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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21-01-2020 Update – The Riva Is Finished

I can report that the Riva project is finished and is days away from being shipped across the Tasman to her owner.
To say Marco was happy, would be a very big understatement 🙂 The question now is – what will replace her in the MCN Shipwrights shed?
For more details and photos on the project see link below.
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The Launching of Josephine

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Mike Mahoney brings her alongside

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Steve Cranch

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THE LAUNCHING OF JOSEPHINE

If you were out and about in the vicinity of Westhaven Marina on Sunday you would have heard an unusual sound coming from the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron – the sound of two Chev Corvette engines pumping out 800+hp warming up. Not an everyday sound for the RNZYS 🙂
The source of the noise was Mike & Tracy Mahoney’s latest additional to their fleet – Josephine, a NZ custom built 28’ Riva speedboat. Two of NZ’s most talented woody craftsman – Mark Robinson and Steve Cranch collaborated over 2 years to build Josephine for Mike. There is so much smart thinking gone into this build – check out the anchor, and Steve tells me it actually works as an anchor – it’s been well ‘road tested’ on Rainbird, Steve’s classic woody yacht. Most items have been designed and manufactured in NZ.
Even thou they have been fitted with mufflers – the very dignified sound of the Corvette V8’s at idle gives you a hint to the 50mph power lurking below. Open up the throttles a little and your ears experience a very retro cool sound – check out the video below to hear them (turn the sound up).