“I have always found it difficult to resist the call of history especially when I am presented with the chance to preserve it. I had only seen photographs of Cariad under full sail but am anxious to see her restored to former glory.”

Tim Hartnoll – Owner.

“As project naval architect, it is my view the Art of Design on a project such as this is not to update, change or modernise, but to investigate, research and re-create so that the entire feel of the yacht is restored to her 19th century glory.”

Paul Spooner – Naval Architect.

“What sets this restoration apart from other world classic yacht projects is that it is being carried out in a fish-boat shipyard in Thailand singularly lacking in infrastructure. The diverse team responsible for the actual work understand that their decisions and workmanship will have a lasting impact. We believe our true challenge is to produce a quality of workmanship in Thailand that will be judged favourably by our peers in Europe.”

Des Kearns, Project Manager.

Refitted I Rebuilt Category
Owner: Tim Hartno/1

Popeye Marine Services Co., Ltd
Phithak Sinchai Shipyard (PSS)
Satun, Thailand

The “Ramp of Opportunity” gets a new sign.
Ked lays out our vision for the 2024 Superyacht Award.
The Cariad team listening intently.
Jewelry arrives from Holland and Germany. They are so beautiful it is disgusting.
Unpacking the custom bronze winches
Hi Load Runner Block
Marine Surveyor Capt. Peter Lambert visits the Cariad site.

Productive discussions were held regarding the vessel’s insurance.


Mixing Awlcraft topcoat
Extreme care taken to achieve the correct finish.
3rd coat Awlcraft topcoat completed.
Low-tech early-stage varnish shop.
Varnish in progress


Electrical works
Sewage treatment systems being installed to comply with European Standards.
Sewage treatment systems being installed to comply with European Standards.
House batteries being installed


Modern Danish-built autopilot

being adapted to a 127-year old worm drive steering gear.

Rudder rebuild is complete


2006 – Mike the wrecker at work.
Now that is looking better!
Steering box when Cariad was first delivered to us in 2006. Miraculously the steering gear still worked. Love the tape holding the box together.
Framing before and after


Note how Cariad is sitting beautifully in the water despite her full press of canvas and a reasonable breeze.

As project manager I am acutely aware I am only a small part of the Cariad team and that the team itself, represents a small part of Cariad’s history.

That notwithstanding, the restoration is only the first step. Let us not forget the core purpose of Cariad is to sail the oceans – not to just look pretty alongside the dock.

We must also be cognisant that the ‘unit’ as a whole, must be capable of withstanding the rigours of the sea. We have a high level of confidence that Cariad with its steel inner frame and planking bolted to those frames by 5,500 bronze bolts is, in the vernacular, “built like a brick shithouse.”

In the 60’s I was lucky to have sailed on several large sailing vessels.

1965 North of the Hawaiian Islands – Des Kearns in bosun’s chair, supported only by two sail ties, reinforces the chafing gear on the main topsail while below the three-masted barque Carthaginian charges onward towards San Francisco.

I remember well those carefree days and wish I could turn the clock.

Schooner “Bluenose” 1968 – Gulf Stream – North Atlantic – en route to Halifax. Photo taken shortly after the mainsail blew out of the bolt ropes in heavy weather.

Des Kearns

Project Manager

Cariad1896 Restoration Project PSS Shipyard, Satun, Thailand

30th July 2023