January 11th 2013. By Zuzana Prochazka.

International Six Meter Maida Ready to Race Again

One of these beautiful pieces of sailing history is for sale in the United Kingdom.

As far as classic boats go, you could hardly ask for a more popular design than the International Six Meter, a class of racing sloops from the Olympics of yesteryear. Maida is a 35-foot racing sloop, built in 1932 by Alexander Stephen and Sons, which was a Scottish shipbuilding company in Glasgow on the River Clyde. She was designed by “Wee John” Stephen of the same family.

Maida reaching under spinnaker

Maida is a 35-foot racing sloop, built in 1932 in Scotland. She's currently for sale.

The International Six Meter class (often called 6mR) is a construction class, which means the boats are not identical but are designed to meet a measurement formula. Also, “six meter” refers to the formula rather than the length of the boat; six meter yachts are on average 30-35 feet long.

In 1922, Wee John of the Royal Northern Yacht Club of Scotland, successfully challenged the Manchester Yacht Club for the Sewanhaka Cup in a six meter yacht of his own design named Coila III. He defended this cup until 1925 when he eventually lost it. He tried to regain it in 1932 in another 6 meter called Maida and lost to Jill but in the process, Maida proved herself to be a fast boat.

Six metres racing

Six metres are still actively raced on both sides of the Atlantic. Photo: ©Paul Todd/outsideimages.co.nz

The design has an almost straight line from the stemhead to the rudder heel. Unlike the swooping overhang of the stern, the bow is nearly plumb. According to the original plans, Maida was built of African white mahogany planking on a yellow pine backbone. She has been through numerous refits, during which the ribs and some of the planking have been replaced and some deck modifications made. Maida has a new mahogany cockpit coaming and slatted hardwood cockpit sole boards. Much has been changed out on a wooden boat that is 80 years old, but despite her many upgrades, Maida’s classic lines still continue to dazzle.

Maida mooring

Maida on her mooring

Maida six metre specificationsMaida sails with a fractional Bermudian sloop rig, with a keel-stepped mast and varnished spruce boom. She has triple spreaders and jumper struts at the top, and her two suits of sails from Ratsey & Lapthorne and Doyle include two loose-footed mains, two genoas, and a spinnaker.

Maida has been laid up for two years but with a little work, this bit of history can be campaigned again in style. And her price has recently been reduced; view her listing on YachtWorld.

Zuzana Prochazka

Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered and skippered flotillas in many parts of the world and serves as a presenter on charter destinations and topics. She is the Chair of the New Product Awards committee, judging innovative boats and gear at NMMA and NMEA shows, and currently serves as immediate past president of Boating Writers International. She contributes to Boats.com and YachtWorld.com, and also blogs regularly on her boat review site, TalkoftheDock.com.