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Villa Franca Hotel Positano

Sorrento Wooden Boats "Gozzo"


Sorrento boasts a very ancient maritime and shipbuilding tradition. As for the construction of goiters, it is clear that these boats were built in the seventeenth century, thanks to the important fishing activity that took place in the Gulf of Naples. At the time, in the Marina Grande area of ​​Sorrento, there was already a shipyard used for the construction of gozzo boats.

The name “Gozzo” seems to be linked to the swollen main section. Regarding the origin of the construction of this boat in the Sorrento peninsula, it is said of the discovery of an abandoned Saracen boat in a cove that was recovered and adapted to the needs of fishermen. The goiter is present throughout the Mediterranean with different characteristics based on the seas it crosses and its functions. The Sorrento gozzo, measured in Neapolitan palms (about 26.4 centimeters), is a small boat with oars and lateen sail with a sharp stern and bow, initially intended for fishing.

In the past, the boat was equipped with an odd number of oars to counter the wind. The origins of shipbuilding techniques date back to the Greeks, and to this day, craftsmen use practical methods without resorting to construction techniques and projects. It is said that the life of a Sorrentine gozzo begins half a century before it was built, as the wood is taken from large trees with at least fifty years of life. The seasoning of the wood in Sorrento took place in caves dug into the tuff, ideal environments for the constant temperature and well ventilated which meant that a slow drying of the wood took place. With the evolution of modern techniques, today even the traditional gozzo has undergone changes due to the use of modern and resistant materials, certainly more suitable for mass production, without forgetting a further modification related to the positioning of an engine.