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Photo's from Jim Baumann 

the endresult of a series of models illustrationg the construction of a present day gondola, note the deliberate asymerty of the hull; origiannly all Gondolas were powered by two oarsman, upon the arrival of the motorboat (and the consequent reduction of gondola numbers  to  470 from  an original approximate 7000!...) gondolas were relegated to pleasure purposes and one oarsman, to allow it to travel in a straight line and  remain level with the  weight of the gondolier offset to starboard they built the  Gondolas with a twist... I can vouch for the  stability of these 32' long boats...!