Blog — Sunday , 8  March , 2021

Blog — Sunday , 8 March , 2021

March 8, 2021

The inclinometer, barometer and chronometer have been installed in the deckhouse over the steps down to the passageway.


The inclinometer was on the boat, though it is likely not from the era of the 1927 launch. It was given a new face and the nickel plating was restored.


The barometer was probably an addition by one of the early owners—which one and when is not clear. It was also restored.


The chronometer was purchased at an antique shop in the UK to match Cynara’s interior. It is thought to have been made around 1910, which would make it older than the boat itself.


The legs for the deck tables in the varnishing tent. The centers of the tables are hinged lengthwise and are situated directly above the skylight. The shorter legs are for supporting the middle of the table.


Paul has finished installing the benches in the crew’s quarters, and is now working on the pipe cots. The cots will eventually be rigged with lines and pulleys to fold them away when not in use to allow seating at the table (to be installed later).


Kawashima is almost finished with the drawers in the captain’s cabin.


Hashimoto is fitting a mahogany kickboard under the galley units . . .

. . . and a molded border for the vent under the sink.


The rungs of the crew ladder were wrapped in rope to add grip and comfort before the ladder was installed (below).


An air conditioning duct has been routed around the mast and into the galley.


Paul just guided the refrigerator down the hatch. It has since been completely fitted, wired and is now operational.


Hashimoto is fitting the galley door frame columns. As with the other frames, these columns hold the light switches and are useful to hide the wiring.


Tatsumi has made a start on the remaining main doors. The doors for the crew, captain’s cabin and crew shower doors have to be made since the doors that we removed were not in restorable condition. None of them were original, and probably dated from a 1950s refit.


Pascal is wrapping up the plumbing work for the crew shower.


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Restoration photos by Yoichi Yabe & RIVIERA GROUP

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Blog — Sunday , 21  February , 2021

Blog — Sunday , 21 February , 2021

February 21,2021

We received permission from the British National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London to reproduce (in low resolution) some of the plans, drawn by the Camper & Nicholsons shipyard from the museum’s archives. They come from the time of the launch in 1927 and from when Cynara was refitted at various times over the years (including proposals). We found this one that illustrates something we wrote about in an earlier post. These are the plans for the galley, from 1957 and the right half shows the placement of the cooking stove with the chimney rising at an angle before making its way through the skylight. The center piece of the skylight had to be wide enough for the chimney to pass through, so it was larger than the other skylights. The new cooking range doesn’t need a chimney, of course, but as the skylight was in good condition, we kept it as is.


Above is Hashimoto in the process of making the corners of the fiddles for the galley countertop. Cynara’s galley is on the port side, which some sailors believe to be the preferred side. It’s true that a port galley is preferable on a starboard tack, since a cook would find it easier to be leaning over his work rather than having to work uphill. But the opposite is true on a port tack, so the argument is probably moot.


Crew members being educated in keeping the winches in good condition.


While we’re on the topic of winches in good condition, this is the windlass before restoration.  Despite its aged appearance, it was fitted in Japan in 1995, and built by Ideal Windlass based in East Greenwich, Rhode Island in the US. We had it restored by Deep Blue Engineering, in Cornwall, UK, and we’re happy with the result (below).


Kawashima has finished the cabinet and the shelf in the Captain’s cabin (above) and is now working on the drawers and doors under the bunk (below).



Saito climbed the last to touch up some of the varnish and took a short break to shoot Cynara from above.


Paul is fitting the bench seats with lockers in the crew’s quarters (above). He’s now turning his attention to the benches themselves, as he’s planing the bench tops to fair the beveled edge (below).


Pascal polished the stainless steel trim that will make up the splash back now being installed around the galley counter (below).



More of the washroom fixtures have been installed, including the soap dishes and toothbrush holders. Like the other fixtures, they are made by Lefroy Brooks the manufacturer of classic British bathrooms. Everything is hand cast, hand forged, hand polished and assembled.



February 18,2021

Sail Training

Weather: Fair

Wind: 6-16 knots, West, West-southwest

Waves: 1.5-1.8 meters

Destination: Zushi







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Blog — Friday , 5  February , 2021

Blog — Friday , 5 February , 2021

February 5, 2021

Everything that could be restored or repaired on Cynara has been used or is now being worked on. But we’ve found ways of recycling parts that were beyond repair or restoration as well. These are the former futtocks from the frame that now are part of the signage of Riviera’s boutique Malibu Hotel, located on the grounds of Riviera’s Zushi Marina, just up the coast from where Cynara is being restored.


The boom gallows for the mainmast boom had been in the tent for varnishing (above) but has now been installed on deck (below).


Pascual (above) was expressing the complexities of fitting all the plumbing for the toilet, shower, and sink in the confined space of the crew’s head, and his pleasure at spending lots of time in the bilge area underneath.


Then he went back to work shaping (above) and installing the custom-built stainless steel shower tray and drain (below).


Hashimoto finished installing the ceiling lights in the galley earlier in the week. Now he’s installing one of the pattresses (above) for the lights in the captain’s cabin and the crew cabin. The wiring will all be hidden. The ceiling lights in the saloon and galley all feature the same shellacked pattresses, finely detailed metalwork, and textured glass (below).


Kawashima continues shaping the African mahogany cabinet over the captain’s bunk. While he works on other parts, it is given a few coats of shellac (below) before its final installation.


After finishing the shower door for the owner’s cabin, with its elegant door handle (above) Paul turned his attention to the desk for the captain’s cabin (below).


Tatsumi, who prior to this project was a furniture maker in distant Hiroshima, is doing the seemingly endless task of installing latches, this on one of the doors of the galley cupboards. Just to give some idea of the number of locks and keys on Cynara, there are more than 50 locks just for the cabins—doors, cupboards, drawers, lockers, etc. That doesn’t include the saloon, galley, and captain’s and crew’s cabins.


The most elaborate locks on the cabin doors have covered escutcheons, while the ones on lockers (below), drawers, and cupboards have a simpler, though still elegant design, all in the same motif.


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Blog — Monday , 25  January , 2021

Blog — Monday , 25 January , 2021

January 25,2021

We’ve shown different steps in building and installing the table in the saloon, and thought we would bring everyone up to date now that it’s done. The table top is in three sections, and is newly made of mahogany after the old table top proved to be beyond repair and restoration. We chose some cross-cut (crown-cut) lumber that would complement the patterns in the highly figured original mahogany interior walls. At the moment, it is still a lighter tone than the original wooden walls in the saloon, but over time we think it will eventually be a seamless match.


The rest of the table—the base, the metal gimbal parts (above) and the box for the lead weight—is all original, as is the 35 kilograms of lead inside the box. The metal is brass that was sent off to the UK to have the nickel plate stripped and replated. Below is a better view of the weighted box that swings to keep the table top horizontal.


The wood grain in the mahogany table top.


Next door, a lot of progress has been made in the galley. Hashimoto is making the final adjustments in the installation of the oven range. Like the table in the saloon, the oven range is also gimballed (below) to stay horizontal.


Some blog readers might remember from an earlier entry that Cynara (or Gwendolyn as she was known at launch) originally had an iron, solid fuel stove with a chimney that rose up through the skylight  over the galley. The chimney is no longer necessary, but its why the galley skylight has such a wide central piece. The old gutters under the window frames next to where the stove pipe was at one time were slightly blackened.


Hashimoto is also making a ventilated shelf that fits over the microwave oven, and lets the heat dissipate.


Tatsumi has been making cupboard doors, which are mostly complete and waiting for varnishing, handles, and latches.


The stainless steel sink is in as well, so the space is is really starting to look like a galley.


In the captain’s cabin, Kawashima is building a small cupboard over the bed. It’s a more compact version than the original (below). Though it is very old, we think it was retrofitted at some point. It was cut through to fit around the beam, which made it weak, so we’re making the new one fit in the smaller space.



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Blog — Sunday , 17  January , 2021

Blog — Sunday , 17 January , 2021

January 13,2021

 Yokokawa, Fujita and Saito were preparing for the next day’s sailing.


Wada is teaching crew-member Fujita how to varnish. Build-up coats offer a good opportunity for learning, but it is a skill that takes time to master. The top coats are done by the more experienced members of the team.


Hashimoto and Pascal worked on the galley. The woodworking of the shelf is being done by Hashimoto, while Pascal focuses on processing the stainless steel plate that goes around the microwave oven and deflects heat away from the woodwork and the hull.



January 16,2021

The team had a meeting to discuss hanging the doors, which have been refinished and are ready for the rest of the mortice locks, handles, roses and escrutcheons to be fitted (below).



January 17


Tatsumi begam making doors for the cupboards in the crew head.


Hashimoto is preparing to install the microwave oven in the galley.


Kawashima is working in the captain’s cabin, lining out a small locker under the bunk and fitting drawer runners.


Paul is working on the shower room doors, the last big component to be fitted in the stateroom showers.


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RIVIERA CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
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Blog — Monday , 11  January , 2021

Blog — Monday , 11 January , 2021

January 9,2021

Cynara’s doors are all original and are being fitted back into their original frames. As the ship lost its shape over the years, doors sometimes stuck shut or refused to close. Those doors would then be cut or have their edges planed so they would still function. In some cases, the alterations were quite extreme. The door in the photo was missing a lot of material from the lock side, as it had been planed down to repair a distorted frame. To straighten this edge for the now square frame, the mortice lock needed to be fitted deeper into the door. This required slightly changing the position of the handle and key hole. Old mahogany salvaged from other parts were used and new holes cut in the correct position. The handle rose and escutcheon, when fitted, will cover most of the repair but using old mahogany means that there will be a good color match. In the end, the repair should not be too visible.


Wada applies a final coat of varnish to the deck tables


The end of the day, with Mt. Fuji on the horizon.



January 10,2021


Hashimoto installed flush ring pulls for lifting hatches in the passageway sole, allowing access to the bilge area.



January 11

Saito installed non-slip material to protect the tableware from rattling and getting scratched in the saloon cupboards.


Tatsumi was checking the cupboard doors in the galley.


The engine room bulkhead is exposed behind the main deck house steps, and teak is used to close the gap behind the steps. Paul is installing soundproofing in the space between to muffle any potential engine noise into the deck house. The sound proofing is hidden behind the steps that lead out to the deck.

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