photo by Tamás Fehér
This close-up of a forcola da poppa on a caorlina shows us how robust these pieces can be.
With most forcole, form follows function.
If it's carved to serve a purpose by Pastor, Brandolisio, or Furlanetto,
then the beauty of it's form is it's functionality.
There are a few exceptions with some of the more "luxury forcole",
but you're not likely to see a luxury forcola on the back of a caorlina.
A caorlina is a stout vessel - often rowed by six vogatori.
Sometimes the rower at the back needs to bear down hard to get the boat moving back in the right direction.
A forcola like this one is built to handle that kind of pressure.
Taking a closer look, we see the familiar signature of Saverio Pastor peeking out from behind some wedges.
It's a good guess that the person who seated this forcola had to spend some quality time with the hammer and wedges.
We do whatever we have to, to keep a forcola from moving around.
The forcola da poppa on a caorlina often has two rowing points, or "morsos".
Stern forcolas on many boats only need one morso, but in the case of the caorlina, the popier sometimes rows with a full crew (weighing the boat down a bit), and other times the boat is lighter in the water - making that lower morso a better place to row from. I'm told this dual morso configuration dates back to a time when caorlinas were used more for transportation of cargo around the lagoon.
A lower morso, or morso de soto, can also be compared
to a lower gear when rowing a full boat.
Standing at a towering 5'6", I can see how that lower morso might also come in handy for short people.