• JM BUSHA 54 Sailing Team

Piecing Ciao Bella Back Together

So, Ryan and I tell our father that we plan to sail Ciao Bella to Rio – and he says it’s cool, except that there is a bit of work that needs to be done on the boat. A bit of work! He had stripped the boat down completely. Every fitting removed. Keel off. Mast off and dismantled her completely. Windows out and to be replaced. Rudder off. Hatches out. Stripped! That’s where we started. A complete new meaning to the expression “bare boat”. To his credit, he has continued with the refurbishment, but at his pace, which would have the boat ready after the race was over.


We have all jumped in to help. Weekend work parties, were far from being parties. Not all of us are mechanical by nature, and not all our work is pretty - but we are moving forward now, in leaps and bounds. Each time we get stuff completed, it seems to spur him on to show us up, before the next work party, and the result is that we are looking good to get the boat down to the sea sometime in May.


What has been done? Let me see….. Hull stripped, repaired where needed, sanded and painted. Windows replaced. Mast stripped, repaired where needed, sanded and painted. Likewise with the keel. Interior painted top to bottom – and I mean right to the bottom of the bilges. Windows replaced with new poly carbonate. Most of the fittings cleaned up (or replaced) and re-installed.There is a lot to do still – the most important item being the mast – but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


One good thing about the extent to which the boat was stripped, is that we all have a very clear picture in our minds of how it all goes together, and where all the bits and pieces fit together.


Hold thumbs for the next few week ends.


- Michaela Robinson


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