Saturday, June 16, 2012

Getting to Know Bella Vita!

Forward Berth
Bella Vita is a Hylas 45.5, the last one built - which came off the line at the factory in Taiwan in 1995. Her original home was in sunny Santa Barbara, California, where she had the name Carpe Diem – you know – "Seize the Day".

We went down to see her in early April of 2008 and immediately fell in love. While she was definitely out of our price range, we discovered the owner had already taken ownership of another boat and so might be eager to unload. We crossed our fingers and made a ridiculously low offer. To our great surprise, the owner was willing to play.  After much finagling back and forth, we came to an agreement and never looked back!
Main Salon - Port

While the 45.5 is originally modeled from the Hylas 44, it also had some of the positive changes that went into the 46, which began production immediately after our boat.  Bella Vita has a large swim platform (the 
biggest change from the 44 to the 46) and is very roomy and comfortable inside.  

Main Salon - Starboard
Forward most is a large quarter berth (with access to the chain locker), followed by a head to the port side and then the main salon. 

Mid-Ship Sink
Aft of that is the nav station to port, a centerline sink with a walk through galley to starboard. Aft of that is the main cabin, the 2nd head to port with separate shower included in the head.  

Bella carries a little over 200 gallons of water in 3 tanks, with just 60 gallons of fuel in 2 tanks.  Currently she weighs in at about 32,000 pounds. 

Port Side Galley
Above deck she is a classic center cockpit with a sloop rig.  No fancy electric winches or bow thruster – but her rig was upsized with good fittings and a nicer spar than normally comes with the standard Hylas.  

She was rigged for serious racing and had already made one trip to Hawaii with a pretty good record.  Considering her weight, she’s fast while still feeling safe in heavy seas.  

Nav Station
After buying her, we vowed the only big change we would make in the first 6 months was to give her a new name since we both agreed that Carpe Diem was over used and not right for us.  We decided on Bella Vita because she would be our ticket to a new life of adventure – so the translation of “Beautiful Life” seemed appropriate, while not being too hard to say in an emergency.

Aft Berth
To celebrate, we had a boat christening/renaming party of the dock at Elliott Bay Marina with friends and family.  We donated the requisite “bribes” to the gods with all of the appropriate words you are supposed to recite.  It was the perfect start to our relationship with our new boat.  After a ridiculous amount of research on which boat to buy and a multitude of decisions on the right balance between comfort, performance and safety – I can honestly say we both feel very blessed to have such an excellent boat to take us on the many adventures to come.  

At Boat Christening (pre-arch!)

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