Category Archives: Dione

Dione Restoration – Stage 4 – Completion and Launch!

A final report from Bill McLaren and Tim Henderson to conclude their successful and hugely appreciated 3 year project!

Stage 4 – Completion and Launch

This final report tells the story of the end game of the Dione restoration project and covers the period from December 2016 through to her launching in July 2017. It was an exciting and busy time as three years of hard work finally came to fruition.

The first step was to complete the deck by fitting covering boards around the deck edge.

The deck awaiting the covering boards to be fitted.

Photo 1

The sheer strake, or top plank of the hull, was doubled with filler pieces between each rib, to which the covering boards were screwed with a mastic bedding. The joint between the inner edge of the covering board and the deck was made with epoxy. This required precise wood work to get a good fit and the result was very pleasing.

The covering boards at the bow.

Photo 2

We then turned our attention to the construction of the cockpit and cuddy. We first had to design the cuddy to meet the class rules and to form an elegant and strong structure. The first step was to shape and fit the cockpit sides

The port cockpit coaming is screwed into place

Photo 3

We then fitted the forward and aft cockpit coamings with corner bracing pieces to strengthen the structure.

The main structure comes together

Photo 4

The cuddy deck beams were laminated from strips of mahogany and moulded over a former to give the design curvature.

Detail of the cuddy construction

Photo 5

The cuddy deck was laminated from two sheets of 6mm plywood and screwed and glued to the cockpit edges and cuddy deck beams. This created a very strong and stiff structure.

Finally the cockpit and cuddy was varnished in preparation for fitting the deck hardware.

The completed and varnished cuddy structure.

Photo 6

There was a lot of deck hardware and we had underestimated the cost and time involved in procurement and fitting. Tim took the lead and we tried to follow best practice from the most successful boats in the fleet, using modern equipment.

Dione’s mast had been in storage for many years and appeared to be sound. However more detailed examination showed serious flaws and rot in critical places and we were forced to condemn it. Due to short timescales, a mast ‘musical chairs’ resulted, and Dione finished up with a brand new mast which had been built for Iris but not used. A second unfinished mast made at the same time as the one for Iris was completed and went to Iris. Finally Dione’s original mast was rebuilt in slow time and now forms a class spare.

Having overcome this last minute crisis we had only to complete the final painting and varnishing and the job was done.

As the shed was dismantled it became possible to see Dione in full perspective for the first time since work started three and a half years ago.

At the marina she was rigged and prepared for her return to the water after some 30 years.

And most importantly her name was painted on the transom

Photo 11

She was launched and floated to her marks. She took up quickly and after about two days was scarcely making any water. It was good to see her afloat.

Finally, a copy of the slides and photographs used during the Dione launch party. (NB. for download but approx. 156MB!)


Die Göttin DIONE kehrt zurück

Die Göttin DIONE kehrt zurück – The Goddess Dione returns

Our good friends in the Freundeskreis Klassicher Yachten (FKY) – the (German) Classic Yachts Association – and who we team-race against regularly, are as excited as we are about a classic yacht being restored and published a piece too.

Good practice for one’s German. Or use Google Translate!

“Welcome Dione”

The Gareloch One Design Dione after its three year rebuild was formally relaunched by Gordon Mucklow, President of the Class Association at Rhu Marina on Friday 21st. Retired Royal Navy engineer Bill McLaren who led the rebuild had dressed the yacht with Navy signal flags which read “Welcome Dione”.

Relaunch with Dione dressed in signal flags

Relaunch with Dione dressed in signal flags

Peter Proctor, Class Convenor, welcomed the many guests to the relaunch. Current and former Gareloch sailors and owners were well represented. Many from the wider sailing community attended. Friends from the other classic classes the Mersey Mylnes, Howth 17s and the Yorkshire One Designs were there. Dorothy McGruer, one of the last surviving members of the McGruer family who built the Garelochs in 1924 was there. Several former owners of Dione attended, including Donald Hardie who owned Dione in 1958-59.

Guests at the Dione relaunch event

Guests at the Dione relaunch event

The former owner and former boat builder who started the restoration some thirty years ago was there – David Spy. He had made two half models of Dione at the request of the Class Association. David owned and restored several Garelochs and worked extensively on ten of them. David is now a highly regarded model maker with many clients across the UK and in the US. One of his models is on display in the New York Yacht Club.

Presenting the half models to Bill Mclaren and Tim Henderson, Peter Proctor said: “Words cannot express our gratitude for what you have achieved in this rebuild. It seemed at times, especially in the later stages, you had no alternative life, I have been overwhelmed by your dedication to the project.”

Presentation of half models

Presentation of half models

Bill accepting the models joked that “both he and Tim now felt like fathers handing over their daughter in marriage, on the one hand relieved to see the back of her after the torrid teenage years, but also anxious that she would be properly looked after.” Dione’s new owner Barry Choules made all the proper promises.

Rhu Marina have been a key supporter of the project and the Class, their Yard Manager, Eddy Young presented the new owner with the “keys” to Dione, and a small box of sawdust. When the Garelochs are lifted back into the water in the Spring it is an anxious time, they often leak badly initially. Gareloch owners and the Marina crew have developed a technique for holding sawdust over the leak until the water sucks it in and the leak stops.

Presentation of sawdust

Presentation of sawdust

Dione won the first ever Gareloch Class race in 1924 under her first owner Agnes Stephen of the Stephen shipbuilding family. Agnes’ nephew, Sandy Stephen, spoke at the relaunch. He remembered Agnes’ generosity in sharing Dione with her nieces and nephews. He had sailed on Dione as a child in the 1930s and remembered many happy times.

Sandy Stephenson shares memories of Dione in the 1930s

Sandy Stephen shared memories of Dione in the 1930s

An exhibition on Agnes Stephen had been mounted at the relaunch. Agnes was one of the first women to receive an economics degree from Cambridge University. She trained at Glasgow School of Art and was an artist of some ability. She trained in social work and worked with the Women’s settlement in Anderton. In later life she was a Girl Guide Commissioner, and County and District Councilor. Agnes presented the prizes at the Class’ 50th anniversary in 1974. She died in 1989.

Dione joined the first race of the Gareloch Annual Championships on Saturday 22nd. The conditions were difficult with strong gusty winds, grey skies and rain. She acquitted herself respectably in Tim and Bill’s hands. She made a good start, up there with the leaders. Peter Proctor commented after the racing that “it was a fitting climax to three years dedication and hard work. It was great to see Dione back on the water”

Photos by Don MacLean
For further pictures visit our gallery page