The 52 metre Rio Rita, designed by Diana Yacht Design, of Holland, with a Terence Disdale interior, was launched by the de Vries Shipyard of Feadship, in 1984. The next year, she was bought by owners who were to use her for twenty years; testimony to the quality of the yacht and the pleasure she has given.

Last year, they decided to enhance this classic megayacht , to further suit their cruising lifestyle and she went to Amels’ Vlissingen yard, for modification and a little modernisation. The main aim was to give those who have the pleasure of cruising on this classic yacht, easier access to both water and land, without doing anything that might change her exceptional seaworthiness, classic lines and comfortable interior.

The Rio Rita began life with a square transom stern, typical of her build era, and the most extensive modification carried out by Amels was the conversion of the stern to provide a swim platform, with twin curved stairs to the main deck. The result is a yacht that has retained all its classic looks, whilst offering its guests easy access to the ocean. To enhance security, when anchoring in remote places, the shipyard added a concealed high holding kedge anchor and capstan on the deck astern. Other modernisations included replacing the existing passerelle and tender cranes with hydraulically operated units and installing a saltwater whirlpool bath on the sundeck.

The restyled stern had the benefit of lengthening the Rio Rita to 56 metres, which increased her top speed by 1 knot,  to 16 knots. Despite added weight aloft, the yacht’s stability was minimally affected. Below, Amels realigned the engines and shafts, upgraded the firefighting system and added new soundproofing, then the Rio Rita was, completely, repainted outside, touched up inside.

The Rio Rita’s existing Disdale style furnishings were reupholstered, but there are no photographs to be viewed. Her owners are very “private” people, but also - as an Amel’s spokesman told BYM News “They are very happy owners, with a very happy crew.” That isn’t surprising, for the Rio Rita’s captain Alex Waugh summed up this yacht when he said “Rio Rita has a good reputation - she’s a myth in her own time.”