The ancient boat was found on august 3rd 1982, thanks to the intuition of Giuseppe Maggi, in those days director of the Herculaneum Site. It’s preserved at the Herculaneum Archaeological Site, in a special pavilion dedicated to the finds related to the maritime activities.
The restoration works, very complex, lasted two years. The discovery took place on the area in front of the Suburban Baths where the keel of a boat overturned by the force of the eruption emerged.
The boat had been buried by the pyroclastic flows remaining sealed in the volcanic material which quickly hardened, as this kept oxygen out, the wood was preserved.
It was more than 9 metres long, about 2.20 metres widest point and with a maximum height of about 1 metre from keel to gunwale; the boat has a feature that would therefore have been much like a large modern gozzo boat.
It had three rowlocks on each side and could therefore have been maneuvered by three pairs of oars. The rudder was a steering oar held onto the boat by a rope, which was found during the excavation, with a series of archaeological finds that testify the maritime activities of Herculaneum.
Among these ones, the tip of a bow miraculously unburned, so that traces of color with which it had been painted, are still visible: such as vermillion.