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Sandolo buranello by JPAM - FINISHED - GILBERTO PENZO - Scalla 1:18 - SMALL


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I will soon start a build log of the Sandolo Buranello. As a way of introduction to this very special boat, I asked my friend M Virchick who gave me the kit as a gift to do a write up on them. He has been for the last 20 years living in Morocco and traveling to Italy where he took lessons on the art, and it is an art, of rowing the boats of Venice. here is his story. 

 

The Sàndolo

A Venetian rowing boat

 

Ask anyone to name a boat associated with Venice, and everyone will immediately think of the gondola, the symbol not only of touristic Venice but of the long history of La Serenissima, the city married to the sea. Every palazzo had at least one, with a liveried gondolier. Peggy Guggenheim was the last to have her own private fleet of them. We know these boats from the paintings of Canaletto and Tintoretto, from the travel writing of Henry James, and from the James Bond films—Sean Connery floats beneath the Bridge of Sighs with Daniela Bianchi in “From Russia With Love”, while Roger Moore races a motorized one through the canals in “Moonraker” to escape the bad guys before somehow ending up with the boat on wheels calmly motoring through the Piazza San Marco while the astonished waiter at Florian’s spills wine over his unfortunate customer’s head, and Daniel Craig resigns from MI6 while sailing with Eva Green past the gondolas near the Mercato Rialto before he realizes her betrayal and she dies locked in a cell beneath a catastrophically (and impossibly) sinking palazzo on the Grand Canal in “Casino Royale”. It is probably the most recognized boat in the world.  

Less celebrated are the more modest class of working, racing, and pleasure boats known collectively as Sàndoli, which have in common with the gondola its flat, keel-less bottom, and is also rowed from the standing position facing forward, using a long oar (the remo) mounted in a twisting open-holed wooden “oarlock” (the forcola), which offers a variety of fulcrum positions for changing speed and direction. Each boat has a deck across both fore and aft transoms. Because the ribs of the boat are exposed, temporary customized and numbered floorboards, the palina, are laid across the bottom, locked in place by the ribs as they extend up the gunwhales. Typically, each boat has a long iron piece mounted at the prow transom, which often begins in the shape of a fleu-de-lis and extends forward, ending in a tight curl or other fanciful figure. Before motorized boats became ubiquitous in transportation and delivery services of modern touristic Venice, any Venetian family of modest means who made a living on the water would have owned some variant of the sàndolo. These were used for fishing, hunting, transportation, and sport.

The Venice Vogalonga
  takes place each year in early June. Over 2000 boats and 8000 rowers and paddlers spend a day on the water free of motorized boat traffic in a 30-km circuit beginning at the great basin in front of St. Mark’s Square, then through or past the islands of Certosa, Vignole, Sant’ Erasmo, Burano, Mazzorbo, and Murano, before re-entering Venice through the Cannaregio Canal, past thousands of spectators massed along the fondamente and atop the bridges, and then turning left onto the Grand Canal with its great palaces, the Rialto and Accademia bridges, and back once again to the review stand near the Punta della Dogana, across from the Piazza San Marco. Because of events like the Vogalonga, touristic interest in “Voga alla Veneta”, or Venetian-style rowing, has developed, in part due to the number of participants from outside of Italy who attend, often paddling kayaks, rowing racing shells, or in 22-person dragonboats and who see and row alongside the Venetian boats, and where once rowing was a purely local activity sponsored by various social clubs and sporting associations in the city, there are now businesses like Venice Onboard and Row Venice who restore boats, offer sailing trips around the lagoon, food tours, moonlight rows, and rowing lessons in Italian or English (or French or German) to anyone interested in learning. When I paddled a kayak in the 2014 Vogalonga, I had my first extended glimpse of Venetian rowing and the different styles of wooden boats, typically carrying between 2 and 8 rowers. Some teams went for an elegant look dressed in summer whites, others more casual in shorts and matching tees, including one group of wags with shirts reading “WE WANT SEE YOUR BOOBIES”. Everyone has fun, and over the 6-hour row, I watched in envy as the Venetians tied up their boats in Burano for a quick bar snack of cicchetti, the Venetian equivalent of tapas, and a glass of wine. We were being given a lesson.

Over the next 5 years, I returned a dozen times to Venice, for as little as three days and as long as a month, from Morocco, where I was teaching English, to take rowing lessons, to learn what at first seemed so counter-intuitive compared to the sit-down, backwards rowing I did growing up, and I had a goal of rowing a Venetian boat in the Vogalonga. In 2019, I did so, with three Venetians and an Englishwoman, all taking turns in a two-oared sàndolo buranèlo. We took our time, stopping along with another group of rowers for lunch al fresco at a farmhouse on Mazzorbo, where our instructor Emiliano Simon from Venice Onboard knew the owners, a young couple who carved us generous slices of smoked ham, which we ate with hunks of rustic bread and washed down with a chilled glass of a local Veneto wine.

The variants of the sàndolo include the 7-meter mascareta, a lightweight boat often rowed by women in competitive regattas or for pleasure, the s’ciopon, smallest of the variants at 5 meters, used for duck hunting in the lagoon with a 3-meter musket mounted amidships, the puparin, a sleek 10-meter boat used in racing, and in which the stern rower stands on a footboard extension of the poppe, or rear deck (hence the name puparin), the versatile, wider-bodied 6.5-meter sanpierota, which can be rowed or mounted with sail (or fitted with a motor) for fishing or pleasure trips in the lagoon, and the sturdy 7.5-meter sàndolo buranèlo, the subject of this model, named for the island of Burano, famous for its colorfully painted houses and lace manufacturing, located in the northern part of the Venice lagoon. Finally, the 7.6-meter sàndolo da barcariol, glossy black like the gondola and outfitted with elaborately upholstered chairs, it is used exclusively for tourist transport. There are 40 of them in operation around the Venice, as opposed to ten times that number in gondolas. Chiara Curto, originally from Genoa, and she rows the sàndolo da barcariol, the only woman sandolista in the city. She works the area near the old Jewish neighborhood, Ghetto, in the Cannaregio district, and my rowing instructor and I often greet her in passing as we tie up our boat at the bridge for a coffee or juice at the nearby Majer Pasticceria.

One of the greatest Venetian rowers of his day, Giuseppe “Verzotto” Constantini, stood just short of two meters tall. His legendary rowing skills were sharpened delivering milk from Venice to Burano each day, a round trip over 20 km, in a sàndolo buranèlo. Over a period of 13 years, beginning in 1924, he took five seconds, two thirds, and three fourth place finishes in Regata Storica, the oldest and grandest of all the Venetian rowing regattas, but his only first place finish was nullified when he and his teammate were disqualified for cutting off the path of another boat around the turn buoy. An oft-told story about him, perhaps apocryphal, was that he was rowing the milk run, as usual, before dawn, but without running lamps, a violation of Venetian maritime law. Four policemen, patrolling the lagoon, gave chase. Verzotto picked up another oar, and stood rowing "alla valesana", oars crossed, outrunning the polizia for several hundred meters before they conceded defeat and gave up pursuit. 

An authority on classic Venetian boats of all sizes, Gilberto Penzo keeps a small shop in the San Polo district of Venice, not far from the Basilica dei Frari. Born into a family of boatmakers with a boatyard in Chioggia, a village at the far southern shore of the lagoon where it meets the Adriatic, he has authored several books on Venetian boats, and sells custom-made models of everything from rowing boats and gondolae to the classic vaporetto, along with model kits, and scaleable boat plans. After reading one of his books when I first began to take lessons in Venetian-style rowing in a sandolo, I learned of his shop, found it, waited for him to come back from lunch, and purchased a model of the sàndolo buranèlo for my friend JPAM, who is himself a dedicated rower, sailor, and model-building enthusiast, and whose finished work is the subject of these photos.


 

james bond in gondola.jpg

Start of the 45th Vogalonga 2019.jpg

sandolo on the Cannaregio Canal.jpg

Mr Virchick rowong a Sandolo.jpg

Chiara Curto rowing a sandolo.jpg

Giuseppe Constantini “Verzotto”, rowing legend of the 1920s and 1930s.jpg

Gilberto Penzo at his shop in San Polo.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

ok, the build has started and it's moving rapidly. the Kit is in 1:36 'scala wich results in a model 46cm LOA (18 inches) it comprises two sheets of very well laser cut pieces, 84 pieces in all, including a three piece display stand with a name plate.

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Edited by JPAM
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as there are no right angles on this boat it's difficult to use brackets as you would in a traditional POB hull. i found after some dry runs that be best way  to attach the hull sides is to glue both of them to the center thwart. also it's best to use tape and rubber bands to hold the model together as the glue sets. I am using white glue instead of CA. the model will need to be painted before completion so i will have to research traditional painting schemes. 

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Edited by JPAM
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I have a Venetian Gondola kit by Amati that I plan on building soon. I've never heard of this kit before and I look forward to seeing you build it.

 

Bob

Edited by BobG

Bob Garcia

"Measure once, cuss twice!"

 

Current Builds: 

Hms Brig-Sloop Flirt 1782 - Vanguard Models

Pen Duick - Artesania Latina 1:28

 

Completed: Medway Longboat 1742 - Syren Ship Model Co. 

Member of the Nautical Research Guild

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, BobG said:

I have a Venetian Gondola kit by Amati that I plan on building soon. I've never heard of this kit before and I look forward to seeing you build it.

 

Bob

thanks bob. these are a fun and different exercise from the rigged ships i usually build. That Amati kit you have is a good one that builds a gorgeous model 

 

 

Edited by JPAM
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more on History, here is a video on the evolution of the Venetian gondola, wich is a version of the Sandolo. 
 



this is a brilliant article by  Sean Wilsey that describes the handling of a Sandolo as well as the Venitian culture of their boats. Very much worth the read. 

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/04/22/open-water



enjoy. JP

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colors... colors.. so as we have learned the Gondolas where painted black, but the working Sandolos are all over the map in hues. Mitch has told me that as a result of a reggae resurgence and weed amongst the young people of Venice, several of the Sandolos are painted in the Ethiopian green, gold and red.  while I am all down with Reggae and weed I think a more traditional and demure color scheme for this build, thus i've decided light blue interior, red floor, dark blue topside, black hull and white ribs, just four colors. several dark blue ones show up on google images, thus the inspiration. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 1:11 PM, yvesvidal said:

I love all Venetian vessels of all kinds....but my favorite remains the Vaporetto shown on the picture. What a beautiful model!!!

 

Yves

HEY! wellcome fellow raleigh modeler! i just looked up the Vaporeto, (i've not been to Venice) and yes, what a cool boat. i am a big fan of ferries, water busses and working boats in general. 

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the ribs and the stringers have been painted, installed and glued, as has been the deck or more accurately, shelf. this piece has to be sanded at a bevel for it to fit the inside of the hull. I am still playing around with colors. these boats are painted a high gloss. I usually don't paint my models and when i do always use flat paints for them to look scale. the flat however on this wood, wich is very thirsty, looks rather dull and dead. but the gloss looks out of scale and thus out of place. so i need to find a semi gloss or satin (ideas?) . i've ditched the dark blue topside idea in favour of a black painted topside. 

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Bawnjorno.... and happy Valentines Day.  

so after both shelves were installed it was next time to paint the topside. i did decide to go with a flat black. once the paint is on i've been rubbing it with a scotch pad to add a little bit of sheen to it. also I duplicated the color of the floors, on the transom and bow, as i saw a web picture with such a design. next up is the oars and the forcolas, the most important part of these boats and what makes them truly unique. those will take some doing. I am also contemplating some sort of base. i've been thinking about making a cross section of the Venetian Mooring posts that are candy striped as a base, but i fear that would be too gimmicky.. like some tchotchke you would purchase in a souvenir shop. I quickly vetoed it. I want this model to have a little more integrity than that. 

 

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Edited by JPAM
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CIAO! so the Sandolo is basically finished. i painted one of the oars and sanded down the forcolas. painted hull et al. this has not really been a how to build log but still, i hope informative in the history of these boats.

here is the manufacturer's website on the step by step build http://www.veniceboats.com/it-modelli-kit-sandolo-1-18.htm

 next i will build a case for it and then i'll be done done. i am considering installing in the case one or two red and white 'Pali di Casada, https://www.theveniceinsider.com/colourful-poles-landmark-venice/IMG_2322.jpg.2681744a9d6216de6ea91e32379a2605.jpgIMG_2321.jpg.b057b05c9c2411a5b77172a3bb535527.jpg   i was origianlly thinking two (one has to be slightly skewed) by the bow, and one near the stern, but i fear that might detract from the model and so perhaps just one? what do y'all think? also for pedestals i may do clear acrylic dowels or a pair of thin brass rods.  
 

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Beautiful gondola! Thanks for the history of these historic boats too. I think I will start building my Amati Gondola pretty soon.

 

Bob

Bob Garcia

"Measure once, cuss twice!"

 

Current Builds: 

Hms Brig-Sloop Flirt 1782 - Vanguard Models

Pen Duick - Artesania Latina 1:28

 

Completed: Medway Longboat 1742 - Syren Ship Model Co. 

Member of the Nautical Research Guild

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

ok boys n girls... this model is FINITO! i built the case out of single strength pane glass. the base is stained pine. i am trying to source brass L brackets to replace the copper tape and brass stips for the bottom of the glass. I added the 'Pali de Casada', those iconic striped mooring poles you find all  over venice. They were originally lantern post so that people would be able to find the entrance to their Palazzos in the night. they are painted with different color swirls to denote different families, the red and white belong to the Foscari family in whose grounds the university is now placed, thus they are to be found throughout the city.    on to the next one! 

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boat.zip

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Congratulations!  Well done!

Building: 1:64 HMS Revenge (Victory Models plans)

1:64 Cat Esther (17th Century Dutch Merchant Ships)
 

On the building slip: 1:72 French Ironclad Magenta (original shipyard plans)

 

On hold: 1:98 Mantua HMS Victory (kit bash), 1:96 Shipyard HMS Mercury

 

Favorite finished builds:  1:60 Sampang Good Fortune (Amati plans), 1:200 Orel Ironclad Solferino, 1:72 Schooner Hannah (Hahn plans), 1:72 Privateer Prince de Neufchatel (Chapelle plans), Model Shipways Sultana, Heller La Reale, Encore USS Olympia

 

Goal: Become better than I was yesterday

 

"The hardest part is deciding to try." - me

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