's Gloucester Gull Dory


Gokstad Faering traditional clinker build in progress


Eric's custom handmade scribing tool places 2 parallel lines which artistically accent each strake on his clinker boats.


Beautiful 15' Faering Eric built - for sale.

Thanks Eric for taking the time to be interviewed, and best to you in your boatbuilding efforts!

To connect with Eric, go to North Fjord Boats.


Other Fun Stuff:

Please help support the Felicity Ann project by going to and getting involved in this very cool project to rebuild the sailboat which carried the first female across the Atlantic in the 1950’s.  Thanks!


Want to help?  Please leave feedback!

I want to build a community of people from all over the world who want to connect, learn, share stories and photos, and have fun with wooden boats.  I would REALLY appreciate you sending me wooden boats pics, stories, or projects you are working on.  You can also write comments on my blog, email me at, or call my feedback hotline at 424 261-2360.

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