The paranza, a typical vessel from the lower Adriatic was used mainly for fishing, although it was also used for coastal fishing and surveillance.
The paranza of Trani was of robust construction and frequently made fishing campaigns of several months´ duration in Albania, Greece and even farther waters off the Mediterranean oriental coasts as well as North Africa. The load displacement varied between five to thirty tons and the length went from ten to thirty two meters. It was a wider vessel that as a singular characteristic showed a very rounded bow.
A detailed description of the paranza of Trani was given by captain Hennique, Commandant of a French fragata that found one of these vessels, “Maria de Costantinopoli” in the coasts of Tunisia in 1888, and made it the object of a meticulous and detailed study.
The paranza had a rounded hull and presented a 3:1ratio between length and beam. The dimensions checked by Hennique were as follows: 12 meters of length, 4.2 beam and 1.3 depth. The boat draught 0.7 m and displaced 13 tons. Its crew was of 10 men and a deckhand.
The rudder of the vessel particularly called Hennique´s attention because of its dimensions since with a longitude of 4.55 meters draught a lot more than the boat and had a surface close to a third of the plane of the central dagger boards. When the vessels entered port or found scarce bottoms, the rudder elevated itself using for this one of the two backstays that sustained the mast on each bulk ward rail. The boat was rigged with a lateen sail, and with tail winds a jib was rigged upon an outrigger tied to the mast´s base and to one of the bow´s bollards.