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

The trabaccolo, in its various typologies, has been the most common transport boat of the Adriatic and its features were the following: bellied bow and stern, small draft and classic length-beam ratio (3:1 approx.).

These boats had some variations in the hull shape, according to the place where they were constructed: more bellied on the Marche coast, with a quite flat bottom on the Veneto coast, cant and raked on the Dalmatian coast.

It was simple and strong, more similar to a ship than a boat, with a good loading capacity, thanks to the big central hatch, it was not very expensive and did not require many crew members (from 4 to 7).

The length of the hull could vary from 12 to 25 mt and the weight from 8 to more than 150 tons; it had a long helm (called timone a calumo) which was longer than the keel to prevent it from leeway when sailing fast.

The trabaccolo developed from the round ships of the Middle Ages as we can see in the hull which has the same dimensions and proportions.

The most ancient document which refers to this kind of boat dates back to 1693 and mentions it as a fishing boat. Along the Romagna and the Marche coast similar boats were constructed for such purpose; they were smaller than cargo boats and known as barchetti or bacoli.

The trabaccolo usually had two masts with balance-lug mainsails, with the bow sail to the right and the stern sail to the left, and with a long bowsprit which had a sliding polaccone (a triangular veil used instead of the jib).

This boat was popular in the Mediterrean sea and its particular equipment, which enabled a comfortable shipment with aft wind when the boat was full loaded, became famous as trabaccolo sails arrangement.

The barchetto, suitable for fishing, had balance-lug mainsails to the left of both masts, leaving space on the right side to lift the net.

To make easier the rigging on board, after the mid 19th century it was introduced the mainsail abaft with a sail arrangement known as a piffero in Veneto.

There were many ornaments and decorations: the colors of the hull and veils, the bow “eyes” (oculi), sculptures known as pelliccione or cuffia on the bow , other sculptures on the garlands or zoie, and adjustable vanes known as penèli or cimarole.

For centuries the trabaccolo has been a fast boat always full loaded, but it was used for various purposes: fishing, smuggling, as gun boat, as armed pontoon or landing craft, and as warship in several fleets, being very versatile and in some way even resisting before the introduction of mechanical propulsion.

A particular type of trabaccolo was the pièlego, which in ancient times was different only for having a small quarterdeck, later developed on the hull fore and aft, till at the end of the 19th century this boat became completely different since it had a transom stern and was suitable for a complete use of the sails; the Chioggia pièlego was particular and much appreciated.

Another development of the trabaccolo was the mixed type with the foremast equipped with square sails and the mainmast with a big balance-lug mainsail.

Nowadays few trabaccolo boats remains, after they were used to carry sand during the postwar period; in fact later this boat became expensive, slow for coastal navigation and not competitive with road transport, therefore it has been replaced by more modern boats.

Some rare trabaccolo boats, transformed into yacht or training ship, still sail the Adriatic arousing the interest of who sees them.


chestnut, mahogany, walnut, oak and maple wood

Length 145 cm

scale 1:25

2 balance-lug mainsails, 2 jibs