Model of a Venetian Racing 'Gondola'

model of Racing Gondola', from Venice'

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model of Racing Gondola', from Venice'
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Model of Racing "Gondola", from Venice. Scale 1:12.

This model shows a method of building a light racing boat which is in sharp contrast to that employed in the construction of racing “eights” throughout the world.

The racing “eight” depends or longitudinal strength on a deep internal keel, or Kelson, reinforced by fairly heavy wales, also internal. This racing gondola is flat-bottomed and is built with no keel. There are heavy internal wales, r waterways, and these are connected y cross-bracing between the deck-beams, while longitudinal strength is increased by the use of a long rope truss in the interior of the boat, which is tightened by means of a “Spanish windlass”. Two other “Spanish windlasses” are employed to take the strain of the high massive crutches for the oars. The boat is propelled by two oarsmen, each of whom row standing and facing forward. As in the ordinary Venetian gondola, the oarsman, who stands on the decking aft, steers by means of a curious twist of his oar underwater at the end of the stroke, somewhat similar to that used in Canadian paddling.

Its length is 24ft, breadth is 3.5ft and depth 1.5ft.


Water Transport
Object Number:
model - representation
  • visual and verbal communication
Phillips, S.H.