The words skipper and steersman or helmsman were not used in the same way in Viking times as they are today. The skipper on the Sea Stallion is the ship’s captain or commanding officer, and the helmsman is the skipper’s subordinate and deputy. But in Viking times it may have been the other way round. The steersman in Viking times was the ship’s owner and had military command, whereas the skipari (skipper) was the next-in-command or an ordinary member of the crew.

But not much has changed since Viking times when it comes to the skipper’s role on board. The skipper and helmsmen – just like 1000 years ago – have overall responsibility for the ship, crew and equipment – and for making sure the ship reaches its destination.