How did it all begin?
We bought SIRUS - these days she was called Gabriela - in Florida in December 2018. A 53ft long Hatteras built in 1984 with two Detroit Diesel V8 engines. After all the necessary boat purchase documents were ready and we had closed our files in Switzerland we flew to Orlando - Daytona Beach and got the keys. With an experienced Belizean Capatin and Co-Captain we left the States on April 7th 2019 towards Placencia Belize.
Two heavy storms and 9 days later we finally arrived in Placencia where we just faced a mayor cable burn while the immigration crew was on board. The damage of the storm took its toll and we had to start replacing not only wires from the scratch - bilge pumps weren't working and the generator room was flooded with 2 feet of salt water..
This is how to get to know your boat the best - we started to exchange, repair and replace supported by two great electricians. 1984 was great year but all the electronics from those days were just consuming too much energy and often not even a replacement part was found - so let's get rid of it.
After the most urgent stuff had been done we left mid May 2019 towards Rio Dulce Guatemala to do the bottom job. The survey of the yacht said we have a few blisters, which need to be repaired. In reality we had more that could be counted and ended up at the wooden bottom. 5 weeks later we could leave Rio Dulce with a brand new bottom and were ready to start the inside transformation back in Belize.
On the way back home our engines started to struggle and we barely made it to Placencia. We knew a proper engine service and maintenance was needed during our next trip in Guatemala as soon as the inside renovation had been completed.
Gallons of primer and paint, hundreds of feet of tap and brushes in all different forms were used in the next 6 weeks to transform the inside in a great bright modern look. New kitchen appliances, tiles, new air conditions, LED lights, new ceiling, new seat cushions and so much more details around were accomplished. Within a huge radius we bought all the builder hardware shops empty and finally had to go to capital city to provide for more supplies.
End of August we haeaded back to Rio Dulce and started with the new hull paint, fly bridge extension and found a great reliable crew to take care of the engine service. Soon the maintenance showed that our Detroit Diesels need more than just maintenance - 4 new turbos, 1 new blower and a lot of old and rusted parts, hoses, etc needed to be renewed and exchanged.
Sometimes it looked like a battlefield and it hurt to see the chaos in our freshly renovated interior but we kept the bigger picture in mind and it was worth to go though! After all had been finished by mid February 2020 we were ready to go back.
While taking care of the working permits, license and all the papers you need in Belize to start a business here the yacht got his final details done, new interior was placed and we were finally ready and more than happy that we decided that summer 2018 to take the step and follow our passion.