Blog — Tuesday , 28 April, 2020

Blog — Tuesday , 28 April, 2020

Work on the interior is a step-by-step process. As Paul said to Mr. Watanabe the other day, the photos that are being taken every day don’t adequately capture the steady progress that is being made. But work is now focused on the main saloon and cabins, including the floorboards, sofas, ceiling, etc. Mattis is working on the sofa in the main salon and is beginning to concentrate on the details, such as the storage space below and behind the sofa.

 

Richard is installing the soleboards without gaps, using a fine-grained Japanese oak variety selected by Mr. Watanabe. Since the length of the floorboards in each part of the boat is different, we measure the length needed for each plank, and make adjustments on site.

 

The bunk frame was found to have soaked up a lot of oil from when the bilges were full of oily water. It had soaked through the sole and into the bases of the furniture, especially at the aft end of the boat. We had to try and remove the oil and return the furniture to a condition for storing clothing. All of the original bunk frame is being used, and in the second photo above, Lewis is using some chemicals to remove oil and old varnish.

 

The varnish work on deck continues. Due to dust and the risk of someone putting a hand on wet varnish, varnishing and woodworking cannot be done in the same place at the same time. (Chuck and the rigging team were working in the tent yesterday, giving the varnish team the opportunity to varnish undisturbed by loose ropes and rig gear. Today, both parties worked on deck in close quarters, taking care not to interfere with each other.

 

The boom was installed on the mizzen mast today. Due to its smaller size, Chuck and Nat were able to manhandle it into place. Next comes the mizzen gaff before fitting the mizzen sail.The main mast boom will be installed after that, followed by the main gaff and the main sail.Thanks to the two main halyards on each mast and the powerful electric deck winches, all these booms can be fitted without having to call in a crane.

 

Hashimoto is repairing a chest of drawers. The top, drawers and frame are all original. The left side panel of pine had to be replaced, and the panel seen in the photo had to be newly created, as it used to sit next to a sink unit.

 

Mattis is working on the sofa while Murata is painting the area behind. Pascal is working on the wiring.

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 — Friday , 24 April, 2020

Blog — Friday , 24 April, 2020

It rained all day on Monday the 20th, but that didn’t really slow down the work on the interior, as the shipwrights continued work in the tent and below deck. Generally speaking, one carpenter focuses on one task—bunks, for example, or vents. This way, the work on each cabin progresses at similar rates, and each item is being done the same way. It’s easy to see the progress as the floor, walls and furniture take shape. It often seems like there is a carpenter in every room: the two aft guest cabins, the port-side midship guest cabin, the starboard stateroom, the saloon, galley, captain’s cabin and the crew’s cabin.

Just like with most Japanese carpentry, the joinery work on Cynara’s furniture is being done without nails or screws, and there are a number of techniques used, both original and new. Mattis showed us one piece in which several different joinery methods are used for the corners (see the photos below).

Yesterday, Chuck and Nat took turns climbing the main mast to extend it to its maximum height. From 20 meters above deck, they had an excellent view of Mt. Fuji. Today was taken up with adjustments and tuning the rig. We also started the engine for the first time. The new three-bladed folding propeller provided good thrust and will be much better than the old one, which resulted in considerable drag.

Lead shipwright Paul left the construction of the cover for the elegant wooden box that houses the steering quadrant and gears for later. After confirming that the length of the steering and throttle cables are correct, he could finally measure the hole for the installation of the control levers (top photo). Kawashima has now started cutting a hole in the box for the wheel axle following Paul’s instructions. The top is still temporary, while Ian fits the cables, but will be done soon.

Outside, Saito and Fujita took an inflatable around Cynara to clean the topsides, whose white surface shows dirt easily. After a complete circuit of the boat, her topsides were gleaming again. Keeping her looking shipshape is an ongoing task.

 

Above and below: Mattis shows different joinery techniques used on one frame of the furniture: double wedges, a single wedge, and a wedge down the center of the tenon.

 

Above: Richard putting in some of the oak flooring.

Below: Niko working on one of the cabin’s shower walls, and Mattis focused on the frame for the sofa in the saloon.

 

Saito and Fujita washed, rinsed and polished the topsides after the rain. Before long they had Cynara’s topsides—which were marked by stains from rainwater draining out of the scuppers (below)—gleaming again (bottom).

 

 

 

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 — Thursday , 16 April, 2020

Blog — Thursday , 16 April, 2020

Yesterday, the mast was stepped in perfect conditions: fine weather, flat ocean, and no wind. Over the 90-plus years since she was built, Cynara has hogged considerably, leaving a wave in the sheer line and a real challenge for the naval architect and the shipwrights who have been restoring her to the original measurements on the original plans. Paul Spooner produced plans with the correct numbers and the crew of shipwrights corrected the boat to the drawing.

The hull, masts and rig were all built in parallel, so rigger Chuck had to instruct the mast maker on the dimensions of the new masts, as well as calculate and make to length each of the wires that would support the masts. Yesterday proved that the Cynara has met all dimensions of the plans and that everyone’s calculations were correct.

The mainmast was set first. Fabric slings and padding ensured that the painted surfaces weren’t damaged. Chuck signaled the crane driver as the heel of the mast was slowly dropped through the deck towards the original wooden mast step, which spreads the load along the massive keel timber.

When around 70 percent of the mast and rig load were resting on the mast step, Chuck and Nat began connecting the sidestays. Then Chuck connected the forestay while Ben and Richard helped hold the electrical cables clear and Nat made sure the mast sat correctly in the step. Soon, the mainmast was standing on her own, supported by her new shrouds, each hand-spliced by Chuck.

The stepping of the mizzen mast was next, and it went quickly. The shrouds were connected, and the work completed by midafternoon. Everyone was wearing big smiles, especially Riviera’s chairman, Mr. Watanabe.

 

Chuck said, “I can count the best crane driving performances of my career on one hand, and I’d rate this as one of them.”

 

Chuck attaching the forestay after the mast was stepped.

 

Chuck atop the mainmast after detaching the crane rig from the mast.

 

The main boom has yet to be installed but Cynara is already looking eager to begin sailing tests.

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 , 14 April, 2020

Blog — Tuesday , 14 April, 2020

Last Thursday, we filled Cynara’s tanks with 1000 liters of fuel. The engine and gearbox are what she had before the restoration, though the engine was sent back to Yanmar for a full rebuild.

On deck, the case covering the gearbox at the helm was installed. With all the interior work going on at once, it is getting crowded on board. Woodwork, painting, engineering, electrical work and varnishing is all taking place, and everyone is operating as efficiently as possible. Each carpenter has his own tasks to focus on, with John and Mattis finishing work on the sofa base in the main saloon. The upholsterers want the bunk and sofa frames to be completed before they start their work, since the mattresses and sofas will be custom-made, and they are eager to get the final measurements.

Yesterday, a day-long storm came through the site, with winds from the north reaching 38 knots. Despite the boat’s movement in the waves, all the craftsmen kept at it: work continued on the drawers for the main saloon, using some detailed joinery techniques.

Tomorrow, Chuck is planning to step the masts, and has been busy with all the preparations. The turnbuckles have been installed for the shrouds, the topmast antenna has been attached and the shrouds are all laid out. Now it will all depend on the weather, which is forecast to be fine in the morning.

 

The case surrounding the gear box at the helm, with graceful corner curves, has been installed.

 

The drawers for the main saloon. The fine details of the joinery can be seen below.

 

The bases of the sofas and berths have to be finished so the upholsterers can make their final measurements for the cushions.

 

On deck, the turnbuckles for attaching the shrouds are being installed in preparation for the mast stepping, which is planned for tomorrow.

 

 

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 —  Wednesday, 8 April, 2020

Blog — Wednesday, 8 April, 2020

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The state of Cynara has progressed at pace since last Monday, when she was transferred to the water by the big sea crane. We are working on the benches on the left and right side in the doghouse, the rails for the sliding hatches and other areas of the boat.

Adding more coats of varnish to the many varnished surfaces on the deck is continuing every day. In this cherry blossom season we are blessed with days of fine weather which is ideal for varnish work.

Tomorrow, the fuel truck will come to prepare for the upcoming engine start. We will not fill up, but add just enough fuel for test running the engine and for test sailing after the mast is fitted.

Mattis started work on the mahogany saloon cabin table. It is an original dropleaf type that is gimballed to allow level positioning while the ship is heeled. After it is disassembled, Paul will judge whether to repair the top by strengthening the damaged areas, or to cut out the damage and replace it with new timber, or to make a replica based exactly on the original.

Next week we will step the masts—the process of raising them into place. Chuck has been watching weather forecasts to pick a day with little or no wind.

 

 

The teak cover for the windlass switch to be installed on deck. On modern boats these switches are usually protected by plastic covers, but on a historic boat like Cynara, such a plastic cover would not be suitable. The carpenters have come up with a pleasing wooden solution that protects it from being accidentally stepped on.

 

 

Chuck is making last-minute preparations on the wires prior to stepping the masts.

 

 

Kawashima is attaching hinges to the doors leading to the engine room.

 

 

Above and below: some of the joinery used in making the drawers.

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