Amoroso. The delicious, the charming….. A nice name for a Tagus boat.
Amoroso is a “Varino”, a typical commercial boat whose name is a deformation of “Ovar”, a famous fishing town near Aveiro.
Fishermen from this region would leave the North Atlantic coast in the winter when the Atlantic Ocean became bad. They then went south on the Tagus River to fish for the species that were abundant in brackish waters.
They travelled in their fishing boats, with “weapons” (mainly fishing nets), luggage and families.
The Varino large flat-bottomed sailboat with a hollow hull that could load tons of goods was perfectly suited to the Tagus. Many passengers used this single mode of transportation. The 25 April bridge was only built in… and only boats were used for the crossing.
Amoroso belongs to Seixal, on the southern bank of the Tagus, from where essential goods were shipped to Lisbon, the northern bank: wood for the capital’s bread ovens, wine, oranges, salt, coal and many other things.
There were as many boats as there were marine carpenters, shipyards and villages along the river. Their slidity and robustness, their stability and their freight transport capacity made them particularly appreciated boats.
The industrial revolution and the April 25 bridge gradually made the magnificent sailing ships disappear. And unfortunately, only a few boats could be saved and restored.
Seixal’s traditional fleet consists of three boats. The Amoroso is from 1921. The oldest “Baia do Seixal” dates from 1904, and it is a “fragata box” (fregate canoe) just like the more recent Gaivotas, built in 1934.
The Varino Amoroso is 24 meters long. It has a large quadrangular Latin sail, 173 m2 and a 24 m2 forestay sail. Hoisting the mainsail is not an easy task, and a well-prepared crew is required to prepare for the manoeuvre.
The Varino under sail is a wonder!
It is managed by the Seixal Ecomuseum, which regularly organizes trips on the Tagus, thematic or not. And from April to October, it is possible to take an excursion on board one of the boats.
Lisbonne -affinities had the privilege of skirting the Parc des Nations, passing in front of the oceanorium, then under the Vasco de Gama bridge crossing the watchtower of the Myriad Hotel.
On the Seixal side, the walk allows you to discover the industrial and maritime past of the city. Mini cruises, by bus and then Varino, allow you to appreciate the richness of the heritage.
To find out more, the Seixal Maritime Museum is a gold mine.