Cargo Boats and Fishing Boats

Marine Archeology
Traditional Boats
Gondola and variants



Cargo boats and fishing boats
Voga alla veneta
Ceremonial ships and boats
Traditional Ships
Modern boats and Vaporetti

A large Batela a coa de gambaro in the Grand Canal


Batela is a generic name used to describe many types of boat, in this case it designates a lagoon boat that can be used with oars and sails, without a deck, built in two types: the batŔla buranela, and the batŔla a cˇa de gambaro. The first has a transom, while the second has a rounded stern with an elegantly raised stem. We think that the term barchŔta a cˇa de gambaro, often used as a synonym, is more slender and more similar to a gondola

See also: drawings, mode batela a coa de gamabaro, model batela buranela

One of the last surviving examples of a batele buranele.

P 228 Survey of a 40-quintal Caorlina, by U. Miori, 1959


The caorlýna is a beautiful lagoon boat, with symmetrical, rounded bow and stern, crescent-shaped stems with vertical ends and parallel sides; the boat is capacious without being ungainly. Only a few examples built to traditional techniques have survived, but many replicas have been made in marine plywood as pleasure boats or for regattas. It can be used both with oars (up to six oarsmen) and with sails. It was used for transport and for a style of fishing known as serÓgia, in which case a camar˛to (low cabin) was built for the fishermen.

See also: drawings   model caorlina da trasporto, model caorlina da seragia,    restoration

One of the rare images of a batelon to the right of a peata in the Muti boatyard, Venice.


The batelˇn is a lagoon boat for transport with oars and sail, similar to the caorlina, but larger and with a slightly raised stern.

See also: drawings, models

Trasloco in peata.


The peata is the most commonly-used transport boat for the internal Venetian canals, normally rowed by two oarsmen. It is similar to the caorlina, but bigger and less streamlined, built to obtain the maximum capacity; crescent-shaped stems (later examples had a straight stern stem), hull almost completely parallel, flat bottom, with two covers at the ends complete with a port and two bitts each. It was made in a variety of sizes to carry from 100 to 250, 400, 800 and more quintals.

See also: drawings   models   restoration


Cargo-carrying Topo in St Mark's


Topo or Batelo da pisso

The topo is a lagoon and coastal boat with a flat bottom, between 6 and 14 metres long. It has rounded sides and stern with a curved vertical stem and a forward-reaching curved bow. Many variations exist which are denominated according to the area of the lagoon they originated in and the use to which they are put: battello a pýsso, m¨sso or mussÚto, topÚto, t˛po mistierÚto, t˛po venessiÓn, batŔlo col fýlo. It was used for transport and fishing with oars and lugsails. It is now motorized (mototopo) or with the stern cut straight (topa). The topo is the most widely used lagoon transport boat.

See also: drawings   models

 Topa veneziana


Attualmente la topa, Ŕ una barca lagunare simile al topo ma con la poppa a specchio invece che tonda, sulla quale si pu˛ agevolmente installare un motore fuoribordo.

Ha avuto un grande successo grazie alla sua versatilitÓ, in quanto pu˛ agevolmente andare a motore, a remi ed a vela, tanto da essere fabbricata anche di serie in vetroresina.

Le tope sono lunghe dai 6,5 metri a 7,30 e sono larghe 1,70 1,90 ca.

Vai a: disegni   modelli 

Bragagna a do proe sailing, coll. Mario Marzari.


The bragÓgna is both a type of boat and a type of lagoon fishing net, we do not know which gave its name to which. The most ancient type is the bragÓgna a tre alberi or a do proe. It has symmetrical extremities and is the only lagoon boat with three masts. Fishing was carried out making leeway in the eye of the wind, keeping the mouth of the net open by means of two poles fixed at to the ends of the boat. This type of boat was substituted in the twentieth century keeping the same method of fishing with a boat similar to a small, deckless brag˛sso.

See also: drawings drawings   models   restoration


A Bragagna (left) and a bragosseto (right) in the boatyard in Chioggia. Coll. Silvano Voltolina.


Bragosso during a regata, foto Bertarello.

Bragosso o bragozzo

The brag˛sso was the most widely used fishing boat with oars and sails in the Central and Northern Adriatic. Nine to sixteen metres long, it had two masts rigged with lugsails and a long rudder which also functioned as a fin keel.

See also: drawings   models   books   family album

A pair of bragossi in Chioggia,

coll. Silvano Voltolina

Detail of the bow of the model of a tartana kept at the Museum of Naval History, Venice


The tartana was widely-used boat in the whole of the Mediterranean, although its features and dimensions varied according to the region in which it was used. The Adriatic version was similar to a large bragosso, but had a differently-shaped bow and other minor details. Marella states that it was 55 Venetian feet long and 13 wide, the equivalent of 19.25 m x 4.52 m.

Sadly no photographs of this vessel have survived, only two models and a few sketches by the painter Naccari.

See also: drawings, model

A large trabaccolo enters the

Giudecca Canal with its sails

unfurled, photo T. Filippi, coll. Dorigo.


In Chioggia the trabaccolo is also known as a barca marinŔra. It is a well-known transport vessel about 20 metres long with two masts and a bowsprit, used throughout the Northern Adriatic. It was built following the classic criteria of naval construction, with timbers on a keel, rather than the method used for other boats from the same area, even of a similar size, with flat bottoms, (bragozzo, tartana, etc.). It has full forms in the topside and slender and curving in the bottom; the width is a third of the length. The trabacolo has straight stern stem with sliding rudder, rounded bow stem curving inwards at the top, surmounted by a sculpted sheep's fleece (per¨ca, pelizon, sc¨fia); two large painted sculpted eyes placed on either side of the bow stem above the hawse-hole. Rigged with lugsails (these were only gradually were replaced with fore-and-aft sails), standard rigging in steel cables, with ratlines on the shrouds.


See also: drawings   models   family album

The Marin Faliero at the boatyard in

Sottomarina, photo Alberto Vincenti.