Let us imagine that we are immersed in an enchanted, almost fairytale-like reality, let us imagine that we are on a jetty, perhaps at night, when the harbour is asleep and the waters are calm. Let us imagine that, as in a fairy tale, the boats come to life, wake up, and start chatting to each other, telling anecdotes, adventures and introducing themselves to each other...

My name is Malu.
The younger, more inexperienced ones call me an old lady (the more polite ones call me 'classic'), I sketch a smile with style and sometimes I wince at them. I assure you that despite my age, many still turn around and look at me.


I am a Freya 45, my series is named after a Norse deity of love, not exactly platonic from what I understand...


I don't want to brag, but I'll give you my measurements: lft 13.60, width 3.80, draught 2.30, through mast 17m and 65cm. Under the surface of the water I have an important keel even if not long and separate rudder on skeg. Teak deck that runs free and flat from the bow up to the mast, square and short deckhouse, sheltered cockpit with mainsail sheet traveller in front of the wheelhouse column. Four winches in the cockpit, two on the deckhouse on either side of the entrance drum and two at the mast for the halyards, the old-fashioned way.
I am rigged with a sloop, mast with two rows of spreaders in a line, removable staysail for the foresail and flying shrouds because despite my age I still enjoy sailing in a fresh wind.


The interiors, compared to others of my age, are less spacious, accommodating up to eight people on a cruise. Of course you have to get to know them well and have a bit of patience, but with the right spirit, comfort is assured and so is fun. Eight berths, one of which is a guard berth with a real chart table, a convertible dinette, a bathroom and a kitchenette. I am powered by a 50 hp Perkins positioned amidships, under the dinette table, but I can assure you that as soon as the breeze picks up a little, but not much, I move much faster under sail. To top it all off, I have a nice watertight bow locker for the anchor line which is accessed from the forward cabin.


They designed me in 1967 in New York in the offices of Sparkman & Stephens. A young German Frers also worked there at that time and it seems that he also contributed to the designs for project No. 1930, mine. I don't know for sure but I like to think so.


In any case, I came out of it and, with five other sisters of mine, I was built by the historic Cantiere Benello in Livorno. The series that concerns me is the MK II, which differs from the first in the construction of the hull and deck in fibreglass sandwich with an airex foam core and not in solid, so I am lighter than my older sisters; this is why I move nimbly even in the light Mediterranean summer breezes.


In my case, the first owner, Eng. Manlio Gallo, at that time the historic director of Rina in Livorno, was the construction supervisor and he let me touch the water for the first time in 1978.
What emotion and what memories! The first boards, the first miles, the cruises and regattas, the company and care of the four owners who followed in my life and who always treated me with care and respect and reciprocated by me as best as I could.
Just think that the third owner loved me so much that from 2009 to 2013, at the Pier 12 shipyard in Ravenna, he refurbished me so thoroughly that when I touched the water again I felt twenty years younger.


But stop the memories...


I am now in the Tyrrhenian Sea with my current owner with whom we are enjoying discovering each other's strengths and weaknesses, often sailing between the Pontine and Flegree islands and waiting for next year to push me further south and grind out more miles. Because, I forgot, I am one of those who love sailing offshore more than entering and leaving ports, I was born for this. I much prefer the wide horizon to narrow, artificial spaces.


I hope to meet you at sea and in the meantime good wind to all.

(Author: Paolo Bolla, owner of Malù)

Image of the original design of the Freya 45, Design No. 1930, 5 June 1967 CONSTRUCTION PLAN, archive Studio Sparkman & Stephens, N.Y. (Courtesy of the current owner of Malù).
Detail of the original design of the Freya 45 made for Benello Shipyards, Design No. 1930, 5 June 1967 CONSTRUCTION PLAN, archive Studio Sparkman & Stephens, N.Y. (Courtesy of the current owner of Malù).
Picture of the original design of the Freya 45, Design No. 1930, 13 January 1969 SAIL PLAN, archive Studio Sparkman & Stephens, N.Y. (Courtesy of the current owner of Malù).
Image of the sketch of the Freya 45 modifications for the version called MKII, Design No. 1930, Freya's alternation28 March 197213 , archive Studio Sparkman & Stephens, N.Y. (Courtesy of the current owner of Malù).