Blog —  Tuesday, 31 March, 2020

Blog — Tuesday, 31 March, 2020

Almost 3 years of hard work by Riviera’s team of shipwrights and support staff came to a climax at the end of March, when Cynara was lifted back into the water. Because the team at Riviera had done every facet of the rebuild in-house, including moving her out of her shed, we were keen to complete the lift into the water ourselves. Riviera Chairman and CEO Mr. Noboru Watanabe (above) was on hand for the long-awaited launch.

 

The 200-ton capacity sea crane arrived at 9:00am on Tuesday, March 31. Wide fabric slings were positioned under Cynara’s hull and lifting preparations got underway. The crane ship crew would pick her up and swing her over to the water, but they were relying on us to hook up all the lifting gear: the slings, shackles, cables and spreader bars, etc.

 

The center of gravity was calculated by naval architect Paul Spooner. Two slings closely spaced forward supported 50 percent of Cynara’s weight, one spring central took 25 percent and one sling under the deadwood took 25 percent. Wooden boats of Cynara’s time were never designed to be picked up with cranes—a dilemma that had haunted us for weeks. As she rose off the cradle, our staff, Ms. Takamiya, heard Paul say quietly, “She’s okay. She’s okay.” “His words stuck in my memory,” Takamiya says. “I think now I understand a little better why the feminine pronoun is used for ships in English.”

 

Once the load was taken on the crane’s main hook, her weight was measured at 60 tons—with no rig, very little interior, no ground tackle or inner ballast, empty tanks, not stores of any kind. The lift to the water was over in minutes rather than hours.

 

We had booked the sea crane for two days in case a seam gave serious trouble and we had to lift her out again. But by the next morning our shipwrights had checked out the amount of water ingress and judged everything to be order, so we said goodbye to the crane ship.

The crane ship in position for the lift.

Lifting slings were positioned two at the front, one amidships, and one under the deadwood.

Cynara is lifted from her cradle . . .

The crane turned, lifting her over the water . . .

. . . before placing her down.

Cynara is afloat for the first time in three years.

Riviera CEO Mr. Noboru Watanabe shakes hands with shipwrights Ben Hobbs (above) and Paul Harvey (below), after the successful launch of Cynara.

Workers clamber aboard to check all is well below.

 

Shipwrights Ben (center) and Paul (right) with Ian preparing to board Cynara.

 

 

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, 24 March, 2020

Blog — Tuesday, 24 March, 2020

This week, Cynara finally moved out into the sunshine after two years of restoration work inside the tent. On March 15, steel workers began building the cradle to move the 75 tons of Cynara over the fifty meters to the water’s edge. Various ideas for the design of the cradle and gathering the critical parts had been going on for weeks beforehand, with the cooperation of scaffold specialists, crane operators, shipyard workers and our own marina team. The first task was to remove a quarter of the tent on the seaward side.

The cradle was then assembled under Cynara where she stood, and 24 heavy duty steel castor wheels in pairs were attached to support her 75 tons. Thirty 20mm thick steel plates, weighing 750kg, were then moved under the cradle, which was then lowered down on them. The boat was then blocked between the cradle and the keel before removing the blocks between the keel and ground.

A 60-ton, 4-wheeled steering crane was hitched to the cradle to pull Cynara across the yard. The move started at around 10am and was expected to take a day and a half. As she moved off each steel sheet, it would be moved ahead to make a smooth surface. The marina team used 2 forklifts and by 4pm the same day Cynara had safely reached the water’s edge.

Next week will see the even bigger challenge of safely lifting Cynara into the water.

 

The shipyard steel workers put the components of the cradle together.

 

Cynara’s stern was the first part to see the light of day in two years.

 

The crane pulled Cynara’s cradle from the stern. We used forklifts to move the heavy steel plates from bow to stern. As the cradle wheels couldn’t be steered, the plates were greased down so the cradle could be pulled sideways.

 

Cynara’s beauty is breath-taking even during the move on land. The riggers will begin installing the masts after the launch.

 

Power and access was restored, and the work on the interior continued. Bicycles come in handy now to retrieve a tool or part from the workshop.

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, 17 March, 2020

Blog — Tuesday, 17 March, 2020

Nikki Wellings has come from her base in Italy to do all the traditional leatherwork that goes into Cynara’s rigging and other areas. There’s quite a bit that needs to be done, from the gaff saddles on the masts to the holders for the winch handles to the inside of the gammon iron, and to the biggest job of all—covering a large number of the boat’s blocks to prevent them from damaging the masts, decks, etc. as they move about.

Nikki, an avowed sailor who has been doing leatherwork for classic boats since 2006, is presently making the covering for the topsail tack jiggers, which swing back and forth over the bowsprit. She works in chromed cow-hide, cutting, punching and sewing the moistened leather, leaving a perfect opening that shows the emblem of Cynara and her original construction date that’s embedded in the wooden block (see photo). If the leather is taken care of, she says, it should last years, despite the salt spray and the battering blocks take.

The leatherwork, the rigging and a lot of the detailed carpentry that’s going into the interior and deck finishing takes place in a low tent next to Cynara. At one end, Keiji is finishing up the mount for the compass. The base was irreparable, so he had to make a new one, but he’s been able to restore the pieces that make up the circular mount. When finished it will hold the compass that was removed at the dismantlement stage, which is now waiting in the office.

In Cynara’s tent, preparations are underway to move her out, so that she can soon be rolled out into the open, and lifted by crane to be launched. A team of workers are welding, stacking support materials, and preparing a trolley to roll her along in a few days’ time.

 

 

Nikki’s empire (top), where she plies the tools of her trade (above) to make protective leather covers for the blocks and other parts of the boat.

 

Nikki’s leatherwork is also seen on the mast hoops being checked out by lead rigger Chuck. Unlike modern yachts, which have tracks on the mast for the mainsail to slide up and down, a classic yacht employs sliding hoops, which are covered with leather to slide easily.

 

Leather also has a place on the topmast shrouds. Even at this high point on the mast, where few people will see it, Nikki’s leatherwork is exquisite.

 

Kawashima is restoring the mount (above) for the compass (below).

 

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, 10 March, 2020

Blog — Tuesday, 10 March, 2020

The bronze hawse pipes that the anchor chains and hawsers or heavy mooring lines pass through finally arrived. Richard had created a model from vinyl foam, which was sent to a casting expert in the France who created the bronze parts. Some deliveries of material from Europe have been delayed due to problems caused by the coronavirus, but nothing has really interfered with the overall schedule yet. After Richard’s grinding and polishing to get them to fit, they make a nice match just below the gold leaf gilding of the floral carvings at the bow.

The antifouling painting of the bottom also was done this week. The fumes from the cherry red paint, which is applied with rollers, is so toxic that the team needed to wear masks—especially since the painting was being done inside the tent.

On deck, Kakimoto and Mattis installed the hatch runners over the main deck house companionway. These brass runners go with the many other brass parts that ensure the Cynara’s look returns to the classic style of when she was built in the 1920s. Paul and Ms. Takamiya spent hours measuring the dimensions of this and other brass stock, including skylight hardware and door thresholds before ordering. There are still a number of other fittings which have to be installed—such as those that anchor the skylights to their bases on the deck.

Cynara looks stunning now that the scaffolding has been removed. It’s hard to remember what she looked like when she was stripped down to a flexible skeleton a few years back, in preparation for jacking her back into her original shape.

 

Installed, the elegant new hawse pipes complement the gold leaf of the floral carvings on the bow.

 

During the application of the first coat of antifoul paint, before the scaffolding was removed.

 

Paul and Mattis check the operation of the sliding main hatch on the roof of the deck house.

 

Yes, it’s same boat, with 90 percent of the original hull planks.

 

Proud team members after the scaffolding was removed.

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, 3 March, 2020

Blog — Tuesday, 3 March, 2020

Our gilder Julian arrived from Mallorca this week to add the decorative touch of metallic gild to Cynara’s hull. This is a must for any classic yacht, and in its early years, Cynara would have had this done every year or so along with repainting. The metallic gold leaf that he is applying to the name on the stern, the cove lines (or cavita lines) on each side and the beautiful floral patterns that Paul has carved at the head and tail of the cove line is made of 23.5 carat Italian gold. Given Cynara’s size that is not an insignificant amount, Julian says. He has been gilding ships—including massive superyachts—in gold and palladium metallic leaf for over three decades, but says it is working on classic boats like this one that gives him real joy.

The crucial point of gilding, which will take about a week, is the masking—particularly on the floral patterns, which he does with a steady freehand. A close look (see photo below) also shows a fine gap between the gold leaf and the edge of the carved depression; if the gild runs over the edges of the depression it can be damaged by fenders. After the coat of lacquer on the floral patterns has dried, the masking tape will be removed, showing the results of Julian’s years of experience and knowledge. (He wouldn’t share his “trade secret” for the protective layer he uses on the cove line gild.)

On deck, the galley skylight is close to finishing, though it is still lacking the hinged windows. In its original configuration, there was a hole in the ridge for the chimney from the stove in the galley below, the reason it is unusually wide. While the stove chimney is no longer needed, we kept the width of the ridge in its historic shape.

Inside Cynara, the bulkheads are mostly in place now, and the elegance of the central passageway is starting to regain its original elegance. Lewis and John continue with the stripping and shellac finishing of the interior components.

 

More scenes of Julian’s gilding work: The floral pattern at the stern.

 

And a close up of the detail on the prow (Notice the fine line of white paint around the edge inside the depression, which protects the gold flake from fender damage).

 

The galley skylight in place on deck—minus windows. The stove chimney from the galley below once passed through the ridge, the reason for its unusual width.

 

Cynara’s passageway is gradually taking shape.

 

The panels flanking the stairs are still being refinished in the joinery shop.

 

Kawashima continues with the teak replication of the cover for the rudder quadrant and pinion.

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