venetian style gondola

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by lokahi, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. lokahi
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    lokahi New Member

    hi everyone,

    i am trying to build a venetian style gondola with a slight twist. this gondola is to be used as a prop in a dance theatre set.

    It must float, be able to carry 2 adults and a gondolier and be able to travel at least 40' in a 4' deep swimming pool.

    the gondolier will stand using a double ended pole to push off the bottom of the pool kind of kayak style. i can rig some sort of guidance system if needed to the bottom so the boat will travel from "dock to dock". current thinking is is ropes through tubes/pipes attached to bottom.

    preferred length is 14'-16'. construction to be .25" marine ply w/ west system epoxies. the simpler the better.

    i hope that someone can find this as challenging as i have and can provide some insight on design/construction.

    my skill level is high as i have been a woodworker for the last 45 years however, could sure use some design help on this project.

    mahalo,

    lokahi
     
  2. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    DogCavalry likes this.
  3. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    The size of a Venetian Gondola is 36' long ( 11 M) with a beam of 4'-6" (1.4 M). They are flat bottomed. 1,000s of pics on line. You could build it out of foam with fiber glassing the outside but no heavy moving around. More like a 1 time use.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  4. KJL38
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    KJL38 Junior Member

    Gondolas

    Gondolas are asymmetrical, extremely rockered and heavily ballasted. I have some photos at http://www.panoramio.com/photo/94322498 http://www.panoramio.com/photo/94322481 http://www.panoramio.com/photo/94322481

    They are also much longer than you require so I think rather than going for authenticity it may be better to build a double ended rowboat with decorative ends to look like a gondola and add ballast to improve stability.

    There are some free plans at http://flo-mo.weebly.com/two-sheet-boats.html that may work as a starting point.
     
  5. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Don't know where did you hear about the ballast, as far as I know it is not used on gondolas. The bottom is shallow and flat, so there would be no place for the ballast anyways. I have never seen indications of ballast on gondola lines plans, and don't recall seeing any ballast on the models exposed in the museum in Venice.

    Regarding the asymmetry, it was introduced only in 19th century. Up till then gondolas were perfectly symmetric, shorter and wider than current boats. They started to grow bigger in the 17th and 18th century and (as said) became progressively more asymmetric starting from the 19th century.

    So, if some level of accuracy of the replica is desired, the boat shape will depend on the historical time period the theatrical piece is about.

    Cheers
     
  6. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Do some googling or search Boatdesign net. Some years ago a builder in the US did exactly what you wish. Built a gondola for weddings and a movie prop. A big one
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Oh and they originaly were any colour. They became Black during the black plauge to signal that they had beed used to transport the dead.
     
  8. lokahi
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    lokahi New Member

    more info

    thanks for the quick replies.

    i should clarify that this is only to resemble a gondola, and will be used at night with indirect lighting sources. the set theme is venice and the grand canal. the "gondola" only needs to transport 2 adults and a gondolier approx 40' across a resort lagoon style pool.

    the addition of a ferro on the prow and a place to sit/recline and a gondolier to "row" standing in the back should pretty much create the "gondola style".

    what i was thinking was something like a sampan except the rear would not be split. there are many styles that are adaptable except for the raised front and rear. ( please excuse the non-nautical terms i mean no disrespect )

    this "gondola" does not need curved sides, a contoured fore and aft deck (flat is fine ). will 14-16 ft length work for this without being too broad abeam? how tall must the sides be at this length? anything is good, i apprceciate the links and photos but as you probably figured out by now i am not a boatbuilder or desiger. please steer this newbie in the right direction.

    i surf, does that count?

    mahalo,
    lokahi

    ;)surf 6-8 ft ssw
    winds ne at 15-20 mph
    82 degrees at 70% humidity
    lucky live hawaii
     
  9. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  10. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Actually, that story has turned out to be just a myth. :)

    In the beginning gondolas were black, because covered with waterproofing tar. And they were boats for all classes. Starting from the 17th century, gondolas have progressively become a status symbol of rich and influent Venetian families. They started decorating and covering gondolas with all sorts of luxurious colors and items - a typical behaviour of human beings when they become rich and start feeling a need to show their wealth and importance in every way they can.

    At some point this race of exhibitionism and opulence of their gondolas became contrary to the sumptuary laws of the Venetian Republic. So the Senate of Venice introduced heavy fines to be paid for exhibiting excessively flashy gondolas. Since this measure proved useless (gondola-owners paid fines rather than renounce to their exhibition of opulence), around the year 1600 the Magistrate of Pomps (who was in charge of enforcing sumptuary laws) established that all gondolas shall be painted in black or covered with black clothes, with no exceptions.

    And so we have today's coloring scheme (if we can call it a scheme).

    By the way, the venetians considered grave dark blue, and not black, to be the color associated to death and grieve. ;)

    Cheers
     
  11. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    I would discard the pipes idea. Rope in pulleys would be the better way to go, similar arrangement used by the old river ferries.
     

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  12. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Think I read the black fun fact in Jan Morris, " Venice".

    Fantastic book.

    Oppulance. Fashion. High heels so tall that women needed helpers to walk. Women wearing so much gold jewlery that they passed a law limiting Jewlery. Women got around the law by useing gold thread and farbicating thier clothing from gold
    .
     
  13. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Since you seem to like the Venetian genre, may I recommend you to read something about courtesans, Veronica Franco in particular. I was amazed to learn how modern woman (even by today's standards) she was under many aspects, back in 1500's. :)
     
  14. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    If the pool has a flat bottom consider supporting the "gondola" on wheels riding along the bottom rather than having he gondola float. If the gondola needs to go in a straight line then the wheels could be fixed. If it needs to turn then casters with large diameter wheels could be used.

    My understanding is at least one of the "boat" rides at a Disney park actually rides/rode on tracks. No problems with capsizing or sinking, and the ride was by amusement ride rules rather than boat rules.
     

  15. lokahi
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    lokahi New Member

    more info 2

    thanks david for the tracking idea. we had already considered that option but the sheraton wasnt real keen on the idea. worried about damage to the pool bottom.

    i am now leaning towards a sandola type design. 15' length, 48" width with a flat bottom and , 12" sides with a 6" straight flare. the fore section leaves the flat bottom at 2' from center w/ 19" rise. aft section leaves flat bottom at 3' from center w/ a rise of 24".

    any ideas, comments on shape, displacement etc.

    as soon as i can find a suitable format i will attach drawings.

    mahalo all

    lokahi
     
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