Sunday, May 17, 2009

The "Duffy Gondola" in Huntington Harbour

I took these photos while on a training row Wednesday in Huntington Harbour. Years ago I had a conversation with the owner of this boat, and since then, whenever I've been in the area, I've tried to get a glimpse of her.

In truth, I'm not certain that the boat is a Duffy,
but if not, she began as an electric cocktail cruiser of the same type.
Named the "Tranquillante", it's safe to say that the owner either finds serenity on the boat, or hopes to.

This isn't the first time I've seen an electric cocktail cruiser modified to look like a gondola. It doesn't happen often, but when I see one, it certainly catches my eye.

As for the green color, I was once told that the boat "matched" the house, leading me to believe that the house was once green too; maybe it was just the trim.
Many modifications appear to have been made in order to transform the boat into her current configuration.
The tail section was probably the biggest task on the list. It appears to be a "bustle", which is the boat building term used when referring to an extension of the hull which is attached at the stern.

Bustling the stern of a boat usually affects her steering and maneuverability, but in this case, the extension barely affects the footprint of the vessel.
Even so, it must have been a great undertaking.

While the aft deck looks like it can support the
weight of a gondolier,
I doubt if anyone stands
a-poppa very often.

The most distinguishing feature of the boat, of course,
is the prow.
They got the "six fingers" in front, but the placement of the three ornamental pieces is a little off.

The top blade isn't too far from the right shape.
The whole thing would look more genuine if it were narrower and metallic, but it's doubtful that producing an exact replica was a priority.
All in all, not a bad job.

As far as I know, this boat has only ever been used for private cruising, but it wouldn't surprise me if one day she pops up somewhere as a passenger vessel.

Whether or not you like the boat,
she certainly is interesting.

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