There are currently three versions of seafaring vessels within Valheim: the Raft, the Karve, and the Longship. Each vessel is significantly faster than its previous version with increased durability and player seating.
How to sail a boat
Climb onto the boat and interact with the rudder to begin sailing. The raft can travel at four speeds - slow, medium, fast, and reverse.
Sailing with the wind
The mini-map on the upper right shows the direction of the wind (blowing wind symbol; white arrow if you're on land) in relation to the boat. If the symbol is white, the wind is blowing in your favour. If the wind is blowing from the bow of the boat and greyed out, you cannot use the sails in that direction and must instead use the rudder (see below). The sails automatically turn into the wind. The brightness of the golden part of the circle indicates how strong the wind is pushing the boat, thus highest speed is achieved when wind blows perpendicular to the boat course. Once the vessel is in motion, a player can leave the rudder and wander the boat.
Using the rudder
While holding the rudder, press [W] (don't hold). The moving rudder icon will appear on the right side above the compass, and the boat will begin to move forward without the sail.
To reverse, press [S] until the rudder appears again and the boat will begin to move in reverse without the sail.
These slow speeds using the rudder are useful for turning the boat quickly and travelling into the wind.
Using the sail
While moving slowly with the rudder, press [W] one or two times to lower the sail. If you are travelling with the wind you will begin to sail. If you are pointed into the wind (gust symbol greyed out) then the boat will stop.
To travel into the wind with the sail, you must 'tack' back and forth in a zigzag manner, raising the sail and turning into the wind at each tack. It may be easier/faster just to rudder at a slow speed.
Steering the craft
Press [A] or [D] to turn the boat. If you turn into the wind with the sails down, the raft will come to a stop. Raise the sails while travelling into the wind.
Press [S] or [W] until the sail is up and rudder icons on the right are no longer showing.
How to Build a Boat
You need to a workbench near in order to place it down.
- Select a Hammer in your inventory
- Press [F] to switch to [Misc] tab
- Select the boat you want to construct
- Press [LMB] to place it in the water
- You cannot build structures on any form of boat.
- Boats can capsize if significant forces push them to the side, though heavy waves alone are often not enough to do so.
- If sailing perpendicular to a strong wind in a storm with the sails fully down, it is possible to capsize a boat as it rides over particularly strong waves.
- If the boat gets stuck on a rock, it may capsize and take repeated damage from waves, which will eventually destroy the boat and leave the player stranded.
- Due to an error or bug in placing, sometimes a boat that has run aground on a rock or sloped surface will "slip" and crash to the bottom of the water. In some rarer cases the boat will slide away from the player and off into the distance as an invincible object. This seems to affect Longboats more than the other two variants.
- The high tide and low tide of the water can cause your boat to drift or smash into objects, incurring damage.
- Near the shore, enemies such as Draugr, Leeches. Deathsquitos, or Greydwarfs may attack boats. Deathsquitos in particular attack passengers on boats, and are capable of following even the fastest boats far out to sea; Blobs are capable of following you a short distance out to sea and jumping into your boat to issue a poison gas AOE attack.
- When destroyed, ships will leave a floating crate with their stored materials, however, heavier materials such as pelts and nails used to construct the boat will sink to the ocean floor and become unrecoverable in deeper waters.
- While Encumbered you cannot interact with the rudder.
- Boats can be raised out of the water by building underneath them, and will not take damage unless water forces them to collide with terrain or building parts.
- Boats will continue sailing if the sails are open and at least one player is on the deck of the boat, even if no player is interacting with the rudder.
- As such, players should be wary of logging out whilst having at least two players on a boat, as the boat will continue to travel while they are logged off. Logging back in may result in the player being stranded in water.
- Boats will immediately stop if there are no players on the deck of the boat.
- As such, solo players (or coordinated groups) are free to jump off/logout from the boat without fear of being left behind from their boat or their boat crashing into land since it will stop immediately.