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.
Another mystery launch photo from Andy Donovan’s boat broking days – that distinctive stern hopeful will ring a bell with one of the woodys.
Kiwi’s On The World Stage
Marco Scuderi and his yard – MCN Shipwrights – are making noises in the world of classic boating with a double page feature in the August 2019 edition of UK Classic Boating magazine.
Well done Marco. And just by coincidence I’m at the yard later today to check out the 1969 Riva Superaquarama restoration, before it heads back to its owner across the Tasman. Twin 454 V8’s so cool zoom zoom photos soon 😉
THE LAUNCHING OF THE CLASSIC WOODEN MOTOR BOAT – EILEEN PATRICIA
It was an early (8.30am) start yesterday morning for the classic woodys that gathered to witness Jenni & Peter Mence re-launching Eileen Patricia at The Milford Slipway (ex Geoff Bagnall yard).
The 1933 Arnold Couldrey designed and built motor launch has just undergone a 4+ year restoration at Marco Scuderi’s – MCN Shipwrights yard.
WW has followed the restoration and the links below will take you back to her early days (as launched) and as ‘rescued / saved’ by Peter, thru to leaving Marco’s yard.
The weather forecast didn’t look good, but as always for classic woody events, the sun shone at the right moments and Eileen Patricia was launched in a style befitting a 86 year old lady – Jazz band + Champagne and scones.
Several guests arrived in period costume and the ‘Best In Show’ ribbon would have to go to Paul Powney who sported an original Auckland Motor Yacht Club blazer (photos below).
A special touch was the attendance of several descendants of Eileen Patricai’s builder A. Couldrey.
Last Sunday we went for a drive out west, well more nor-west, to Helensville. The destination being Marco Scuderi’s classic boat yard to view the almost complete 1933 Arnold Couldrey designed and built motor launch Eileen Patricia.
EP first appeared on WW back in November 2014 as Linden https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/11/11/9603/ and then she was desperately crying out for a new owner. With the help of Nathan Herbert we identified that she was previously named Eileen Patricia and in her as launched style was a very pretty woody. I encouraged any Woodys looking for a project to step-up.
Peter Mence did just that and quickly purchased her and trucked her off to Marco’s shed. Fast forward 4+years and a launch date is looking imminent. As you would expect from Marco, Peter and Jenny the standard of work is just faultless – some would say OTT but not me – EP is perfect in every way.
So today we have a sneak peek at her as she nears completion. I didn’t take a lot of photos as we will save that for the launching.
Also got to catch up with the other projects Marco has underway – an almost total rebuild of a Riva Super Aquarama (the varnish work on her is amazing) + a new build of a Rozinate day sailer (photos below) and the next cab off the rank – the 1906 Logan 38′ A-Class Keeler – Victory A8.
HELP WANTED – Does anyone have one of the below in their shed?
Woody Baden Pascoe is looking for one to fit a 16′ dinghy.
An Update on the Restoration of Eileen Patricia (Linden)
Back in late 2014 I posted on ww that the 26’6″ – ‘Eileen Patricia’ was for sale on trademe for a very modest sum & being designed & built by Bill Couldrey (1932/33) she had wonderful bones & I suggested to anyone that would listen that she should be restored to her former glory – well Peter Mence (CYA Chairman) took the bait – bought her & moved her to Marco Scuderi’s yard.
Fast forward approx. 2 years & we get to see a glimpse of what she will look like when finished. Macro was doing a shed swap on Monday & Peter captured the above photo. It was the first time that he has been able to step back & get a good view of Marco’s work – needless to say, she is looking very smart. Peter has promised to send me a selection of work-in-progress photos, so when they arrive, I’ll share with everyone.
You are see/read more here https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/11/11/9603/
Below are a couple of photos that show her during her sea trials & one of her when purchased by Peter.
2017 Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club – Classic Boat Fishing Competition
The above event is I’m told is on the bucket list of a lot of woody owners. Brian Worthington sent me the details below for the 2017 event. ( click to view Classic Boats Rules)
As I said on yesterdays post one of the highlights for me personally of attending the 2015 Mahurangi Regatta was getting to see Pauline & Harold Kidd’s 1919 Bailey & Lowe launch Romance II post her restoration under the hands of Marco Scuderi. If you asked Marco he would tell you that Harold was VERY clear in the project brief, in fact I would suspect there has not been a launch that has been so thoroughly researched & documented 😉 The brains trust of classic wooden boats were all over this project, Harold even had Robert Brooke swinging the caulking mallet.
There are still a few projects to be completed but visually the team have nailed it.
Unfortunately I did not manage to get a photo of her at speed, she was just to quick for Raindance. She did look very smart leaving the harbour on Sunday morning at ‘full chat’ (a HDK term).
We took about half a ton of modern excrescences out of her, sink bench, stove/oven and that huge hideous dodger, leaving only coms, stereo, deep freeze and head. Marco repositioned the Morse control so that we can now get full revs (probably 3500) out of the lusty Moon Engines-set up Hino diesel. Walter Bailey designed her for 17 knots with a 100/150hp Sterling so she has the lines but is much lighter without the Yankee benzine-gobbler. She now gets up on what passes for a plane earlier than before but we carried out no full power trials and didn’t get anywhere near “full chat” at Mahurangi, just hurried along to catch up with and photograph the lovely JESSIE LOGAN and WAIRIKI heading home on Sunday morning. I reckon she’ll nudge 20 knots when we summon up the courage. On the other hand, she handled the nasty easterly jobble coming home from Bon Accord early on Monday morning well, ticking over at 1200 rpm and making 8 knots (plus flood tide). When the Navy did a survey of launches available for patrol purposes in 1927 she had a 100hp Stearns, the “hot” engine of the time. The comment was “good seaboat”. We confirm that. The Mills family of Devonport, who commissioned her from Bailey & Lowe in 1919, lived in Huia Street where I lived for many years, so there are multiple resonances for us.