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.