Once-popular Nicoya launch is getting a bottom lift

Workmen scrub the hull of the 'Don Bernardino' before making needed repairs. Photo: Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Paquera/Franklin Castro R.

The “Don Bernadino,” the launch that used to travel between Puntarenas Centro and Paquera on the Nicoya peninsula, has been beached for repairs while the owner, the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Paquera, considers a possible sale.

The launch, not to be confused with the ferries that operate on the same route, has been tied up for a year at a dock in Paquera because of a dispute on social security payments. The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social says the association owes 73 million colons or about $142,000 in back payments for employees. The association is trying to negotiate a settlement, it said.

In the meantime, there is some work to do on the boat’s engine and on the hull. The association said there had been some leaks. The launch was considered to be more rapid than the ferries that also carry cars and trucks.

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