Fórcole da gondola

The gondola is the most well-known boat of the Venetian lagoon. Its fórcola has the most prominent sanca (elbow-like curve).

The stern fórcola is not the only one used on gondolas: certain types of gondola can accommodate up to four oarsmen which means that there are several types of fórcole that vary in shape according to the position of the oarsman and the type of rowing technique employed (normal or racing).

The fórcola velàda (fig.7) was the most elaborate model used on the king's gondola.

Fig. 1

Gondola: fórcola da poppa

Fig. 2

Gondola: fórcola da poppa da regata

Fig. 3

Gondola: fórcola da prua

Fig. 4

Gondola: fórcola da prua da regata

Fig. 5

Gondola: lai

Fig. 5bis

Gondola: lai da regata

Fig. 6

Gondola da 4 vogatori: fórcola da prua

Fig. 7

Gondola: fórcola da prua

Fórcole da caorlina

The caorlina was a boat used for transport and fishing; it was about 10 metres long with symmetrical, crescent-shaped bow and stern. Modern versions are used only for show or for regattas for six oarsmen. This and other cargo boats used a special type of forcola with three morsi aligned vertically which allowed the oarsman to maintain a comfortable position both when the boat was empty and when it was fully loaded.

Fig. 8

Caorlina: fórcole da poppa

Fig. 9

Caorlina: fórcole da poppa da regata

Fig. 10

Caorlina: fórcole da prua

Fig. 11

Caorlina: fórcole da prua da regata

Fórcole da batèla buranèla

The batèla buranèla is a work boat with the bow stem similar to that of the tòpo and the stern like that of the sàndoli. It is probably the simplified version of the batela a coa de gambero, an elegant boat which has completely disappeared which had a rounded, upward-curving stern.

Fig. 12

Batèla buranèla: fórcola da poppa

Fig. 13

Batèla buranèla: traditional fórcola da prua

Fórcole da gondolin

The gondolin is similar to the gondola, though smaller and lighter, used only for regattas with two oarsmen. The traditional stern fórcola is similar to that used for gondolas but higher and thinner (fig. 15), and has been recently modified so as to move the rowing point further to the front (fig. 16). The testa (head) has also been changed, eliminating the rear protrusion. The bow fórcola, which was initially high and straight like that of the sandolo, has gradually become shorter and extends outwards (fig. 17) forming a pronounced right-angled elbow (sanca). It has become the most difficult fórcola to make due to the stresses subjected on the wood - a problem which has become increasingly difficult as the morso moves further and further forward (fig.18).

Fig. 15

Gondolin: fórcola da poppa

Fig. 16

Gondolin: fórcola da poppa da regata

Fig. 17

Gondolin: fórcola da prua

Fig. 18

Gondolin: fórcola da prua da regata

Fórcole da mascaréta

The mascaréta is a lighter version of the sandolo without thwarts at the end of the forward deck. It is between seven and eight metres long, for a crew of two, used for fun or for women’s regattas. The traditional stern fórcola has two morsi similar to that of the sandolo, transformed for the regattas into a single morso inclined forwards and away from the boat.

The bow fórcola, also initially similar to that of the sandolo has become gradually lower and extended outwards and forwards so that it resembles the fórcola of the gondolin. It should be emphasized that these changes are by no means definitive because the latest version of the masceréte comunali is completely different from its predecessor. It has curved sides, and is asymmetrical like the puparìni; this new shape obliges the regatta competitors and the remèr to re-examine the equilibrium of the boat and the form of the fórcola.

Fig. 19

Mascareta: fórcola da poppa

Fig. 20

Mascareta: fórcola da poppa da regata

Fig. 21

Mascareta: fórcola da prua

Fig. 22

Mascareta: fórcola da prua da regata

Fórcole da sàndolo

The sàndolo is the most commonly used boat of the lagoon, characterized by the flat keel and the bow boom which is straight and identical to the stern boom. A large number of local variants exist, the sàndolo ciosoto, buranelo, San Pietro or sanpierota, as well as those modified for specific uses including the puparin, the s'ciopon, and the mascareta.

Fig. 23

Sandolo: fórcola da poppa

Fig. 24

Sandolo: fórcola da poppa da regata

Fig. 25

Sandolo: stern fórcola 'velàda'

Fig. 26

Sandolo: bow fórcola

Fórcole da s'ciopon

The s’ciopon is the smallest sandolo of the lagoon. It was designed for hunting with a spingarda (a large gun) and for fishing with a harpoon. Usually rowed by a single oarsman rowing with two oars alla valesana, its fórcole are the simplest and least expensive, cut from a board of modest thickness, they have been ‘fattened up’ as can be seen in the photographs.

Fig. 27

S'ciopon: fórcola da poppa

Fig. 28

S'ciopon: fórcola da poppa da regata

Fig. 29

S'ciopon: stern fórcola 'velàda'

Fórcole da tòpo

The tòpo, also called the batèlo a pìsso, is the most widely used fishing/transport boat of the lagoon. It is between six and twelve metres long, has the bow stem curved forwards and a rounded stern with a vertical stem. The types used for fishing have always used the same model of fórcola as the gragagne and the bragassi. In Venice, where they are used with a sail only for recreation, the fórcole are slightly different. In particular on the stern fórcola, on the part used for the stopping manouevre, there is a pointed protrusion which is purely decorative.

Fig. 30

Tòpo: fórcola da poppa

Fig. 31

Tòpo: 'mitria' fórcola

Fig. 32

Tòpo: fórcola da prua

Fórcole da puparìn

The puparìn is the most elegant of the sandoli, originally designed for transport for rich Venetian families, it is now used for recreation and for regattas. It has very slender stern (from which it takes its name) on which the popiere rows. It is asymmetrical like the gondola.

The traditional fórcola for puparìn is one of the most complex because it has both a sanca and two morsi like that of the sandolo and mascareta. The version for regattas is much simpler, with a single morso, a small sanca and resembles that of the gondolin. The bow version is much lower, more graceful and characterized by an angled head.

Fig. 33

Puparin: fórcola da poppa a due morsi

Fig. 34

Puparìn a quattro remi: fórcola da lai

Fig. 35

Puparìn da fresco: fórcola da prua

Fig. 36

Puparìn a quattro remi: fórcola da sentina

Fig. 37

Puparìn: fórcola da poppa ad un morso

Fig. 38

Puparìn: fórcola da poppa da regata

Fig. 39

Puparìn: fórcola da prua da regata