Município Peso da Régua

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Rabelo boat

Rabelo Boat The rabelo boat symbolizes the force and the sacrifice of the men of Douro, at a time where the navigation in the bar of the Douro was a true odyssey. It is the heraldic symbol of Douro´s region.

Its origin causes some divergence in a way that there are who supposes that the rabelo boat came from the cold North lands and others believe that it came from the tepid oriental Mediterranean. Even so, the hypothesis that seems to have more fans lead us to the old and famous Vikings.

In the concrete case of Douro's river, its existence is known by the IX Century, through the donation of Ordonho II, given in Crestuma and inserted in the black book of Coimbra Cathedral. After the formation of the Portuguese nationality there are a lot of documents referring to the typical Douro boat, which became a loyal symbol of this region.

This is a mountain river boat, with a flat bottom, having as the helm a long and large piece in shape of a shovel or a oar, almost of its size, which is named “scutcher”. It is the kind of boat appropriated for sailing in little deep waters, and it can be emphasised its behaviour in areas of stormy rapid waters. The name rabelo come from the boat configuration with its enormous “scutcher” in shape of a tail.