Algarve’s Boa Esperança replica caravel to undergo major revamp

The replica of the 16th century caravel ‘Boa Esperança’ has departed from Lagos Marina to undergo a substantial revamp at the Portimão shipyard, the local tourism authority has announced.

The work, which will involve restoring the caravel’s hull and deck, is expected to last four to five months and is part of the Exploraterra project. The scheme is backed by community funding and aims to use Portugal’s history of Discoveries as a promotional tool.

“This is a partnership between RTA (Algarve Tourism Board), Lagos Council and other international partners, with the collaboration of Docapesca (fishing ports authority). The goal is to carry out the restoration work to this replica ship of the Discoveries Era, so it can become part of the Algarve’s cultural offer,” the tourism board said.

According to the region’s promotional website, the replica was built in Vila do Conde by specialists in wooden shipbuilding and was completed on April 28, 1990. It was purchased by the regional tourism board “as a means of taking the history of Portugal to the rest of the world.

“Since then, it has sailed many nautical miles on worthwhile missions. It has called at ports in Europe and the Mediterranean. It has taken part in important regattas. It has been used as a setting for documentaries and films. And it has welcomed tourists and students for guided tours about the era of the Discoveries and about the lives of the 15th-17th century seafarers,” the website adds.