Mariquita’s story is a fascinating tale of two halves. Designed and built by William Fife III, she was launched in Fairlie on the Clyde in Scotland in May 1911. She was part of a new generation of racing yachts, the new 19m Class which was a descendant of the historic Big Class racing, and a precursor to the J-Class, which arrived in the 1930s.
Mariquita joined Octavia, Norada and Corona in three seasons of exhilarating racing between 1911 and 1913, taking in locations such as Cork, Cowes, Dartmouth, and further afield in Kiev and Le Havre. In 1913, with the threat of war looming, racing was halted, and Octavia was sold, making the end of the 19m Class.
Mariquita was sold in 1915 and taken to neutral Norway, where she was renamed Maud IV and spent five years in Scandinavian waters. After the war, she returned to Britain and resumed the name Mariquita, although with no racing class, it wasn’t until 1924, when she was bought by Sir Edward Iliffe and Alan Messer, that she was able to race in the large handicap class in coastal regattas.
The approach of the Second World War saw Mariquita sold once more, this time to a firm looking to expand their number of houseboats. Once she arrived, she was stripped of her rigging and sails, her mast was taken down, her 40-tonne lead keel was removed, and she was moved to a mud berth where she spent 40 years as a houseboat.
In 1991, she was moved to Hamble, where, later on, her thorough restoration by Fairlie Restorations began. Once rebuilt, Mariquita set sail once again, taking part in countless regattas including Monaco Classic Week, Regates Royales Cannes, and Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. In 2014, she was victorious, taking home the Big Boat Panerai Trophy.
Mariquita’s timeless elegance and incredible pedigree has afforded her some incredible opportunities. She is now looking for a new custodian to move forward with the next chapter of her story.
Mariquita specifications
Designer: William Fife Ill
Built: W. Fife & Son, Fairlie, 1911
Type: First International Rule 19 Metre Class
Sail area: 6,171 sq ft total upwind
Keel: Lead 36 ton