It has much in common with his other technical sketches, most notably the fact that it completely failed to progress beyond the drawing board and never came to fruition.

There is also no evidence that Da Vinci or anyone else tried to put the plans into practice during the artist's lifetime.

In comparison with some of Da Vinci's other sketches and technical drawings, 'Designs for a Boat' is relatively lacking in explanatory notes and other technical details.

There is no usable scale for example so it's not clear exactly how large a vessel Da Vinci was envisioning. There are also no cutaway views or close up explanations of how various elements of the vote would fit together or be constructed.

Some modern observers have taken this as a sign that Da Vinci was less engaged by this sketch than several others.

This is certainly a possibility, the boat depicted here is far less fanciful and exciting than many of the other devices that Da Vinci sketched during his lifetime, such as the helicopter (known to Da Vinci as the aerial screw) or even his depiction of a complex device for moving water uphill.

Da Vinci's boat is a mere adaptation of an existing device, rather than the revolutionary improvements he was creating in some of his other sketches.

In some ways, this gives 'Designs for a Boat' more in common with Da Vinci's two sets of plans for equestrian statues. These are relatively simple drawings which lack key pieces of detail which would have been required to make them into a reality.

It's quite easy for the modern observer to come to a conclusion about where Da Vinci's true interests lay. It's very likely that wasn't in more mundane technical sketches such as this one.

He may have viewed this as something that could have been left to a more lay engineer whilst his brain remained focused on bigger projects with more potential to change the world.

Nevertheless, the observer must approach 'Designs for a Boat on its own terms as well as comparing it to other sketches created by Da Vinci during his lifetime.

The sketch shows a boat which is not unlike many others of the time. Its lack of absurd flights of fancy, a feature common to some of Da Vinci's sketches, means that it would have probably made for a perfectly seaworthy, if rather pedestrian, mode of transportation.

Observers will notice that the design is not a million miles away from the gondolas which move up and down the canals of Venice to this day - so it's likely that Da Vinci's approach here was heavily influenced by the prevailing design trends of the time.

Da Vinci's Designs for a Boat is a sketch which has, naturally received somewhat less attention than his more detailed and groundbreaking sketches such as the Aerial Screw.

Nevertheless, it is another piece in the jigsaw puzzle of Da Vinci's life and, when viewed conduction with some his other technical works, gives us a much deeper insight into his interests and areas of focus.