- that basically means they're crooked.
As the gondolier is rowing only off of one side, the boat should travel in a circle...unless of course, the hull were given a counteracting curve.
Here we can look straight down the centerline of the Wedding Gondola in Newport as gondolier Stefano approaches the dock.
photo taken from previous post "Shooting from the Top Deck"
See that curve? it's like she's lopsided. This asymmetry allows the gondolier to concentrate more on forward movement, knowing that his boat will do some correcting for him. The gondolier does have a counteracting stroke he can use to correct the imbalance, but with the asymmetry, he has help from his boat.