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How to build a boat in Valheim

how to build Valheim boat
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Struggling to build a Valheim boat? Once you've got your Valheim workbench up and running, you can begin skimming the waters that surround your island. You can build rafts and karves, before slowing making your way up to a majestic longship for your seafaring travels.

Before long, you'll want to explore more of the Valheim map. Some of the best resources can be found overseas, so you'll need a reliable vessel to get you from A to B. I'm here to help you set sail on your next nautical adventure, so let's cover how to build, dock, and repair a boat in Valheim.

How to build a Valheim boat

Before rushing to craft a boat, it's worth planning ahead. Just like other structures, ships will need repairing, so it's best to build a dock and workbench near the coast to patch up your fleet. If your house is nowhere near water, consider building a portal that takes your straight to where your boats and moored.

How to craft a raft

Raft

Think of a raft as a practical means of travel rather than a luxurious one. It's not much of a ship, but it gets you where you need to go. You won't have to stray far from Valheim's starter biome, the Meadows, either as this recipe is nice and simple. Rafts are perfect for early game exploration, and placing them on bodies of water is just a left-click from your inventory away.

  • Equipment: Workbench
  • Wood x20: Chop down trees in the Meadows.
  • Leather scraps x6: Dropped by boar and found in chests.
  • Resin x6: Dropped by Greydwarf (including Shaman and Brutes), occasionally dropped by Birch and Beech trees.

How to craft a karve

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Karve

The karve is the raft's older sibling. It's faster and easier to steer, as well as being more durable than its predecessor. Unlike the raft, it has four storage slots to make it easier to transport your spoils, and you can pick up surprising speed with the wind in your sails.

  • Equipment: Workbench, forge
  • Bronze nails x80: Crafted using bronze at a forge.
  • Deer hide x10: Dropped by deer.
  • Fine wood x30: Chop down Birch and Oak trees (requires a bronze axe or better).
  • Resin x20: Dropped by Greydwarf (including Shaman and Brutes), occasionally dropped by Birch and Beech trees.

How to craft a longship

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Longship

If you're longing for the best boat in Valheim, the longship is your endgame build. Set sail with a crew of buddies and try your best to fill its 18 storage slots with goodies. It won't need repairing often, you can ride waves at speed, and storms are actually quite enjoyable when you're bobbing along in this ship.

  • Equipment: Workbench, forge
  • Ancient bark x40: Chop down ancient trees in the Swamp.
  • Deer hide x10: Dropped by deer
  • Fine wood x40: Chop down Birch and Oak trees (requires a bronze axe or better).
  • Iron nails x100: Crafted using iron at a forge.

Docking your boat

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)
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(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

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Anchors away: How to build a Valheim boat dock

There's no way to properly anchor your boat in Valheim, but you can build a dock to stop it drifting away. This can be as elaborate or as basic as you like, but make sure you collect lots of wood before you start. 

To build a dock, place wood wall tiles in the water with wood floor tiles above in a T shape (shown above). Place some wood stairs at the water's edge, and finish off the end of the dock with more wood walls to make it the perfect home for a permanent workbench.

  • Equipment: Workbench 
  • Wood floor: Requires wood x2 per tile. 
  • Wood wall: Requires wood x2 per tile.
  • Wood stairs: Requires wood x2 per tile. 

Repairing a boat

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

How to repair a boat in Valheim

Fixing up your ship is similar to how you'd repair tools, items, and buildings. All you need to repair a boat is a workbench, but as I mentioned earlier, you'll want to have one of these easily accessible on your dock, and within range of your boat. To repair your Valheim boat, equip your hammer, right-click to enter the build menu, then position your cursor over the boat. Press left-click and you're ready to take on the stormy seas once more.

Sailing

The basics of setting sail in Valheim

Each boat has a rudder, which you'll need to use while sailing. You can travel at different speeds, and it's even possible to reverse. Interact with the rudder and tap W to move forward, or S to move backwards. A and D allow you to bear left and right, and you can open and close the sail by double-tapping W and S.

Keep an eye on your mini map and look out for the white arrow, which represents the wind direction. Heading in the same direction as the wind will let you sail, whereas moving against it will slow you down, or stop your boat in its tracks. Remember, you don't have to be glued to the rudder for the entire trip, once your boat is coasting along the waves, feel free to walk around.

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.