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Valheim boats: how to make the Raft, Karve, and Longship

Learn how to make a boat and sail the seas in Valheim

How do you build a boat in Valheim? Valheim gives players a huge world filled with islands to explore, but to get to most of those islands you'll need to build a boat and sail there.

There are multiple types of boat to craft in Valheim and some are better than others. Our Valheim boats and sailing guide will walk you through how to craft each type of boat and why they're so useful. We'll also walk you through some tips for sailing the oceans and repairing your boats in Valheim.


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How to make a Valheim boat

If you want to make a boat in Valheim and start sailing the seas, there are a few things you should know. First: there are three different types of boat in Valheim. They are the Raft, the Karve, and the Longship.

The Raft is your earliest, weakest, and slowest option, but it's fairly easy to build. Later on you'll find that the Karve is stronger, faster, and more able to cross ocean biomes. And the Longship is stronger and quicker still.

You'll have to find certain items and resources before you can build each one, so consult the sections below where we discuss each boat in more detail.

A Valheim screenshot of a Raft at sea.

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: chop some trees!
  • 6x Leather Scraps: kill some boar!
  • 6x Resin: kill some Greydwarfs and/or chop some trees!

So all you need to do is chop down a few trees and murder a few boar (getting an early start with boar taming will help with this), and you'll be able to build a Raft.

The downside is that the Raft is pretty small and weak, and really rather slow - particularly 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 truly start to sail the oceans of the Valheim map. It's far faster, stronger, and more manoeuvrable than the Raft. To build a Karve, you need:

  • 30x Fine Wood: chop some birch/oak trees with a Bronze Axe!
  • 10x Deer Hide: kill some deer!
  • 20x Resin: kill some Greydwarfs and/or chop some trees!
  • 80x Bronze Nails: craft from Bronze at a Forge!

The tougher materials here are the Fine Wood (which you can get from chopping down Birch or Oak trees with a Bronze Axe, or getting a club-wielding Troll to chop them up for you); and Bronze Nails, which you can only get after making Bronze. So the Karve is very much a Bronze Age vessel.

It's a sleek and useful vehicle though, able to carry multiple players at once across oceans with ease - and it even comes with a small 4-slot storage area you can use to ferry items.

A Valheim screenshot of a Longship at sea.

How to make a Longship

The Longship is the greatest and fastest boat you can make in Valheim, but before you can craft one you need to get your hands on Iron from Muddy Scrap Piles. Here's the recipe for crafting a Longship:

  • 100x Iron Nails: craft from Iron at a Forge!
  • 10x Deer Hide: kill some deer!
  • 40x Fine Wood: chop some birch/oak trees with a Bronze Axe!
  • 40x Ancient Bark: chop some ancient trees in the Swamp!

The good news is that both the new materials here - Iron and Ancient Bark - can be found in the Swamp biome. If you've historically had some trouble finding Swamp biomes I recommend you peruse our list of the best Valheim seeds.

The Longship is superior to the Karve in basically every way. It's faster, able to sail against the wind more easily, and - perhaps loveliest of all - it has a cargo hold with a whopping 18 slots for transporting goods across the map.


How to sail in Valheim

Here are some quick tips and useful pieces of information on how to sail in Valheim:

  • To sail a boat, interact with its rudder. You can use W and S to set the speed by lowering or raising the sail. The boat can either be at rest, at slow/medium/fast speed forwards, or it can be set in reverse. Tap W and S to toggle between these 5 sailing modes.
  • While interacting with a rudder you can also use A and D to change your direction.
  • If you fall off your boat, you can get back on by interacting with the boat's ladder.
  • While sailing you'll see two icons below your minimap. One shows you the ship's sailing mode. The other shows you the wind direction.
  • It's very hard to sail against the wind. The best strategy if you need to sail against the wind is to zig-zag and flip your sails every time you change direction.
  • You can't repair a boat unless it is near a Workbench, so while out to sea you should be very wary of dangers such as Serpents.
  • Storms can make it very hard to sail in Valheim thanks to the large waves, particularly on the smaller boats. Choose your time to sail carefully.

That wraps up this guide to sailing and making boats in Valheim. If you're after more general tips on creating a new home, be sure to check out our Valheim building guide. Elsewhere there's our list of the best Valheim weapons.

About the Author

Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is known round these parts for having just about the deepest voice in existence. Some say he used to be pretty darn good at Rocket League, but he has since sacrificed that accolade in order to become passably decent at Apex Legends. His favourite pastimes include playing piano covers of his favourite game soundtracks, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

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