Hehe, oars had not been invented yet in 1987. Usually if a logical piece was not used in a set, it had not been made at that time. I actually like the spears in the set, and if your guys arent rowing, they are armed to the teeth
Pirates didn't make their appearance for a couple of years, but the point is not whether they were available or not, but rather if the overall model is lessened by the choice that Lego made. It's not a detraction to me now
since I have more oars than I know what to do with.
6057 is nice but it is unfair to compare it to Viking Voyager, they are in different scales and made five years apart from each other (a long time in Lego years )
I think making a comparison is fair - it doesn't matter when they were made. Both are good, but I think the Serpent is a more robust model with better play value despite a higher price. The real value of the Voyager is in it's high minifig to parts count. However, if I was chosing one to return as a Legend, it would be the Sea Serpent. But the Voyager has it's place. I only have 1 (as opposed to 3 Sea Serpents) but I'll be getting some more for amphibious invasions (or simply making my own - it isn't that tough to make if you are willing to forego the rarer bendy tubes).