I was talking to a local, and one of the things that had been nagging at me was how they got into the boats. Most of the smaller Venetian crafts were docked alongside railings or large pilings, which would prevent you from simply hopping in. I had envisioned in my head some complicated process where they would untie the boat, use some hook device and tow it up to one of the many small staircases so they could board the vessel. So I asked, how do they get into their boats in those cases. He looked at me like I had two heads, slapped himself in the leg, and said "we use our legs!". Well, another mystery solved.