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Moonen Shipyards in the Netherlands has completed the five-month refit project of the 29-meter fast displacement superyacht Ciao. Launched in 2007 as Nilo, the owners of this renowned Moonen expressly chose to have her return to Holland from her home in the Mediterranean for a new stabilization system, propulsion upgrades and various aesthetic upgrades. 

The end of April saw Ciao being put through her paces off the coast of the Netherlands to ensure that the new CMC zero-speed stabilizers were performing at their best. This electrical system worked very well both when sailing in choppy waves and at anchor.

The expert engineers at Moonen had also spent the past months carrying out extensive maintenance and service on Ciao’s propulsion drive and Servogear controllable pitch propeller system. The sea trials confirmed that the yacht had certainly not lost any of her power—on the contrary, she reached an excellent top speed of 23.7 knots on the very first day.

“The sea trials at Haringvliet reconfirmed the quality of Ciao’s hull and her original design,” says captain Henk-Johan Hankart, who has stayed with his charge throughout the winter in Den Bosch. “It’s impressive that a displacement yacht can manage almost 24 knots. All the work on the shaft was done very well during the refit, and we felt that during the sea trials."

"She was already a very stable boat even before we made this switch from hydraulic to electrical stabilization. We sailed to Holland from Greece last November and the weather in the Atlantic was quite bad at times. As Ciao took the waves in her stride, I remember the words of one of those who joined us on the delivery, a captain on offshore vessels: ‘I feel safer on this yacht than on the boats we use for the wind farms,'" he said.

Moonen M/Y Ciao

Moonen M/Y Ciao

Captain Hankart, who has been at the helm of Ciao since 2015, says he received a warm welcome upon arrival. “The yard had arranged for us to be a ‘ship in transit’, which has had clear tax benefits for this project. The mechanical work was very good and the workers on the shop floor were helpful and easy-going."

“They needed to be skillful too. We took all the propeller shafts out to replace the bearings and found some damage to the strut which was expertly repaired. The new crew cabin is a very nice addition to the yacht which will make our lives more comfortable. And we also found Den Bosch to be a good place to live, with easy access to both the yard and further afield.”

“Everyone at the yard was very impressed with the fine condition that Ciao was in when she first arrived back at Moonen,” adds Ian Vermoen, assistant project manager at Moonen Shipyards. “This is due to a combination of the original build quality and the way that the owner and captain look after her. It’s great that the owner spends long periods on board as that is what a Moonen is meant for.

“Now, following the refit, Ciao looks ever better inside and out. The high degree of flexibility at Moonen is one our core strengths on a project like this, enabling us to change plans pretty quickly to make sure everything comes together. The rich experience of our mechanics and carpenters also helps ensure that such complex projects are completed successfully.”

Ciao is now setting off for a short tour of the waters in and around the Netherlands. Captain Hankart and his crew will then head off with the owner to Denmark followed by a summer season in the Baltic.

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