Meet Bruce Dyson: sailmaker, boat builder, world champion sailor, and captain of Pleione, an 8-meter.

Bruce Dyson was first taught to sail by his father with a pencil and paper before spending $3.00 to rent a boat at Marblehead Rental Boats, where Bruce would later work. Over the years, Bruce raced Yankee Dories, Jollyboats, 505s, Tempests, and IODs. He was a valuable crew on boats of all sizes, sailing in the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit, Admiral’s Cup, numerous ocean races, and most one-design classes.

Bruce started his sail making career at Hood Sailmakers but left to start his own loft in 1963. By 1977, he was ready for a new challenge and started flying gliders and building boats. Then Bruce began racing and rebuilding IODs in 1988 and has kept almost every wooden IOD in Marblehead afloat thanks to his boatbuilding skills. In 1982, Bruce won the Etchells Worlds crewing for Dave Curtis and the IOD Worlds as helmsman in 1998. He won at least three Bermuda Race Weeks and numerous Marblehead Race Weeks in Jollyboats, Tempests, and IODs.

Since 2004, Bruce has been racing or cruising his beautiful Jim Taylor designed 8-Meter, Pleione, which he built himself in his garage. The name 8-meter refers to the boat class, not the length. Between 1907 and 2008 about 500 8-Meters were built; 177 survive today. The 48’ Pleione was designed not only to compete against the best 8-Meters in the world, but also to cruise and day sail coastal New England. Her profile above the waterline is intentionally reminiscent of classic 8Ms from the 1930s, but below the waterline her hull shape and appendages are state of the art. She features an inboard diesel, a five berth interior with complete galley and enclosed head, and a self-draining cockpit with seats and comfortable coamings.

“It was a boyhood dream to own a 12-meter,” says Bruce, “but I couldn’t afford one, and so settled on an Eight.” Combining the aesthetic, performance, racing, and cruising requirements was a design challenge, and the build took 4 ½ years; the result was worth the wait; Pleione is gorgeous, and impressively fast to boot. She has had consistent podium finishes in events as varied as the 8m NA and World Championships in Toronto to the PHRF NE Championships in Marblehead, and she has dominated ‘Spirit of Tradition’ racing in Maine. Her design is appreciated by those who like classic style, comfort, and performance in a truly timeless yacht.

Do you have a question for Bruce? Is this a work on art on water? Could you see yourself sailing her? Tell us what you think below. To see Pleione, click here.