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60ft x 17ft Gondola


From the original January 1989 Press Release

Like a migrating bird, the “Venezia” will follow the sun to seasonably warm climates.

During the winter months, the Venezia (Italian for Venice) will base in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and during the summer, look for the luxuriously appointed vessel to dock in Boston where it will shuttle guests from downtown to beautiful Venezia Restaurant overlooking Boston Harbor.

In appearance, the 62ft, steel hulled craft is shaped similar to the authentic Italian Gondolas that plie the Venetian waterways. But, in place of a Gondolier moving the ship through the canals with a long push pole, the Venezia is powered by twin Cummins 6BTA5.9-M, 250 HP engines governed at 2500 RPM. The 6BTA, a four stroke, turbocharged, after-cooled, direct injection, in-line 6-cylinder engine is perfect for this application. It provides high power output in a compact, lightweight, package that is extremely reliable, durable, and fuel efficient.

Designed by DeJong & Lebet of Jacksonville, the Venezia was constructed by Palatka Shipbuilding Inc, an old and respected shipbuilding firm located on the banks of the St. John’s River in Palatka, FL. Drawing four feet, the 59 Gross Ton Vessel has a 7-Foot, 1 Inch depth and a 17 foot beam.

Passengers cannot help but be impressed with the intricately carved wood decorating the exterior portions of the craft.

“We’ve tried to give the Venezia an old and authentic appearance.” Said owner Ralph Bruno, who worked closely with the architect and shipbuilder during the design and construction processes.

He said that the unique vessel will operate one-hour tours during the winter months along the Intercoastal Waterway in Ft. Lauderdale, a city often called “The Venice of America”. It is also available for charter by groups of individuals for special social or business functions.

In the spring, summer and fall months, champagne, wine, and espresso will be served to visitors travelling aboard the Venezia to Bruno’s restaurant which specializes in seafood and “a happy balance between southern and northern gourmet Italian cuisine.”

With a custom built hydraulic steering system and push-pull Kobelt engine controls, the Venezia is equipped with Borg Warner 4:1 reduction gears supplied by Cummins Southeastern Power of Jacksonville. The Carolyn Overstreet Company of Louisiana provided the 36-inch, 28-pitch, 4-blade propellers which are turned on 2-1/2” Armco shafts.

Other features include20kW generators, a 12-volt horn; a Standard Engineering alarm system; Perko search, running, and navigation lights; Flomax pumps; and 30-inch life rings with overboard lights. The Venezia’s Skipper will navigate from a forward wheelhouse with a Ritchie compass, a Raytheon R20 radar unit, a 77 Dual Watch VHF, and a SiTex EZ-7 Loran module.

With 450 gallons of fuel capacity, the Venezia has a cruising range of 300 miles at 12 mph. It carries 250 gallons of portable water and the sleek craft, which accommodates 65 passengers, can be operated by a crew of 2.

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