• Gondola
  • Batea a coa de gambero
  • Vipera
  • Batea concordiese
  • Gondola
  • Mascareta
  • Sandolo buranelo
  • Gondola
  • Renaissance Gondola
  • Topa

The gondola is the most famous of the lagoon boats.

It is the only entirely man-powered craft still used for commercial purposes – the transport of persons (a kind of taxi service).

As we have seen there has been a revival of other types of boats, but always for pleasure or racing.

The gondola is the result of centuries of evolution aimed at the maximum perfection for a given purpose in a given environment.

It combines the most distinguish features of all the lagoon boats, revised and adapted. Before the introduction of mechanical propulsion there were various kinds of gondola, each with its own particular purpose.

The distinction of the gondola lies in her shape. It is longitudinally asymmetrical and the depth is greater on the port side.

Of all the lagoon boats only the gondolin and the sandolo puparin have this feature, though to a lesser degree.

In the gondola the position of the centre of gravity, somewhat to the side of the longitudinal axis, would result in a permanent list if the hull were not bellied out on the side to which the boat lists, so as to bring the centre of buoyancy exactly onto the same vertical as the centre of gravity.

Now, in the gondola this bellying on the port side, the oarsman’s side – the oar goes to starboard – is obtained by making the frames wider on that side, so that the middle of the midship section is about 15 cm away from the line that joins the stem and the stern-post.

In addition, as has been said, the port side is deeper than the starboard so that when the gondola is completely empty it appears to list to starboard more than it really does.

The weight of the gondolier tends to tilt the gondola on the port side, but with passengers aboard the bottom slopes to starboard again.

Under these conditions the flat bottom forms an inclided plane rising from stern to stem and at the same time from starboard to port.

The centre-line of this plane runs roughly from the oarsman’s platform ( on the port side ) to the stem.

The three-dimensional sloping is particularly noticeable in the fore-body and makes the bow veer to starboard, counteracting the one-sided action of the oar.

The gondola’s starboard list also reduces the distance between the hull and the pressure-centre of the water on the blade of the oar, easing the oarsman’s work.


walnut, cherry wood, larch wood and oak, finishing of black laque, silver bars.

Length 108,5 cm

scale 1:10

design by G. Penzo