In May 2005 I was contacted by Kurt in New Orleans, who sent me some pictures of his newly-purchased Cheoy Lee Cadet, which he had taken on as a project boat. She was named “UN BEL DI” (derived from the opera “Madame Butterfly” and means “One Fine Day”, made famous when Cio-Cio-San assures her maid that one fine day Pinkerton’s ship will appear on the horizon.)

Un Bel Di  her forward deck

Un Bel Di from port forward  Un Bel Di from starboard forward

Un Bel Di was at that time located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kurt wrote that he and his friend Nathan, who happened to live in Milwaukee, were in the process of restoring her. At that time Nathan was working on the restoration most of the time due to his proximity to the boat. Kurt would come up for a few weeks at a time to work on the boat, but while he was away Nathan had proceeded to gut the entire interior of the boat.

the interior of the v-berth  bulkheads have been removed at the quarter berth

the ice box and engine compartment are gutted

the ice box and engine compartment are gutted

Kurt removed the pedestal and wheel. In place of the hole where the wheel was they cut out an opening, 13×21-inches, and planned to install the same hatch in the sole as was done with Glissando.

He made new bulkheads for the area under the mast.

He also tore out the ice box hatch in the cockpit along with the cooler. The ice box hatch was then sealed over.

the ice box hatch is sealed shut

the ice box hatch is sealed shut

Kurt was able to install a cockpit hatch just like the one that Tim Lackey has on his Glissando.

  a hatch is installed in the cockpit sole  the new hatch in the cockpit sole

They epoxied the concrete back in the bilges. They noticed that the rusted iron ballast was encased in concrete when he turned over the concrete. He has also been sealing the bilges. He dug out as much rotted plywood as he could before he finally just bridged the gap with thickened epoxy for the dividers between the V-berth as shown in the picture.

the bilge in the forward cabin  the lower bilges

He sent pictures of what looks like the original Volvo engine and the rudder post stuffing box.

the engine  the stuffing box

His boat’s starboard cockpit locker houses the same engine control panel that was original to Bisous. This panel controls the running lights as well as the steaming, spreader and masthead lights. It’s tucked up under the aft-most section of the locker. The fuel tank appears to be located in this locker as well, which may be a modification.

the starboard cockpit locker

the starboard cockpit locker

In August 2005 Kurt wrote the following and included pictures of his wheel and pedestal that had originally been installed in Un Bel Di:

I had to leave New Orleans because of the hurricane. I’m back in Milwaukee for a short time trying to figure out what to do next. My house is flooded, but I don’t know how bad. It was near the levee breach. It’s been a tough week for a lot of people. Now maybe the world can see the incredible poverty that is so much a part of everyone’s “beloved city”.It’s a tragedy.On a much lighter note, I took some pictures of the wheel that Scott wants to maybe buy. I was wondering if you might know of a fair price for something like this. I was told by a worker at my yard that compasses can be really expensive, 600-1000$$. I have no idea. Do you know any ball park figures for something like this? It also includes the gears and stuff.Any help on this would be great.

the pedestal and wheel  the binnacle

pedestal brake  the binnacle compass

the compass close up  the quadrant and gears

In September 2005 Kurt wrote about the boat’s imminent demise:

Hi Denise,I’m fine, thanks! I was just in touch with Scott today and I agreed to sell that wheel to him for $250. I just asked him to throw a figure out, and that was that. Thanks for your help though, because it gave me an idea of how much those compasses are worth. As for the wheel, it doesn’t do me much good sitting around anyway.It’s been a tough month. I’ve rented a van to go try and salvage some stuff down in New Orleans and I’m going to leave tomorrow. I was going to leave two days ago but then this new storm came and its really making me mad!As for my boat, I realized that my friend is not going to help out much, he didn’t visit the boat even once while I’ve been gone over 2 months. It’s too bad he ripped everything out to begin with. I’m kind of giving up on the thing, or at least I’ve decided we’ve got to get it out of the boat yard because they want to charge us more money. I have a place I could put it, but I need to find a cheap trailor, which seems impossible. Let me know if you know anyone who wants it!! I guess if we decide to scrap it, we could probably sell the sails and mast.I checked out your website the other day and it looks like you’ve made some nice progress. I don’t know what the winter brings for you over there, but I imagine there isn’t too many nice days left.Thanks again for thinking of me. I should be back here in Milwaukee by next thursday. I hope I can make it into my place. My landlord has a some pass that can get you in, but things are probably a little different with the new storm passing. Imagine that, I need a pass to get to my house! I know I’m going to open up my fridge even though everyone says not to. I just got to see what happens to a roast thats been sitting in a 100 degree box for a month. Maybe it will be cooked? At least I can use my full-face respirator and tyvek suit that I bought this last summer.I’ll let you know what happens