Blog — Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

Blog — Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

Sanding and application of the hull’s top coat continued this week—the third and last coat! Nico and Bill were working on the lower scaffold level; Jesper (with a roller) and Paul (with a brush) were in charge of the upper level.

The focus of interior work has been on the mahogany paneled corridor. Benjamin and Toshi have also been making replacements for the furniture and fittings, while Lewis and John have been stripping, restoring and retouching many pieces of the original mahogany. While much of the visible polished woodwork of the interior is original, the skeleton on which it is installed are new, created from Japanese cedar and Canadian pine.

Up on deck, Mattis is continuing with work on the deck house roof. Temporary diagonal supports are keeping its shape while waiting for the adhesives to dry. The original frame work is locked together with mortice and tenons with wooden pegs through the tenon, the same method Camper and Nicholsons used during construction more than 90 years ago. The first layer was of the original teak. That was topped by a thin layer of fiberglass cloth and a stiff mix of epoxy for a water-tight strong bond with a top layer of new teak. The original was calico or canvas soaked in lead paint.

Riggers Chuck and Nat have been preparing the spars, while discussing the fitting of the various components related to the masts and jig with the shipwrights. With the electrical and mechanical engineers, they’ve also been installing the wiring inside the masts for the nautical instruments, lights, etc.

Outside the tent, a path has been cleared on the dock, and the parts for the cradle that will carry Cynara to the water have started to arrive. After three long years, she will soon be back in the water.

 

The view from inside the deck house. Except for the temporary diagonal supports, everything you can see is original.

 

The view from the outside: New teak planking on the cabin top. The plugs will eventually be cut flush with the surface.

 

More of the mahogany walls of the interior. Putting all the pieces for the walls and furniture and other fittings in place is like a complex puzzle.

 

Restoration by RIVIERA GROUP

Restoration photos by Yoichi Yabe & RIVIERA GROUP

Text and photographs copyright © 2019
RIVIERA CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Email : pr@riviera.co.jp

Blog — Tuesday, 18 February, 2020

Blog — Tuesday, 18 February, 2020

At the beginning of the week, Paul and Ben went over the schedule at a general meeting. Things have been very busy over the last weeks, and that will continue. The changes are much more visible than previously. One day, for example, there is no name on the stern; then what seems like the next day, it is there beautifully carved by Paul.

Jesper and Nico applied the first of many top coats on the hull with rollers, which was closely followed by Paul and Bill with brushes. Then the Japanese team members sanded before the second coat was applied. This is repeated, and the hull becomes glossier with each application.

Chuck, Nat and Nikki, the rigging team, have been attaching the hardware to the masts and booms. Along with new mast bands, they are using some of the original ones, which have amazingly retained their strength after almost 100 years of service.

Richard has been working on the gates in the bulwark, and attaching the bronze fittings that allow them to work smoothly. Mattis has been doing the painstaking work on the roof of the deck house, a high-profile assignment.

As Cynara nears completion, she’s getting attention from the press, domestic and international. Mid-week saw a team from NHK, the national broadcaster, filming interviews with Paul, Chuck, and some of the other team members. On Friday, Richard Lloyd Parry, Asia editor of The Times (UK), visited. His article on Cynara appeared in the weekend edition of the newspaper.

 

The beautiful carving of the name Cynara before painting (top) and after (above). It will later be gilded in gold.

 

Chuck and Nat of the rigging team have been joined by Nikki.

 

The rigging team is beginning to attach hardware to the mast and booms.

 

Jesper add another coat with a roller as Paul (hidden) follows with a brush to ensure the glossiest finish possible.

Restoration by RIVIERA GROUP

Restoration photos by Yoichi Yabe & RIVIERA GROUP

Text and photographs copyright © 2019
RIVIERA CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Email : pr@riviera.co.jp

Blog — Tuesday, 11 February, 2020

Blog — Tuesday, 11 February, 2020

This week saw the installation of the bowsprit. Billy prepared the block and tackles to get the spar from the ground and into the scaffold, yesterday, and this morning shipwrights Paul and Ben, along with Bill and Chuck the rigger—worked in unison to get it in place, paying close attention to clearances on either side of the hole in the bow.

The bowsprit is made of Douglas Fir, otherwise known as Oregon Pine, the same wood as the main and mizzen masts. With everyone’s help, it fits perfectly, and the graceful shape of Cynara’s hull and bowsprit can finally be seen. Very soon now she will be ready to enter the water.

The team previously finished the primer and under coats of the hull, and last week saw the application of the first layers of her white gloss coats.

Pascal from France and Ian from South Africa are fitting the propeller shaft. Of course, it’s not as simple as that, as there is a gearbox, then a constant motion joint, then a stern gland followed by a long propeller shaft casing that penetrates the stern post. The engine drives the shaft via the gearbox (forward and reverse), the gland stops seawater from entering and the prop provides the “grip” in the water. Though mostly hidden below the engine room floor, this is how Cynara performs under power.

Meanwhile, after weeks of work, Graham, who hails from Ireland, has been putting the finishing touches to the rudder. He now has it mounted with just the right amount of “feel” in the steering gear mechanism, and is rightly looking very satisfied with the results.

Last week the bilges were filled with water to test the water tightness of the lower bilge area. Richard marked the problem spots on the outside of the hull, where sealing will have to be done.

 

Mattis is preparing the roof of the main deck house.

 

John is installing an access hatch that will be used to service the cable junctions near the base of the mast.

 

Pascal is caught in action with the stern gland packing. This keeps the seawater out as the propeller shaft rotates.

 

Graham poses proudly with the rebuilt rudder.

Restoration by RIVIERA GROUP

Restoration photos by Yoichi Yabe & RIVIERA GROUP

Text and photographs copyright © 2019
RIVIERA CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Email : pr@riviera.co.jp

Blog — Tuesday, 4 February, 2020

Blog — Tuesday, 4 February, 2020

Head rigger Chuck arrived at Seabornia last Friday from the south of France, together with Nat, a rigger from Maine. The riggers’ job is to prepare the deck, the mast, and its fittings for installation, which will take place soon after Cynara is put back in the water. The installation of other mast-related items on the deck is also nearing completion, and Chuck has been discussing issues that have arisen since he was last on site with Paul and Ben. This means we are entering the final stage of the restoration process.

The interior team led by Lewis was busy repairing the paneling as well as all the original furniture that has been stored in the cabinet-makers’ and joiners’ tents. They have been applying shellac, a natural resin, to the original flame mahogany saloon wall panels. Shellac has been used as a clear coating for over 3,000 years, but is very thin compared with modern coatings, and must be repeatedly applied to achieve the desired color and gloss. It’s time consuming work, but touchup of small scratches and minor damage to the wood finish can be done without redoing the whole piece.

Today, a test of the bilge pumps took place in the engine room and bilges, looking for hull leakage. The wood used for Cynara’s keel and deadwood are from trees hundreds of years old, and have worked well over the past 93 years. But the boat’s entire structure has been drying out on land for the past 3 years, so there’s been a lot of shrinkage in her hull. Some leaks were found, as expected, and are being dealt with. The water that was added to the bilges will soak in, swelling the timber, and speeding up the leak sealing process.

Varnishing on the deck, and the painting of the hull continues. Paul is always reminding the crew to keep the shipyard clean: it reduces dust and reduces the risk of the boat getting scratches, dents, and other damage.

 

Mattis is installing the roof beams of the main deck house.

 

Jesper is working on applying shellac to parts of the interior furniture.

 

Nico works on restoring the fife rail, which is like a pin rail, found at the deck edge, except it’s in the middle of the deck.

Restoration by RIVIERA GROUP

Restoration photos by Yoichi Yabe & RIVIERA GROUP

Text and photographs copyright © 2019
RIVIERA CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Email : pr@riviera.co.jp