The Admiral’s Gondola

By Joseph Muscat, published August 2003


From time immemorial and in many countries, ceremonial barges have been called gondolas. Six gondolas plied the waters of the Grand and Marsamxett harbours of Malta from the early 1800s onwards. The Admiral’s gondola was distinguished by its beamier, whaler construction and teak spiral stem and stern posts, unlike the scimitar ones found on the local dghajs. This four-oared, double ended, carvel built, open boat was about twenty-two foot long and could carry a spritsail and jib. An old plan, a model and contemporary photographs are the only remaining sources. No gondolas remain afloat today.

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Filed under: Mediterranean | Nineteenth Century | Twentieth Century
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Leisure & Small Craft | Ship Models & Figureheads | Shipbuilding & Design

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