Amels completes major refit of feadship M/Y Rio Rita

Diana-Designed Classic Was Stretched, Refurbished and Given New Life !!

Amels Refit & Repair Department announces the completion last summer of the major refurbishment of the classic 52-meter Rio Rita, whose owners have now enjoyed their first full season with her new finery. Designed by Diana with a Terence Disdale interior, Rio Rita was originally launched by the de Vries Shipyard of Feadship in 1984, and purchased the next year by her current owners.

Always impressed by her seaworthiness, classic form, and interior, the owners asked Amels to carefully modernize this 21-year-old beauty, in large part to give guests easier access to the water and land, to enjoy a more tranquil yachting experience. Amels began by replacing the square transom stern with a swim platform and symmetrical curved stairs to the main deck. This stretched Rio Rita from 52 to 56 meters and increased her top speed from 15 to 16 knots.

The owners anchor out a great deal in remote places, so the shipyard added a concealed high-holding kedge anchor and capstan on the deck astern. The Amels team also added a new hydraulic passerelle, replaced the old tender cranes with two hydraulic ones on the upper deck, and installed a saltwater whirlpool bath on the sundeck.

Despite the added weight aloft, stability was minimally affected. Below, Amels realigned the engines and shafts, upgraded the firefighting system, and added new soundproofing.
Rio Rita was repainted completely outside, touched up inside, and had upholstery replaced in the existing Disdale style.

Rio Rita’s captain Alex Waugh summarized the experience: ‘Rio Rita has a good reputation?she’s a myth in her own time. This was my first refit in Holland and, besides Amels’ fine work, everything about it was a pleasant surprise. My crew loved living in Vlissingen, riding their bicycles around, enjoying good restaurants and bars. Housing was not expensive, and the Zeeland people are fantastic?open and friendly, with a great sense of humour. In a nutshell, it was a very good experience.’

Privatsea Projects from Greece managed this very successful project for the Owner. The Amels Vlissingen facility includes covered drydocks of 145 meters and 204 meters length, and 200-meter staging quay. The shipyard, renowned for its many custom yachts and the exciting new LIMITED EDITIONS series, is currently completing a 58-meter yacht by Andrew Winch and a 61.5-meter by Terence Disdale. The shipyard has great capacity to perform major refits alongside new builds.