The Knärr was essentially a small scandiniavian boat with most characteristic of standard Viking boats.

The Knärr or Knorr is the best known and most widespread of the Norwegian cargo ships ("Kaupskip"). It was characterized by dimensions rather short in length compared to Langskips but the ratio length/width was much higher (1/4 or even 1/3). Draft was also higher, and most of these were decked. The Knärr was devoted to carry various trading goods like walrus ivory, wool, furs and pelts, armour, and weapons or even slaves but also honey, timber or wheat. The sail was therefore important for propulsion in comparison to rowing, mostly limited to maneuvers, and the rowing ports were often relegated to the rear and front, clearing the central part, where the load was placed on the the highest, longest Knorrs. The largest (about 20-30 meters long) fully decked received forecastles on both ends so that the passenger sheltering from the heavy weather do not share the middle deck with animals. A wreck of a Knarr known as "skuldelev" was found in the port of Roskilde, site of the famous museum, measuring 16,50 meters by 4,6. Its chords were much closer (80 cm for the Gokstad langskip and 74 cm for the Skuldelev Knarr).

Construction remained close to Langskips, but much stronger. Often Knarrs had a straight stem and stern, and a lower sailboard nailed rather than knotted. Framing was also thicker. Knarrs were reputed to be good long range seafaring ships, able to follow trade routes from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean since descriptions of these ships are reported by Arab merchants.This type of ship was essential to the great Viking explorations, allowing colonies to be founded in Ireland, England (York), Russia (Novgorod), Iceland, and at the time of Erik the Red, south-eastern Grönland. His son Leiv Eriksson, had a fleet of these ships that landed in Canada (founding a small colony of Helluland, Baffin Island, Marksland on the Labrador Coast, and Vinland in Newfoundland) when accidentally attempting to reach Greenland nearly 500 years before Columbus. Knarrs used for these expeditions as described by sagas were tall, with up to 35 rower, sub-types known as the Grønlandsknarr and Vinlandsknarr.