As we pass Aveiro’s Rossio, a few meters from the entrance of the Canal Central, the boat “Praia da Costa Nova”.
As we pass Aveiro’s Rossio, a few meters from the entrance of the Canal Central, the boat PRAIA COSTA NOVA, a closed boat with subtle lines and bright colors, hangs over the calm and tepid waters of the river, with an external tiny and tapered cockpit, which provides a wide view over the Foz do Vouga.
Built and launched in 1945 by the Ria de Aveiro Transport Company at the São Jacinto Shipyard, it was passed to the Aveiro City Hall in the early 90’s, when it was taken to the land to be dismantled. For almost half a century, the boat has transported thousands of passengers, military from San Jacinto Air Base, shipyard workers and inhabitants of the Gafanhas, serving the most diverse purposes and situations of daily life.
Gustavo was only 10 years old when he first sailed the PRAIA COSTA NOVA, from the helm in the tiny cockpit, towards the salinas at the exit of the pyramids. Three decades later, he noticed the abandoned boat and decided to return the glory to the famous boat that participated in rescue missions and resisted the violent surf of Barra, and as he tells us, “Sometimes it got so heavy it looked like a submarine. ”
It was said that the vessel had no possible recovery. However, the keel and caves remained strong, and the hull supported the trailer at high speed for the Gafanha Club Marina, where it was peeled and plated with copper by a naval carpenter, who curiously remembers seeing his grandfather doing the original plating. Since 2015, the fully recovered boat offers the most varied experiences along the Ria, from Vagueira to Ovar, being the only boat in the region certified by the European Academy of Museums and the Luigi Micheletti Foundation.
The story goes that a great lady from Beira-Mar cried as she set foot on the deck of the boat, murmuring, in a prayerful way, “that here I met the love of my life, here I entered in white, hence I came back in black.” One of the many stories that reflects the memories of the four generations of Aveirenses that lived the day to day in this and the four other boats that made daily the Vagueira – São Jacinto route.
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