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.