Michael's Life: The Final Years 1444-1445
Michael did not enter the elections for senior officers in 1444. He put his name down the following year, but didn't get a position with a fleet. Instead, on January 28, 1445, he received one of 11 available posts in the Stadiera, which was the official weighing station of Venice.
The Venetian government granted this kind of post as a sort of pension to faithful servants of the state who were no longer able to perform their work. Michael was at least 60 years old at the time. It appears that his incredible health had finally broken down.
In July of 1445, Michael called a notary to his house to revise the will that he had made in 1441. The documents describe Michael as being sick in body but sound of mind and intellect. He asked the notary to eliminate a bequest to a slave he had once owned and to reduce his donation to a hospice, explaining that he needed the money because of his illness.
Michael's need for money may have been the impetus behind his writing a second manuscript. He began the work in 1444, copying over much of the material from his first manuscript, but dropping the long sections on mathematics and shipbuilding. The result was the Raxion de' Marineri (Method for Mariners), a book more closely tailored to the immediate needs of sailors than his first manuscript had been. This second manuscript found its way into the hands of Venetian sailor Pietro di Versi, a much younger contemporary of Michael's (ca. 1420-1484). Michael's name was scratched off and Di Versi's written over it. For centuries Di Versi was regarded as the author. It is quite possible that he bought the manuscript directly from Michael himself.
Shortly after changing his will in 1445, Michael died. He was survived by a third wife, Menegina, about whom nothing more is known.