Space Navigation Arks, or “Snarks” for short, also known as Astroboats are a type of Jovian spaceship.
Resembling small boats, Space Navigation Arks are spaceships equipped with a variety of gadgets to aid Jovians in "fishing" for meteorites in the Asteroid Belt. The Jovian Fisherman used to own a rather handsome Snark which was destroyed in a magnetic storm, forcing him to return to Jupiter on the ship's one lifeboat and sell off Donald Duck to the J.A.M. for money to buy another ship (whose appearances Donald Duck later complimented, though the Fisherman opined that a Solar Sailboat would have been more impressive).
Behind the scenesEdit
Being called "astronavi", a name most closely translatable by the English "spaceship", in the original Italian, the Snarks act as visual puns of a sort, being literal space "ships" in the older, maritime sense of the word. Though there was probably no connection, Treasure Planet would later use a similar aesthetic.
The English name of "Space Navigation Ark" and its abbreviation "Snark", meanwhile, constitute an unrelated pun on the word "snark" (originally the name of a Lewis Carroll creation, and, in common usage, a synonym for sarcasm). This is typical of Joe Torcivia's writing. It is perhaps noteworthy that using the term of "ark" to refer to spacecrafts is a somewhat established practice in sci-fi, as evidenced, for example, by The Ark in Space (1975).
Due to lack of communication between the two translators in this instance, however, Jonathan Gray, when translating The Return of Rebo, overlooked "Snark" and used the more literally-translated term of "Astroboat".