BARBARELLA – A Riva Reborn
As promised Iast week, I visited Marco Scuderi’s Helensville boat yard – MCN Shipwrights with the sole purpose of catching up with the re-build / restoration of Barbarella, the 1969 Riva Superaquarama .
Barbarella is a visitor from Australia, and has been in the country for 7 years for a total re-build. She started life (built) in Sarnic, then was delivered to her 1st owner in Monaco, from there she was sold to an American and moved to Lake Tahoe. Then sold to a Norwegian and kept at his summer house on a fjord in Norway. Then in 2005 her current Australian owner bought her and kept her in Hong Kong till 2011, when thankfully a very rundown Barbarella was rescued and shipped to NZ for Marco to restore.
The journey to return this beautiful speed boat to better than as launched condition has been long and challenging – these Riva’s are handmade thoroughbreds and obtaining parts is near impossible + she has a history of repairs that were not always true to her heritage.
As she sits today in the MCN Shipwrights shed, all that is required to complete the restoration is mainly reassembling the interior and commissioning the engines – twin 454 cubic inch, 350 hp Chev V8’s.
I jumped at the opportunity to photograph her hull, but the situation – light, location (plastic ceiling etc) made for less than perfect photography conditions, but you will see from the photo gallery above that Marco and this team have done an amazing job. You could shave in the reflection of the 20+ coats of varnish. You can view more on the restoration journey at this link https://www.mcnshipwrights.com/barbarella—hull.html make sure you check out the other links to see the total work.
Also in the shed are two very lucky K-class yachts, Sapphire and Jenanne, photo below. Sapphire is getting new oak ribs and Jeananne an interior and deck refresh. The two yachts are owned by the Mence Brothers. Check out the work to Peter’s Jenanne in more detail at the link below.