When you look at La Maia, you’re in awe of its incredible sails, the same ones that shined when the yacht set off to sea for the first time, back in 1956. Unique even among schooners, the two-masted La Maia is also gaff-riffed, which refers to its four-cornered sails suspended by a gaff -basically a strong pole.
Built in Greece, at the Psaros Shipyard, the beautiful La Maia was designed to resemble ancient cargo ships. Measuring a little over 30 meters (100 feet) in length, it boasted masts built from Columbian pine, and luxurious interiors made of teak wood. This was by no means an ordinary sailing boat. The one who commissioned it was none other than Baron Alain de Rothschild, who had allegedly ordered more than 30 cargo vessels from the same Greek shipyard.
It was Rothschild who gave it the name that was kept to this day, and who enjoyed it with family on Mediterranean trips. The list of famous owners would continue with the legendary fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy. It was the ‘80s, and Givenchy would take his equally-famous friends, such as Greta Garbo, onboard his sailing yacht, cruising down the French Riviera.
Its most recent owner has held on to this living piece of history for more than two decades, after purchasing it in the ‘90s. The sailing beauty was lovingly refitted twice, at prestigious Italian shipyards. This explains why La Maia is still in excellent shape, still showing off its original sails, and a new 390 HP Caterpillar engine. Three guests can be accommodated across three staterooms, with an additional cabin for the three crew members.
Sadly, its owner had to give up La Maia due to his old age, and the classic yacht was recently sold for just €275,000 (almost $300,000) – a modest sum, considering its remarkable design by George Psaros, and glamorous history. Hopefully, it will at least continue to be well maintained by its new owner, so that it can shine its light for decades to come.