"People on the street were asking how the boat was doing."
Translation:La gente per strada chiedeva come andava la barca.
Interesting because here in the UK, (and perhaps more so in Canada and the USA?) we use "How are you doing" for how are you., how are things, how are things going" so there is a slippage between doing, being and going.
"Come va" would suit most purposes when we wanted to ask the question of how are you doing in Italian (and this literally implies going!) with the exception of intending the meaning of inquiry as to health or well-being when we need to use "Come sta / stai." Fare, to do, probably gets left out of the Italian side of this as it implies "How do you do it" (Come lo fai)