How to refit a sailboat born in 1922: the story of Atrevida

Built in 1922 by the famous naval architect and yacht designer Nathaniel Herreshoff, the 90 feet J-boat MS Atrevida – at that time known as Wildfire – was the last Herreshoff designed by Mr. Nathaniel.

In the beginning of 2004 the schooner arrived at MCP Yachts in a very bad condition after being sold as scrap and towed by a tug from Rio de Janeiro to the Port of Santos. The Brazilian yard built a covered shed especially for the steel sailboat refit.

MCP Yachts president and naval architect Manoel Chaves went to Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol/USA and found the original Wildfire plans. Copies and information were brought to guide the refit process.

During the refurbishment, interior and exterior carpentry were designed to guarantee the best quality in finishing, based in the old plans and antique style. Electronics and high-technology equipment were hidden behind nice woodwork and the vessel reborn from the ashes in 2005.

Nowadays MS Atrevida navigates Brazilian waters from South to North opening sailboat races and official events.

A little bit of Atrevida story

Previously named ‘Wildfire’ and one of the last builds of the Herreshoff family with the boatyard being sold the year after her launch. She was commissioned by then New York Yacht Club Commodore Charles Harding and the yacht went on to win the 1924 Schooner Cup and several other important regattas for Harding.

The yacht was sold twice more before being renamed Atrevida. She was first sold in 1950 to Jorge Bhering de Matos who sailed the yacht to Brazil, then to Dirceu Fortouta, where she spent four and a half decades entertaining influential guests out of Rio de Janeiro such as Elvis Presley, Rita Hayworth, Henry Kissinger, and many presidents of Brazil.

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