Now with 2 Gondoliers, Mike and Dave and 2 somewhat Gondolas (Toledo, and Savona), they were named after the streets they were found upon, reborn again as Gondolas the business began to gain more and more popularity. Authenticity began to come up in conversations and the decision was made to direct the Gondola Getaways expansion efforts to learning more of this Venetian tradition they were trying to replicate. At the time in 1984 Mike flew to Venetia, Italy to learn more about Gondola and their tradition. He saw the sleek lines of the Venetian Gondolas and worked in some boatyards for a short stint to learn the construction and row the actual Gondolas to truly understand why a passenger bout could be rowed with a great deal of ease.
With a new understanding and a deep sense of commitment to the truly newly learned Venetian traditions, Mike returned with some Gondola plans and together with Dave began the hunt for the proper boatyard to construct the future of the Gondola Getaway. After much searching the finally found the perfect yard right next door in Seal Beach at Hills Marine. Two classic artists named Jim Oberst and Chris Ackman run this tiny boatyard, which produces on the finest wooden boats. They took on this project with great enthusiasm. Mike and Dave supervised and consulted while Jim and Chris did the construction.
Now the Gondola in Venezia are 38 ft. in length and are built asymmetrically so they can be rowed with a single oar and focola Venezian style. The technique is totally unique to Venezia. It is not a pole. They do not push off the bottom. They do not use the J stroke, and the do not use the sculling stroke. The Venetian row style is with a free floating oar in an unlocked or focola on an asymmetrical hull. I am sure that was totally understood, right?