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NAU BRASILIS:
THE HISTORY, TRAJECTORY, AND RESUMPTION
OF BRAZILIAN SHIPBUILDING



Hard cover, 360 inner pages, format size 285mm x 285mm closed, with 685 images, photographs and illustrations, color print. Sale price R$ 120,00.



Brazil, as a country, is an heir of Portugal, a maritime nation that was once the greatest naval power and whose cosmographers and mariners, by exploring “uncharted waters”, broadened the world’s horizons with their extraordinary discoveries.

The observations of the Portuguese navigators, cartographers, and pilots developed the science and art of sailing and expanded geographic knowledge, as never before in History, through the improvement of nautical charts, celestial navigation, and the construction of ships for voyages of exploration.

The beginnings of shipbuilding in Rio de Janeiro date back to the earliest Portuguese colonization. In May 1531, by order of Martim Afonso de Souza, two brigs – the first European-type vessels (propelled by sail and oar, with one or two masts and benches for rowers) to be constructed in Brazil – were built at a shipyard located in what is now the Urca district of Rio de Janeiro, for the purpose of exploring the southern coast of Brazil and Rio de la Plata Basin.

Throughout the colonial period, to meet the demand for vessels for the increasing traffic to the interior of Guanabara Bay and along the entire coastline of Rio, production at small shipyards was intense. A characteristic vessel of this time was the caravelão, a small, rudimentary caravel, widely used off the Brazilian coast in the early colonization, ideal for penetrating the river bars and sailing into shallow-water ports.

The high point came in 1659 when Governor Salvador Correia de Sá e Benevides – to demonstrate that tropical timber was of excellent quality for shipbuilding – ordered the construction of the largest ship ever produced (in the New or the Old World): the galleon Padre Eterno. Galleons were warships, therefore solidly built and equipped with heavy artillery, manufactured in Portugal in the 1520s to provide protection to the merchant fleet. They had four masts, with square sails on the fore masts and lateen sails on the aft masts, a rounded stern and elegant lines – a set of attributes that translated to excellent seaworthiness.

So memorable in popular tradition in Rio de Janeiro, that immense ship spawned various namesakes, including Galeão Point and Galeão Beach, as well as, in modern times, Galeão Highway and the famous Galeão International Airport (the official name of which is now Antônio Carlos Jobim Airport).

Because of its continental proportions, with a coastline stretching approximately 7,350 km on the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the world’s most extensive network of waterways, with approximately 40,000 km of navigable rivers, Brazil – throughout its history – had navigation as one of its main factors of development, trade, and defense, as well as means of transportation and communication among the distant captaincies and with Lisbon. That is why shipbuilding, an art inherited from Mother Portugal, is linked to the very origins of Brazilian history and has seen a number of booms over the course of that history. The incorporation of successive technological breakthroughs in manufacturing activity by the country’s naval shipyards or by prominent civil shipbuilding industries allowed them to reach levels of quality that earned them, at various times, a prominent position and leadership among the world’s shipbuilders.

During the colonial period, numerous were the ships belonging to the squadrons of the Armada deployed on the Brazilian coast or that made the so-called Carreira das Índias (India Run) including naos, galleons, hulks, caravels, pinnaces, smacks, and small vessels.
Brazil’s largest shipyard during the colonial period was the Ribeira das Naus, which was later (in 1770) renamed Arsenal de Marinha da Bahia (Navy Yard of Bahia). The Ribeira das Naus was located on the seafront of Cidade Baixa de Salvador, at the foot of the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Praia, the current site of the Bahia Harbor Master’s Office. From 1650 onward, this shipyard built galleons of up to 800 tons displacement.

What was to become the Arsenal Real da Marinha do Rio de Janeiro (Royal Navy Yard of Rio de Janeiro) was founded at the foot of Morro de São Bento, on the banks of Guanabara Bay, on December 29, 1763, by Viceroy Antônio Álvares da Cunha, the First Count of Cunha, who governed Brazil between 1763 and 1767, and who had previously served as Minister of Portugal in France and as Governor of Angola.

Among the measures adopted to strengthen the colony in military terms, the first project undertaken by the new shipyard was the construction of the nao São Sebastião, which commenced in 1764, her launch taking place on February 8, 1767. It was an ambitious project, because the São Sebastião had 60 m of keel and 15.5 m of beam, displaced approximately 1,400 tons, and was armed with 64 guns.
In 1843, the Royal Navy Yard of Rio de Janeiro produced its first steamship with steam engines, the barque Thetis, which was 35.2 m in length, with 241 tons displacement, and was designed by Joaquim José de Souza, commencing a period of important shipbuilding projects and the introduction of innovations such as the use of iron sheets, providing new impetus to the Navy Yard.

To keep pace with the maritime industry’s innovations, and in view of the shortage of specialized technicians, the Navy decided to send leading cadres to study abroad, giving rise to a generation of marine engineers who had a relevant track record in the Yard, all educated in Europe, with special distinction given to Napoleão Level, Carlos Braconnot, Trajano Augusto de Carvalho, and João Cândido Brasil.

The protected cruiser Tamandaré, launched on March 20, 1890, with her length of 95.92 m and her 4,537-ton full-load displacement, was the largest Brazilian-built ship until 1961. Her name was a tribute to Admiral Joaquim Marques Lisboa, Marquis of Tamandaré, Patron of the Navy.

The decision to build a new and modern shipyard on Ilha das Cobras was adopted by Admiral Alexandrino de Alencar in 1906. The first design dates back to 1909, and was improved in 1920 by an officers’ commission, foreseeing the enlargement of the Cais Norte, or Northern Wharf, and the construction of a new wharf in the southern sector.

Starting from 1930, with the rise to power of Getulio Vargas as President of the Republic, the appointment of Admiral Henrique Aristides Guilhem as Navy Minister and that of marine engineer and Admiral Júlio Régis Bittencourt as head of the Naval Construction Division of the Navy Yard of Ilha das Cobras, the national construction of units for the Navy was given new impetus.

With the experience acquired in the construction of the six C-class minesweepers, the Ilha das Cobras Navy Yard took on projects on a larger scale, such as the construction of the modern M-class destroyers Marcílio Dias (M-1), Mariz e Barros (M-2) and Greenhalgh (M-3), each with a length of 104 m and 1,500 tons displacement, the plans for which were obtained from the United States Navy, the necessary material also having been acquired from the United States.

We must place special emphasis on the national construction of submarines, making use of the German design and technology transfer agreement, acquired during the construction at the Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW, Howaldtswerke German Shipbuilders) shipyard in Kiel, Germany, of the modern diesel-electric submarine Tupi (S-30), which was followed, from 1988 onward, by the submarines Tamoio (S-31), Timbira (S-32), and Tapajó (S-33), all of which were produced in Brazil after the renovation of the Navy Yard facilities.

The next challenge as regards the construction of submarines is that of a nuclear propulsion unit, whose design is already in progress, with the creation of a new Navy Yard facility in the city of Itaguaí, located in the greater metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. The Navy Yard’s industrial complex thus resumes its trajectory in the construction of units of varying sizes and complexities, which have placed Brazil, at different times, in a leading position in naval construction.

On August 11, 1846, Irineu Evangelista de Sousa (1813–1889) – the Baron (and later Viscount) of Mauá – acquired, from a German named Carlos Colleman, the Ponta d’Areia Foundry and Shipyard in Niterói (a small foundry that had already beenproducing paddle steamboats hulls for the Brazilian Navy), ushering in the implementation of the Fábrica da Ponta d’Areia (Ponta d’Areia Factory), the foundry, shipyard and workshops that would become the fulcrum of Brazil’s modern shipbuilding industry.

During the 19th century, various historical facts were fundamental to the development of Brazil’s Merchant Marine and the Brazilian Navy, determining the course of shipbuilding in the nation. On November 27, 1807, faced with the advance of Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops, the Prince Regent of Portugal, Dom João de Bragança, sailed with his court to Brazil, carrying a total of nearly 11,000 people aboard forty ships, under the protection of a British squadron. Upon his arrival in Bahia, Dom João, in response to the circumstances brought about by the war, issued the Decree to Open Ports to Friendly Nations, nullifying all prohibitions related to trade and transport between Brazil and other nations.

The Constitution of the new Republic created a new privilege for the Brazilian Navy, through Law 123 of November 11, 1892, in fact put into practice only six years later, in 1897. The law stipulated that coastal transport should be carried out only by domestic vessels or fully nationalized foreign vessels.

In the 1950s, there were several private shipyards in Brazil, most of which were located in Guanabara Bay and were dedicated to ship repairs or construction of small vessels. Such shipyard included the one on Mocanguê Pequeno island in Niterói, owned by Lloyd Brasileiro, a company created in 1890; the shipyard on Ilha do Viana, linked to the National Coastal Transport Company, founded in 1891; the Toque-Toque shipyard, located at Ponta d’Areia, in Niterói, owned by the Commerce & Transport Company, a company created in 1905; the Caneco Shipyard, located at Enseada Inhaúma, in Rio de Janeiro, built in 1909; the Mac Laren Shipyard, at Praia de Inhaúma in Bonsucesso, Rio de Janeiro, owned by Mac Laren Shipyards and Maritime Services, a company created in 1938; and the Engenharia e Máquinas S.A. (Emaq, Engineering and Machinery) Shipyard, located on the main thoroughfare (Avenida Brasil), on the banks of Ramos Channel, in Rio de Janeiro, the Emaq company having been founded in 1945.

The great shipbuilding boom for the Merchant Marine, beginning in the 1960s, was due to the “Target Plan” established by Juscelino Kubitschek (1902–1976), who was elected President of Brazil by direct vote and served from 1956 and 1961.
 



 

Desenvolvido por:
MR Informática 2002