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Madeira island

Since its settlement around 1425, Madeira has encountered numerous difficulties with regard to the transport of goods, foodstuffs and passengers, due not only to orographic reasons, but also to economic reasons. mid-twentieth century, was carried out essentially by sea.

Even by sea the difficulties remained, mainly due to an excessively abrupt coastline and few berths. Then we had the land it produced, the sea it carried and Funchal as the center of circulation of goods. This connection was made using a so-called cabotage transport, which initially used sailboats and oars, and later small coastal vapors appeared. Due to the fact that there were no ports with the ideal berthing conditions, the land landing was usually done by small craft of gaudy colors, the so-called traditional canoes.

In Funchal, the port of refuge was the basin of the old jetty, between the land and the islet of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, until in the middle of the eighteenth century the island was connected to the coast and a small pier was built.

There are more than thirty quays and small ports scattered along the coast, most of which were built under the patronage of the old General Board between 1905 and 1916. The Ponta do Sol pier was one of the oldest docks, dating from 1848. Funchal was completed in 1892 having been improved and increased in 1933.

Towards the end of the 19th century, cabotage transport gained another brilliance, with the appearance of the services of Casa Blandy Bros & C.º and Empreza Funchalense de Cabotagem, constituting one of the greatest benefits provided to the coastal villages of the island.