Barbarella – A Riva Reborn

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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.
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Christina O

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CHRISTINA O 

A very long way from the Waitemata and made of steel but OMG, this legendary super-yacht is drop dead stunning.

Christina O has a very impressive heritage – built in 1943, she served in WWII at the D-Day Landings and later witnessed some iconic events. President John F. Kennedy first met Sir Winston Churchill aboard in the bar, and you will see from the photos on board the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy (later married to Onassis) have called it home.
She started life as a Canadian anti-submarine frigate and Aristotle Onassis in 1954 converted her into a luxury yacht. In 2016/17 she was totally refurbished to what you see above , but retains her ‘old world’ class and opulence. Today she is available for charter, with 17 cabins.The mosaic swimming is original and can be raised & lowered.
At 325’ Christina O is not the worlds largest or most expensive super-yacht but it would have to be the most famous.
INPUT FROM Russell Ward 

“Converting a warship to a private yacht showed that Onassis had a lot of style. They were a fine shape. Mind you he got a bargain –a well made ship that had not had a lot of use $34K. All the engineering systems were designed to be literally bomb proof and no expense spared. 
The River Class  were similar specs to the Loch Class (the RNZN had five ‘50s – 70s) but were traditionally built with fine lines and did not have the sheer broken into three straight lines as the later Loch class which were designed to be built in modules off site and taken to the slip for assembly. Most were steam powered with four cylinder triple expansion engines and oil fired water tube boilers. These engines made the ships amazingly manoeuvrable since a precipitating engine can be slammed from full ahead to full astern if the needs (like hunting and killing submargarines) arise. Also unlike turbines (some were so powered) they required comparatively unsophisticated spanner work to keep them going. Also turbines don’t reverse so easily.
I am not sure whether Christina O was diseaseled (I seem to think he kept her steam. Even if only originally). Unfortunately the media these days concentrate on the Jackie Kennedy, Christina Onassis herself, guests and the solid gold bidets marble bathtubs etc rather than mundane things like the engine rooms.
Oh by the way, the NZ Navy had one of these –the Lachlan- -a river class frigate built by Morts Dock in Sydney. She was our surveying vessel and frequently used to be seen when we were out cruising. Did a hellava lot of work updating our charts some of which died from Capt Cook’s work. She’d stooge in and anchor off the bay practically unheard and then shoot through in the morning. Not the drama, bells and on deck announcements with a real navy ship. I remember once she anchored off Stanmore Bay in the early ‘60s and we steamed off over to have a look as fast as Milli ll’s Stuart Turner would take her. But Lachlan evidently saw us coming and weighed and steamed off at a real old clip –she’d do 20 knots easy. Gone in a flash.
The Navy decommissioned her in ’74 and used her for accommodation for a few years. Her engines were removed in 1975 and Marie wouldn’t let me have one sadly. I got an admiralty pattern angle poise type light off her bridge (won’t tell you how!) and the desk from the sickbay (of course) when she was stripped prior to being knackered in the Philippines in 1993. I use the desk in my Mancave and always thought I’d put the lamp on one of my boats but never did as yet.
The Aussies had a sister ship Diamantina similarly deployed on surveying she had a similar lifespan.”
Lachlan

Maitai – A Peek Down Below

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MAITAI –  A Peek Down Below

A year ago the 1928 Collings and Bell kauri launch Maitai appeared on WW (link below) now thanks to Ian McDonald and her trade listing we get a look down below. Maitai measures 29’ 6” and is of single carvel plank construction, powered by a 36hp Bukh diesel engine.
Her owner commented that after 11 years of ownership the reason for the sale is that he is buying a yacht…………. It doesn’t happen that way often, normally its selling yacht to buy a launch. He will be back 🙂

Lady Ellen Restoration – July Update

LADY ELLEN RESTORATION JULY UPDATE
 
Today is a first, no photos just videos, shot and narrated by Lady Ellen’s owner Bruce Mitchinson, I have to say its a great format for getting a status report on the progress of the restoration – very impressed Bruce 🙂
I’ll let Bruce tell us what’s been happening
 
“Visit to the boatyard, in Russell, end of july, to check on progress, and start the motor – new valves, rings, injectors, sump, bell housing, number 2 piston and con rod, so we thought it would be no trouble.
after cranking the thing over in the space of a couple of hours, bleeding lines, and trying all sorts, we gave up. It fired up for 4 seconds and we shut it down as the oil pressure was not up, after that we had oil pressure cranking on the starter, but it wouldn’t kick.
Fuel pressure at the injector pump looked pretty weak on all cylinders but number 3, and we thought that we would have to send the pump off to the doctors to get it looked at.
One last go yesterday [7th august] and armed with a new battery, some optimism, and a threatening looking sledge hammer, we had success!
Woodys – I’m interested in your feed back he being able to view the videos – if you are unable, can you drop me an email (link below) I’m keen to ensure everyone can view them 🙂
waitematawoodys@gmail.com
UPDATE – OPEN THE COMMENTS SECTION IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS VIEWING –  for some reason they will load there but not in the main body of the story.
THE ENGINE
WCW Riverhead2019
Another clinker joined the fleet yesterday…………… thats 4, but who’s counting (other than the wife)

 

Meola – A Peek Down Below

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Meloa – A Peek Down Below

I was sent a link to the amazing collection of photos above of the 1961 Miller & Tunnage  ex work boat Meola by woody Peter Mence. Owner Iain Forsythe  has had Meola for 4+ years and in this time he has used his eye & hand skills to turn her into one of the saltiest boats in our woody fleet. Check out the link below for more photos and detail

https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/09/28/meola/

Input for Harold Kidd – Her first skipper was Charlie Miillett who served his time as a boatbuider with Chas Bailey & Sons, went to Tauranga boatbuilding and became a top skipper in the game-fishing fleet there.

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE

And if you were off the radar yesterday – scroll down to view yesterdays story on how classic launch owners can enjoy their pride and joy more or be lazy & just click this link below 🙂

https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/08/08/how-often-do-you-use-your-classic-boat/

Ocean Queen – A Peek Down Below

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OCEAN QUEEN – A Peek Down Below

Mid last month I ran a story on the Taupo based woody – Ocean Queen, most likely built by Joe Slattery in 1920. Nathan Herbert had spotted her at Lake Taupo with a 4-sale sign on her and commented on how stunning she looked.
I have since been contacted by her owner Paul Stewart and given a collection of photos of her interior. In Paul’s words – “she’s had a real spruce up, new Autex paint inside and out, anti-fouled, new varnish to the mast and boom, new duckboard, new raw water impeller, filters and oil. Polished up all the stainless fittings, removed and resealed some of the windows, new carpet, water tank clean and new hoses. new clears and covers. Last job is to make a new sail cover and then the boom can go back on”.
Paul commented that they use the sail often, it does a beautiful job of holding her steady on the wind and gives you another knot.
Paul still has the spare engine that came with the boat when he bought her.
As I mentioned previously at around $36k, if you are looking for an early 1900’s classic wooden launch – this woody has to be the buy of the year. So woodys, someone needs to buy Ocean Queen > then call Boat Haulage and arrange a pick up > then plonk her back in the Waitemata where she belongs 🙂
Read and see more of Ocean Queen at the links below.
 

Lady Noelene

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LADY NOELENE

Has appeared on WW before and from all accounts has been having a restoration for the last 20+ years. It appears for her tradesmen listing (thanks Ian McDonald) that she is now offered for sale in a 1/2 finished state. When I wrote this the highest bid was $405 and the reserve had been reached, someone might get a bargain.
The listing states she is a Dick Lane design / build but its actually Dick Lang c.1951/52. She measures 32’ x 9’ x 2’6”. There has been a lot of work done to e.g splined & glassed and 2 pot painted. Her motor is a Ford 120hp diesel. There are a lot of new parts and fitting that go with her.
In her present stated i.e. interior stripped is a perfect blank canvas for someone to fit her out to their spec.
Previous WW story here (lots of restoration photos)  https://wordpress.com/post/waitematawoodys.com/23938