“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
– Warren Buffett
For centuries the flat-bottomed Rabelo boat transported wine barrels and people between the Douro valley where port wine is produced, and the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, where it was traded from the wine cellars and exported worldwide.
Before 1968 there was no damn on the Douro river and the water was often shallow, fast flowing and treacherous.
Still the Rabelo boats were the most efficient mode of transportation before there were suitable roads and a railway.
The boats were pulled back up to the vineyards with the empty port barrels by animals or human pullers using towpaths along the river banks.
Nowadays large replicas of the Rabelo boat transport hordes of turbulent tourists up and down the tranquil Douro river for an hour, a day, or a week.