It was possible to glitch a gondolier by dropping onto the boat from a building and landing directly behind them. The boat would stop moving, and Ezio could steer as normal, but until he left the boat and got back on, the gondolier would continue to row along, unaware of his presence.
Grabbing onto the front, notched portion of the gondola would allow Ezio to ride along with the gondolier, without them jumping off.
Ezio could fall from any height onto a gondola, as long as he was not diving, and not take any damage as a result.
The controls of the Naval Cannon were very similar to that of the gondola, with the only difference being that in the Naval Cannon, Ezio could switch between rowing and firing the cannon.
Because the gondolas we see today (and in the game) only saw its completion in the early 20th century, the depiction of the boats in the game are historically inaccurate; they are missing the felze, or the cabin covers that existed until the 1900s.