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“Rivaving” history

De Vries completes Serena refit


While touring the Feadship SL39, on display at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show, Henk de Vries points to the drawing of a charming boat on display in Go’s main-deck salon. That’s a Caravelle, which the shipyard built in the 1960s—de Vries’ first series. Combining Dutch naval architecture and build with Italian styling, the boat owed its design to Giorgio Barilani, the designer of the Aquarama in the 1950s and Carlo Riva, the now 89-year-old founder of Riva. “Carlo Riva was a friend of my father,” De Vries says. Long before dreaming up the SL39 custom series (Go is the third after Ocean Mercury and sistership Kathleen Anne), the De Vries yard built seven of these steel-hulled Caravelles with naval architecture by De Voogt. One of the first owners had the well-known name of Freddie Heineken, which helped popularize the series. Recently, De Vries embarked on the restoration of one of these historic “Dutch Rivas,” built in 1964 in Aalsmeer. Employing students training for a career in shipbuilding and their teachers, De Vries has restored the vessel for two and a half years at its Makkum yard. The restoration gave the vessel a brand-new finish and paint, electric systems and an interior called “Homage to Carlo Riva.”

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