Bateaux Valheim: how to make and sail a boat

How do you build a boat in Valheim? Valheim offers players a huge world filled with islands to explore, but to access most of these islands you will need to build a ship and navigate there.

There are several types of boats to craft in Valheim and some are better than others. Our Valheim boats and sailing guide teach you how to make each type of boat and why they are so useful. We will also give you some tips for navigating the oceans and repairing your boats in Valheim.

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How to make a Valheim boat

If you want to take a boat trip to Valheim and start sailing the seas, there are a few things you need to know. First: there are three different types of boats in Valheim. These are the Raft, the Karve and the Longship.

The Raft is your oldest, weakest, and slowest option, but it’s fairly easy to build. Later, you will find out that the Karve is stronger, faster, and more capable of traversing ocean biomes. And the Drakkar is even stronger and faster.

You’ll need to find certain items and resources before you can build them, so check out the sections below where we discuss each boat in more detail.

How to make a raft

The Raft is the first boat you can craft in Valheim. It is created with the following recipe:

  • 20x Wood: cutting down trees!
  • 6x pieces of leather: kill a boar!
  • 6x resin: kill gray dwarves and / or cut down trees!

So all you have to do is chop down a few trees and murder a few boars (starting boar taming early will help with that), and you can build a raft.

The downside is that the raft is quite small and weak, and really quite slow – especially if the wind is not on your side. But it’s a good way to learn the basics of sailing.

A Valheim screenshot of a Karve at sea.

How to make a Karve

The Karve is where you can really start to navigate the oceans of the Valheim map. It’s much faster, stronger and more maneuverable than the Raft. To build a Karve, you will need:

  • 30x fine wood: cut birches / oaks with a bronze ax!
  • 10x deer skin: kill deer!
  • 20x Resin: kill gray dwarves and / or cut down trees!
  • 80x bronze nails: Bronze craftsmanship in a forge!

The strongest materials here are fine wood (which you can get by chopping down birches or oaks with a bronze ax, or having a club-wielding troll cut them for you); and Bronze Nails, which you can only get after doing Bronze. The Karve is therefore a Bronze Age vessel.

It’s a sleek and useful vehicle, however, capable of easily transporting multiple players at once across oceans – and it even comes with a small 4-slot storage area that you can use to transport items.

A Valheim screenshot of a longship at sea.

How to make a longship

The Longship is the largest and fastest boat you can build in Valheim, but before you can craft one you need to get your hands on the iron from Muddy Scrap Piles. Here is the recipe for making a longship:

  • 100x iron nails: Iron craft at a Forge!
  • 10x deer skin: kill deer!
  • 40x fine wood: cut birches / oaks with a bronze ax!
  • 40x ancient bark: cut hundred-year-old trees in the marsh!

The good news is that the two new materials here – Iron and Ancient Bark – can be found in the Swamp Biome. If you’ve historically struggled to find swamp biomes, I recommend browsing our list of the best Valheim seeds.

The longship is superior to the Karve in every way. It’s faster, able to navigate upwind more easily, and – perhaps the nicest of all – it has a cargo bay with 18 slots for transporting cargo across the map.

How to navigate in Valheim

Here are some quick tips and useful information on how to navigate Valheim:

  • To navigate a boat, interact with its rudder. You can use W and S to adjust the speed by lowering or raising the sail. The boat can be either at rest, slow / medium / fast forward, or in reverse. Press W and S to toggle between these 5 navigation modes.
  • When interacting with a rudder, you can also use A and D to change direction.
  • If you fall off your boat, you can climb back up by interacting with the boat ladder.
  • While you are browsing, you will see two icons below your minimap. One shows you the ship’s navigation mode. The other shows you the direction of the wind.
  • It’s very hard to sail against the wind. The best strategy if you have to sail upwind is to zigzag and turn your sails every time you change direction.
  • You cannot repair a boat unless it is near a workbench. Therefore, when you are at sea, you should beware of dangers such as snakes.
  • Storms can make sailing in Valheim very difficult due to the big waves, especially on small boats. Choose your moment to navigate carefully.

That concludes this guide to sailing and boat building in Valheim. If you’re looking for more general advice on creating a new home, be sure to check out our Valheim building guide. Elsewhere, there’s our list of the best Valheim weapons.

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