MAXI Ragamuffin is finally back in the water.
The maxi yacht has been out of action over the past three months after a battering from Cyclone Ului.
The storm bashed the former Sydney to Hobart winner against the Shute Harbour jetty, causing substantial external and interior damage.
But at last the beautiful boat has been reacquainted with its popular Whitsunday tours yesterday.
Maxi Ragamuffin owner Bernard Heimann said the total cost of fixing the boat and ensuring it was fully ready for business was about $300,000.
This included a new paint job inside and out, which has the famous yacht looking spick and span for its regular Blue Pearl Bay and Whitehaven Beach tours.
Bernard and his helpers have been working around the clock over the past 10 weeks to ensure Ragamuffin is back in the water in time for the mild Whitsunday winter.
“We've worked five or six days a week for nine weeks to get it [Ragamuffin] up to scratch,” he said.
“We kick off with school holidays in July.”
This year's extended wet season would not have been ideal for Ragamuffin tours, so the timing of Cyclone Ului wasn't all bad according to Bernard.
“It all happened during the quiet time of the year,” he said.
“But it's still money going out, not coming in.
“We've now got to start again.
“It's back to business as usual.”
Like Bernard, the business's staff of eight permanent and part-time employees are eager to get back to work and out on the water.
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