The year 2020 will certainly be one to remember, as this is the year we hope to complete the restoration of the classic English gaff ketch Cynara.

The detailing and fine tuning of the many deck fittings is underway. Some team members were making plywood patterns for the tempered 6mm and 8mm glass for skylights and windows. Others were installing the heavy, beautiful deep blue-colored windlass on the foredeck. The steering gear mounted in its cast bronze open style gearbox has been in place for a few weeks, and it is now time to start fitting the varnished timber outer covering. At first, we were planning to repair the original, but it was in particularly bad shape compared to the other restored furniture. The original was plain teak so we made the decision to build the new one using teak framed panels to match the other original deck furniture.

Graham continued to install the copper sheathing, and is moving on to the next step, which is pre-installing and checking, removing and trimming the oversize copper parts, followed by installing and checking again. He does this time and time again, until he is satisfied that everything fits perfectly.

A lot is going on inside the boat. Lewis was installing panels, and Ben was doing the engineering. The original furniture needs many micro adjustments to allow for the changes in dimensions, as Cynara now has a full set of new frames, deck beams and deck. Painting, lacquering, and varnishing is being done in the furniture workshop next door to semi-finish each piece before installation.

Meanwhile Paul has started his own work of art: carving flower-and-leaf patterns at the bow and stern as continuations of the cove line. It’s some amazing craftsmanship!

Exactly one year ago, only 70 percent of the external planking on her new frames had been installed.  Now she is already approaching the completion of her restoration (well, on the outside anyway!).


In wintertime, varnishing outside in the sun is rather pleasant, especially when it’s crowded inside.


The outside looks beautiful after many coats of paint and varnish.


Cladding sheets of copper onto the rudder is detailed and time-consuming work.


Ben is laminating in teak a bulkhead which will be fitted under the floor just ahead of the mainmast step. It stops any silt laden or rust laden seawater (from a dirty anchor and chain) from running under the tanks towards the deeper bilge areas aft.  (That’s a 100-year-old 50kg piece of Cynara original lead ballast, helping to compress Ben’s glue joint.)

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Restoration by RIVIERA GROUP

Restoration photos by Yoichi Yabe & RIVIERA GROUP

Text and photographs copyright © 2019
RIVIERA CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
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