Class: 6-Metre

 

Introduction to the The Six Metre – 100 Years of Racing, written by Olin Stephens

“As a retired yacht designer I hope readers will find me justified in outlining technical developments as they affected the Six Metre class throughout its acceptance and growth, as those were the considerations that seemed important to me at the time.

In early days, such developments in naval architecture and yacht design seemed to occur in spurts and have resulted from the individual vision of one man, such as Isaac Newton in the last half of the 17th century, who offered the reach of calculus. This was followed by studies of the dynamics of ships in motion, of which the most comprehensive were carried out by a French scientist, Pierre Bouguer in association with the University of Basle, Switzerland, with his detailed studies of elements, in fields like hydrodynamics and rigging design. I introduce Bouguer because his work led the way to predicted performance which, after a gap of 200 years, Kenneth Davidson’s concentration on the performance in the Six Metre class led the way to its exceptional growth.

Davidson, as an engineer and a sailor, was the first person to envisage the use of very small models for tank tests, in place of the large ones then required by current practice. These were roughly 18 to 20 feet long and weighed in the neighbourhood of a ton. It happened that in searching for a known model to test he came to my office on City Island, New York City, where I had a model of the Six Metre Natka, which had been made by my brother Rod and which he had used in experiments on rigs. Using this model, Davidson continued towing experiments on which his valuable 1936 paper was based.

At the turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries design activity was associated internationally with increased in classification and rating rules. The fastest boats, both large and small on both sides of the Atlantic were poor sea boats with light displacement and very long ends. In the US Herreshoff’s “Universal Rule” came into being as a corrective and in Europe in 1906, international conferences met in the UK under the auspices of the Prince of Wales, which produced the First Interational Racing Classes Rule, initially for European use. Subsequently, in 1921 after international discussion and with only partial agreement within the US, Boston and Marblehead holding out, this rule was adopted by the new NAYRU and the NVYC for classes smaller than the 12 Metre class. It became the prototype rule for the Six Metre class and developed into a modified rule known as the Third International Metre Rule.

Back in the 1930s yachts were considered old after 20 years or less. That age would be doubled today without any surprise, while even older and badly deteriorated hulls are now picked up by delightful owners who spend freely to restore them and it is interesting to speculate just why. Certainly the best materials were available before the Second World War and the best yards then had skilled shipwrights. Perhaps in this age of mass production, there is reassurance of craftmanship and value in the older and simpler hulls.

Appreciation of individually created art is as old as man himself, but the high status of other useful objects such as yachts has come about in only very recent times and with Six Metres only within the last 15 years or so. Am I right that this is new? To be unique contributes value and is surely part of the charm that the Six Metres most certainly have.”
(Extract from The Six Metre – 100 Years of Racing, edited by Pekka Barck and Tim Street.)

The Six Metre - 100 Years of Racing

 

On the International Six Metre Association website a timeline has been built for the class and can be found at the Evolution of the 6 Metre Class.

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Information:
Boat List: Abu
Aglaja
Aida
Aileen II
Airone
Alexandra
Alibaba II
Anitra
Anja
Antinea
Arcangelo
Arneta
Artemis
Asti V
Astree
Astree III
Attack
Audifax
Avenger
Azais
Bambi
Bau Bau I
Beausobre
Beausorbe
Bihannic
Black Rose
Bobkat II
Bore II
Boree II
Borgila
Bravade
Buzzy II
Caprice
Caramba
Caresse
Carin II
Catherine
Cava
Cinq Aout
Clarity
Clyde
Clymene II
Cutty
Diana
Dinorah II
Dix Aout
Djinn
Djinn
Dorothee
Duet
Edelweiss
Elfe
Elinore
Emden
Emzia
Eole II
Eole III
Erica
Fandango
Fintra
Fiona
Fissa
Flagrant/Matai
Fridolin
Fromista
Fun
Gallant
Gaviota
Gefion III
Georgia
Georgina
Goose
Guida
Guildfluen
Gunda Maria
Gybo
Gypaetos
Houri
Hunding VII
Ian
Irma
Jill
Joanna
Johan Of Rhu
Joker
Jolanda III
Joy
Juno
Juno
K 67
Kerttu
Klara Stjarna
Kyria
La Bandera
Lady Day
Lilo-Reet
Lucie
Luv
Lyn
Maj-Lis
Mandragore
Marabu
Marga
Margaux
Mariana
Marianne
Marianne IV
Marletta
May Be IV
May Be VI
May Be VIII
Mellum
Merenneito I
Mirage
Monsoon
Monya
Musette
Nada
Najade
Nancy
Nisidia
Nixflu II
Normand III
Norna VI
Off Course
Oui Oui
Pacemaker
Piccolo
Puckie
Raili
Raven
Renata
Rendezvous
Rita
Royal Thames
Saskia II
Saskia Of Rhu
Scout
Selma
Sensa
Sjo-Ro
Skade
Skamander
Sleipner II
Solitar Nosc
St Kitts II
Star VI
Steam
Stromer
Sunshine
Suzann
Tara
Thistle
Toogooloowoo II
Topp
Toy
Trix
Unisex
Valama
Valdai
Valentina
Vastenflakt
Venger
Vert Galant
Victoria
Vingt-Ans-Apres
Wire
Yeoman II
Zephyr