An old MBY favourite, MY Caramba, is now back in the Mediterranean following a 15-month restoration at Stirling & Son in Plymouth.
This beautifully proportioned 63ft gentleman’s motoryacht – complete with Portuguese bridge, faux funnel and canoe stern – departed the yard at the end of the summer and is now in Greek waters with her new owners, who acquired her in 2020.
Designed by Fred Parker and built at J Samuel White in Cowes, Isle of Wight, MY Caramba was first featured in MBY just prior to her original launch in May 1962, when we declared her to have been “robustly constructed” in steel and aluminium.
She then spent the next four decades cruising extensively around the Mediterranean with various owners, until she was purchased by Philip Hardstaff, who brought her back to the UK through the French canals in the early Noughties and later recounted his stories in MBY’s October 2012 and July 2013 issues.
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The refit work at Stirling & Son was extensive. Almost all of the underwater framework and plating, about 30% of the topside plating, and all the steel decks were renewed. The aluminium superstructure was repaired in places and raised by 150mm to increase headroom in the main saloon.
Everything was removed from the engineroom and either refurbished or replaced, including the original twin 127hp Gardner 6LXB diesel engines, which were extracted for the first time through newly created soft patches, “zero-houred” and reinstalled.
The original manual davits were electrified with their motors fitted discreetly below deck. And the interior joinery was all removed to allow access for the hull and deck repairs and later recreated using cherrywood, which was stained using Van Dyke crystals obtained from crushed walnut husks. MY Caramba now has three guest cabins.