The sandolo is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

Watercraft rowing
Watercraft rowing is the act of propelling a boat using the motion of oars in the water. The difference between paddling and rowing is that with rowing the oars have a mechanical connection with the boat whereas with paddling the paddles are hand-held with no mechanical connection.This article...

A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

 designed for the generally shallow waters of the Venetian Lagoon
Venetian Lagoon
The Venetian Lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. Its name in the Venetian language, Laguna Veneta— cognate of Latin lacus, "lake"— has provided the international name for an enclosed, shallow embayment of saltwater, a lagoon.The Venetian Lagoon...

. The plural is sandoli.

A sandolo is of a much simpler build than a gondola
The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian Lagoon. For centuries gondolas were the chief means of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice. In modern times the iconic boats still have a role in public transport in...

, but has a pointed, decorated metal nose. It is also lighter and smaller than a gondola, and can be recognized at a glance, as it always lacks the high steel prow
thumb|right|295pxThe prow is the forward most part of a ship's bow that cuts through the water. The prow is the part of the bow above the waterline. The terms prow and bow are often used interchangeably to describe the most forward part of a ship and its surrounding parts...

 (called ferro) which is seen on a gondola. The sandolo, like the larger craft, is rowed while standing up.It can be fitted with a sail, and also with an in-board motor.

In the past, the police used an extant variant of the sandolo called vipera, which differed in having no stem
Stem (ship)
The stem is the very most forward part of a boat or ship's bow and is an extension of the keel itself and curves up to the wale of the boat. The stem is more often found on wooden boats or ships, but not exclusively...

, being sharply pointed at both ends, and being constructed so that it can be rowed from either end.

Space in the sandolo is limited, with enough room for one oarsman
Watercraft rowing
Watercraft rowing is the act of propelling a boat using the motion of oars in the water. The difference between paddling and rowing is that with rowing the oars have a mechanical connection with the boat whereas with paddling the paddles are hand-held with no mechanical connection.This article...

, aft
Aft, in naval terminology, is an adjective or adverb meaning, towards the stern of the ship, when the frame of reference is within the ship. Example: "Able Seaman Smith; lay aft!". Or; "What's happening aft?"...

, and two passengers on the main seat, and two more passengers sitting on small stools towards the bow
Bow (ship)
The bow is a nautical term that refers to the forward part of the hull of a ship or boat, the point that is most forward when the vessel is underway. Both of the adjectives fore and forward mean towards the bow...

. The traditional use of the sandolo is for recreation
Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be "fun"...

 and racing, and it is considered one of the four principal types of boat used in and around Venice. Rather less stable than a gondola, it has a rocking motion all of its own.

Although not often used for fishing, as such, the craft is used for collecting crab
True crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" , or where the reduced abdomen is entirely hidden under the thorax...

s and mussel
The common name mussel is used for members of several families of clams or bivalvia mollusca, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval.The...

s, while an early 20th century writer noted that he had heard the sandolo called "the donkey cart of Venice".

The boat has also been called "without doubt one of if not the most graceful of all Venetian craft". Less manoevrable but lighter than a gondola, it was in the past used especially by boys, artists, and women.

In Gondola Days (1897), Francis Hopkinson Smith
Francis Hopkinson Smith
Francis Hopkinson Smith was a United States author, artist and engineer. He built the foundation for the Statue of Liberty, wrote many famous stories and received awards for his paintings.-Biography:...

 (1838–1915) stated that the sandolo was "the only boat of really modern design, and this is rarely used as a fishing-boat". He went on to describe it as "a shallow skiff
The term skiff is used for a number of essentially unrelated styles of small boat. The word is related to ship and has a complicated etymology: "skiff" comes from the Middle English skif, which derives from the Old French esquif, which in turn derives from the Old Italian schifo, which is itself of...

Draft (hull)
The draft of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull , with the thickness of the hull included; in the case of not being included the draft outline would be obtained...

 but a few inches of water, and with bow and stern
The stern is the rear or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship. Originally, the term only referred to the aft port section...

 sharp and very low", and considered that it was originally intended for greater speed in boat racing
Rowing (sport)
Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water...


Horatio Brown
Horatio Brown
Horatio Robert Forbes Brown was a Scottish historian who specialized in the history of Venice and Italy.Born in Nice, he grew up in Midlothian, Scotland, was educated in England at Clifton and Oxford, and spent most of his life in Venice, publishing several books about the city...

 said in his Life on the Lagoons
Life on the Lagoons
Life on the Lagoons, which deals with the history and topography of the watery area around the city of Venice, is the first book by the Scottish historian Horatio Brown....

(1884) "The Venetians are not good boat-builders. The only boats they make successfully are gondolas and sandoli. In a later book he wrote "The pleasantest way to go to Malamocco
Malamocco is one of the three narrow inlets in the enclosing coastal dune bar that connect the Venetian Lagoon with the Adriatic Sea, together with the Lido and Chioggia inlets...

is to take a sandolo, if you can.

Alexander Robertson said of Venice in 1898 – "Their streets are canals, their carriages are gondolas and sandolos..."
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.