Quite by accident while wandering around Venice with friends who live there, we crossed paths with a neighbour of theirs, who turned out to be one of only two women drivers of vaporetti on the lagoon.
When told we were on a hire boat she pretended to collapse in hysterical laughter, and then recounted tales of rescues from the mud and near collisions with vaporetti, and demanded to know how people without official licences could be let loose on the lagoon. (No licences were required by our hire company). So we were determined to show we could do it.
If there’s one tip we learnt about the Venice lagoon, it is to be ready to ignore the international collision regulations and just keep out of the way of commercial craft, even if they are small and don’t have right of way. Don’t demand your rights when you are crossing tracks with a vaporetto.
Read the rest, including details of navigation marks, by following this link: Pilotage in the Venice lagoon