That is not fair neither true. Most European countries have a proud naval history and the populations are aware and proud of that. Not only Portuguese but Dutch, Spanish, Italians, Germans, Russians, Danes, French and British, just to mention some, have great naval traditions and all own more than one tall ship, mostly Navy or Merchant Marine owned (that means state anyway
) professionally crewed. The boats are in good condition and almost all have circumnavigated probably more than one time. Here are some of them:
Paulo, you missed my point. Australia has "more than one Tall Ship" too - and at least one I know of, the Endeavour Replica, has circumnavigated via the Horn at least once.. yet, I did not list Australia simply because it's a well-known fact: our government does not give a stuff about preserving our maritime heritage.
Having a "proud naval history" is a wonderful thing - hey, even China has a proud naval history if you can find someone who'll talk about it - but that doesn't translate to (a) government
$$$ to pay for the keep and restoration of what they currently have and (b) government
courage to enact legislation to protect it.
If you look deeper into the way most of the Tall Ships are funded, you'll find vast private
$$$ being poured in for overhauls and re-fits for tax or philanthropic reasons with, if they're incredibly lucky, maybe a few pennies from some state Trust or Naval Fund for on-going maintenance and operations (or simply free berthage and the like) - and no
legislation to protect said ship or ships eventually being sold offshore to whoever wants it. If you doubt me, look at the bruhaha surrounding who will pay the bill any time one of these ships needs an overhaul..
I agree that the French have done something to protect their old fishing fleets and run a few festivals like Douarnenez (my apologies for forgetting them) but am not aware of the British Government, for example, doing anything similar outside of the Norfolk Broads.
But once no-one visits the ships any more (certainly attendance at Maritime Museums in this country is dropping every year) eventually those private funds dry up and the vessels disappear.. It's a sorry fact of life, but a fact it is. ..and incidents like those surrounding the "Bounty" are an unfortunate symptom of that fact.