The Bragòsso was the most commonly-used fishing-boat in the northern Adriatic for most of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. Until the advent of the motor, with which the bragòsso tried to co-exist for a while, it proved to be perfect for fishing in this area which is characterized by shallow waters, moderate winds and a calm sea. It measured from 9 to 16 metres, with a width a quarter of its length, with a flat bottom with a slight longitudinal sheer which became more pronounced at the stern and bow.
The stern was squared, the bow rounded, with the stems curved in a vertical half-moon. The sides were perpendicular in the higher part, becoming more curved towards the bottom where they joined forming an edge. The bragòsso had no rakes and a large uncluttered deck used to rearrange the nets and sorting the catch. The width of the bottom, which was constant for nearly the entire length of the boat, considerably reduced the draught (about 45 cm for 10 tons), a useful feature in the northern Adriatic with its shallow and sandy coasts and frequently silted-up ports. To counteract the leeway in the bowline tack, the surface area of the rudder was greatly increased which, being over 4 metres high, reached well below the bottom of the boat, and could be raised or lowered according to the available depth. It was raised and lowered on long metal runners like a normal centreboard.
The bragòsso was low, completely decked, with no structures on deck, with two main hatches and two smaller hatches at the bow. It had two masts, the main mast strictly at a third of the length of the boat, and the foremast at about 3/4 from the stern, inclined forwards about 10/15 degrees, without fixed rigging apart from a shroud (sàrcia) on the left. It had two trapezoidal sails called al terzo for the point of the spar on which the halliard was rigged.
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The Tòpo is a lagoon and coastal boat with a flat bottom, and varies from 6 to 14 m in length. It has rounded sides and a rounded stern with a vertical stem and the bow extended forwards.
There are many variations of this boat which can be decked or left open depending on how and where it is used. Also known as batello a pìsso, mùsso or musséto, topéto, tòpo mistieréto, tòpo venessiàn, batèlo col filo. It was used for transport and fishing, both with oars and sail. Nowadays it is motorized (mototopo) or with a straight-cut stern, and is the most widely-used transport boat in the lagoon.
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Trabàcolo: well-known transport boat about twenty metres long, with two masts and bowsprit, widely used in all areas of the northern Adriatic. It was built following the classic rules of naval construction with timbers on a keel, unlike the other similar-sized boats of the same area which were built with a flat bottom (bragòsso, tartàna, etc.).
The trabàcolo was rigged with sails (vele al terzo) which, starting from the aft sail, were gradually replaced with gaff sails with fixed rigging in steel wire with ratlines on the shrouds. It was fully-shaped and folded back when not in use and thin and flared in operation.
It had a straight stern stem with a sliding rudder, a curved bow stem which curved back in the top part, surmounted with a carved sheepskin (known as a perùca, pelizón, or scùfia). Another characteristic of the trabàcolo are the two large carved and painted eyes on the sides of the bow stem (not to be confused with the hawse-holes positioned below).
Without doubt it was a descendent of the small cargo vessels such as the cocca veneta, and was used to transport building materials such as wood and stone between Yugoslavia and Italy. A smaller version, the barchétto, was used in Romagna for fishing. The few surviving examples of the trabacolo are used for recreation.
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