The transformation of a 127-foot Delta motor yacht built in 1989 into the 132-foot LIFE OF RILEY, launched in 2002, is surely one of the most extensive refits ever completed. Full story.   image

Major changes included the addition of a sky lounge on the upper deck, an extended stern incorporating a fishing cockpit, and a much more open aft deck with direct access to the sea and tenders. There were many improvements, replacements, and upgrades to all engineering systems.

Delta used a perfectly mated mold for the stern extension to create a seamless finished appearance. Subtle modifications to the sheer and camber of the aft superstructure and main guard harmoniously integrated the new transom into the original hull. The upper level modifications combined bold strokes and technical finesse, expanding the area aft of the pilothouse to include a spacious sky lounge and a full fly bridge deck area.

The interior was completely replaced. The Owner’s stateroom is full-beam and has a large bathroom with a full-sized tub and marble counters. Across the lobby is a pair of comfortable twin-bedded guest cabins with green leather buttoned upholstery and en suite shower rooms. The style is elegant and traditional with antique furniture, beautiful paintings, and straight-grained Honduras mahogany with a matte finish that gives a very warm, natural feel to all the rooms. Forward on the main deck is a gracious library with brass-railed shelves and cabinets below. Glazed doors divided into many small beveled panes reinforce the richly traditional atmosphere.

The Owners enjoy passage-making almost as much as destinations and as a result, sea-keeping and sea-kindliness have a high priority for them. Extending the waterline length increased cruising speed and reduced fuel consumption. Adding a bulbous bow helped to improve total efficiency around 10 percent. In addition to reducing running resistance, the bulb damps down pitching considerably. It also doubles as a ballast tank to be used to adjust the yacht’s fore-and-aft trim.

From the outside, the most noticeable feature of this refit is that the whole yacht has been re-faired and painted a beautiful, traditional, dark green. But of course that is just the outer surface of an incredibly extensive and detailed refit that has effectively turned Life of Riley into a completely different yacht with an entirely changed character. When the Owners are asked, “Is she as good as new?” they have a simple response: “No, very much better!”

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