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Thread: Do Peapods come from Italy?

  1. #1
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    Default Do Peapods come from Italy?

    4 years ago I saw several little stout double-enders in the harbour of Napoli, and also around the Amalfi Coast. They are all carvel built on sawn frames. I noticed some had rather high oarlocks and one day I saw a fisherman coming in while rowing. He was facing forward and standing up when rowing. It reminded me of what I had read about Peapods, and I also read the origins are not clear. Does anyone know more about these origins? I would like to hear about it. foto 22.jpgfoto 15.jpg

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    The typical Italian double ended fishing boats are, reportedly, based upon the Nile River and Red Sea boats of ancient Egypt and Sudan which are known as Feluccas. The design evolved into what is known on the coast of California as the Monterey Fish Boats. The design was brought from Europe by the Italian immigrants. The Nile boats were powered by oars and lateen sails, often a double or tripple sail rig. The last two original style Italian boats were owned, in the San Francisco area, by an Italian family that settled in Tomales Bay CA on the eastern side of that narrow bay. Here they had an oyster farm and ran a restaurant.
    The place was in the town of Marshal. I remember going there with my parents back in 1948 and seen the two half decked boats tied to buoys in front ot the cafe. The boats had oars that rested on raised wooden oarlocks. It was obvious that they were rowed standing and facing forward.
    I, also, remember my father asking the owner of the cafe about the boats and he said that they were built by his grandfather and were used daily for fishing and hauling fresh oysters from the beds.

    The Monterey boats evolved to having deck houses and were powered by one cylinder gas engines either made by, either, the Hix engine Co. or by one known as a "Frisco Flyer" Engine Co. These engines had a make and break ignition system and had to be started by manually turning the heavy flywheel while controlling the exhaust valve with the other hand. Just as the engine reached top dead center the, brass handle of the valve was closed and the igniter snapped a spark causing the engine to fire and run. The exhaust made an easy loping sound that one could almost dance to. There was no carburetor as we know them today but rather a metal pot at the end of a long velocity tube. The metal pot had an adjustable jet and was called an "Aspirator". Decks of the boats were tight seam planked as were the hulls. No caulking was used on the decks and when the boats came into Fisherman's warf burlap bags were spread over the decks and were soaked down with salt water to keep them tight.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    dunno, but i noticed this further up on the ligurian coast too...
    come think of it, i think most of the traditionally built boats i saw were double enders

    Ancient Cycles, on Flickr

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    The idea of a double ended boat is common place throughout the world, just as flat bottom boats can be found everywhere.

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    rowboat 138.jpgDouble enders have been around for a very long time.

    What really catches my eye on the examples shown are the outboard brackets. It comes up here on the forum from time to time that someone is wondering how to mount an outboard on a double ender. Those look like they may be custom welded from pipe. I did this, but it was a lot of work and more weight added up high than the ones shown.

    rowboat 097.jpg

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    Sacriledge!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 05-12-2018 at 09:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    My own Peapod on the left.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    ^Nice!

    I think a good idea can be realized at different places and times. Parallel development or something like that.

    Surely, Maine lobstermen weren't the first , or only, rowing boatmen to recognize and advantage in seeing the rock before you hit it.

    Kevin

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    rowboat 138.jpgDouble enders have been around for a very long time.

    What really catches my eye on the examples shown are the outboard brackets. It comes up here on the forum from time to time that someone is wondering how to mount an outboard on a double ender. Those look like they may be custom welded from pipe. I did this, but it was a lot of work and more weight added up high than the ones shown.

    rowboat 097.jpg
    How do you hang a rudder for sailing with the outboard on, or is that mast just for show?

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    Guys, thanks for all the replies. I reread Working Watercraft from Th. Gillmer and he thinks that Peapods are possibly related to the French beach boats, lateeners, as does Howard Chapelle in American Small Sailing Craft. He writes in extenso about the 'Dago' boats, or Feluccas in San Francisco, and I remember an article in WoodenBoat on a replica Felucca that was commisioned by the owners of an Italian restaurant whose forefathers used to go fishing in them. Chapelle warns the reader about the capsizing possibilities with this type and I seem to remember this happened also with the replica on her maiden trip. Both texts make very good reading.
    Remains to ask if there are any Italian-American boatbuilders in Maine?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    There were certainly Italian immigrants in Maine in the early 1900s. Lots of them. But I’ve never heard about any boatbuilding connection with them.

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    Navydog,

    It's just for down wind, when I can steer with an oar or with the outboard idling. There's a full length keel, so it tracks quite well, too well when rowing between rocks sometimes, but I mostly just use the outboard. It gets 40 mpg at 6 mph, so it's not overly expensive to run. I could go from here (Salt Spring Island) to Alaska on 3 or 4 of 5 gallons tanks of gasoline. I don't even bring the sailing rig most of the time, it just get's in the way. I would on a trip like that though, just for fun and as a backup and to run a ridge line from for a tarp.

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    Hey Gib, I'll keep an eye out for her when we anchor in Long Harbour in an hour or so. / Jim

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    No direct evidence but I still hope for The Missing Link

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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    There is direct evidence of Maine double enders coming out of transom sterned boats. Article called the Boats of Ash Point that was written about 1940 in the American Neptune. Double enders as you all know are harder to plank than transom boats and there had to be a real need for them. Chapelle et al are pretty notorious for speculation without evidence. The Med boats are built more heavily and generally larger than the Maine double enders. One of the things that is pretty interesting when one looks at small american working craft is what wasn't listed or referenced in Hall's Shipbuilding survey of 1880 or in the Goode fisheries survey of the same time.
    Ben Fuller
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    Ben, the fishing boats are heavily build in the Med but the Gozzos that I saw were often 5m or shorter. Demco designs 3 and they claim the smallest practical boat is 4m, still traditional lines with modern costruction. I also find in John Gardners book that Peapods can be light and lapstrake but the older sailing models were carvel with a 6" keel, and stayed in the water.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    Ben, the fishing boats are heavily build in the Med but the Gozzos that I saw were often 5m or shorter. Demco designs 3 and they claim the smallest practical boat is 4m, still traditional lines with modern costruction. I also find in John Gardners book that Peapods can be light and lapstrake but the older sailing models were carvel with a 6" keel, and stayed in the water.
    Here is the reference to the Brooks article Boats of Ash Point. http://phillipslibrarycollections.pe...8coll3/id/1484 I know well that double enders were built in various sizes and various methods, both kept overboard and ashore. The Washington county peapod documented by Chapelle is certainly one of the larger models and is asymmetrical. It may be related more closely to the double ended Hampton or New England boats, one of them shrunk down. Pods got shrunk once tourists came to Maine and wanted smaller ones. They were commonly built both smooth and lapstrake. And there is no evidence of Med influence; there was a small Med population up here during the height of the quarrying in the late 19th century but these were stone cutting specialists and had no influence on the water. In anthropology we call this independent invention; you need to be able to trace the path when deciding that one technology was related to another. The case of the dory is a good one where the roots can be clearly shown.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Do Peapods come from Italy?

    Ok Ben, se non e vero e ben trovato.
    Last edited by FF; 05-18-2018 at 08:37 AM.

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