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Malaya is an inboard masthead cutter designed by the renowned architectural house of Thomas Wylie Design Group and built by Cunningham Marine. At the time of construction, John Cunningham was the superintendent of Subic Bay Naval Shipyard Submarine Basin, overseeing the maintenance, restoration, and repair of US Submarines. John constructed Malaya for his personal use and had access to and utilized very high-quality materials, innovative methods, and unique designs with impressive craftsmanship.  The result is a fast, extremely stable, strong and comfortable yacht that tracks like a locomotive on new rails. 

Engine Brand Yanmar
Year Built 1983
Engine type Inboard
Engine power 30 HP
Boat Name Malaya
Boat Condition Used
Boat Class Racers and Cruisers
Hull Material Wood
No of Single 1
No of Double Berths 1
No of Cabin 1
Keel Type Fin Keel
Flag of Registry US
LOA 45
Beam 12.25
Maximum draft 6.5
Displacement 24548
Water Tank 100 Gallons
Fuel Tank 110 Gallons
Holding Tank 6 Gallons

Design Criteria

A fast yet incredibly strong cruiser for shorthanded, long-term trans-oceanic voyaging. Instead of crew bunks, there are generous storage areas. Her forepeak is a proper workshop/garage, tool bays, work counters, drawers, and enough spares to supply a small chandlery. There is ample storage for her wardrobe of sails and running rigging and hanging lockers and shelves for clothing, personal effects, and supplies. There is a cozy saloon with a centerline folding table that can accommodate 6 adults. The settees in the saloon are comfortable sea berths, one makes up to a Pullman double.  The double berth located aft of the companionway offers generous lighting & ventilation.  This galley is fit for a chef (the current owner is a chef). Chart table large enough for full-sized charts, chart storage under the table, and additional storage beneath that. The heads/shower close to the companionway doubles as a “wet room”, thus coming off watch allows for wet gear not being brought into the living accommodations.



Tom Wylie outlined his philosophy regarding cold-molded yacht construction in an article published in WoodenBoat Magazine issue 63 March/April 1985. In brief, Tom describes 3 methods of cold-molded construction. (1) Solid veneers, (2) Veneers over stringers with light closely-spaced frames, made popular in several New Zealand-built yachts. (3) Veneers over strip planking, this is the method used to construct Malaya. Tom’s opinion is this is the preferred method as it is strongest as well as improved long-term maintenance.

Malaya’s hull was constructed upside down. Molds were erected on a strong back, the keel laminate and shear clamp installed, and planking commenced. The first course of planking is ¾”x ¾” Old Growth Douglas fir with was scarfed into 50’ lengths. These planks are epoxy-coated edge set and Monel nailed to each subsequent plank as well as to the keel and clamp. The next course is 1/8” mahogany veneer applied 45° to the first course, set in epoxy, and held in place with bronze staples. After the epoxy has cured the staples are removed, the hull is faired to prepare for the next course. This veneer is laid 90° to the previous course as is the next the last course applied fore and aft. The deadwood and skeg are attached and the entire exterior of the structure is sheathed with fiberglass cloths set in epoxy. Malaya’s structural components are either laminated wood/epoxy (a keel-stempost-stern post which is a massive single piece measuring 20”x6.5” at midship), frames, sheer clamp, cabin clamp, deck, and coach roof beam, cabin house and carlins or stainless steel to make up floors, mast step web and chain plate attachments. The hull assembly is removed from the molds, turned upright. Ten additional veneers are laid to the interior from the waterline to the keel bringing the keel flush to the planking. The interior of the hull is encapsulated with epoxy. Then the permanent bulkheads and frames are epoxied and tabbed in place. Carlins, deck beams, and jack beams are installed next. The deck is laid followed by the cabin house cabin beams and coach roof. All of this is also fully sheathed with fiberglass cloth and epoxy. Interior fore/aft bulkheads are all tabbed to the athwartships bulkheads creating a monocoque structure. Combined with the generous scathing and stainless steel superstructure an extremely strong watertight vessel is produced.


Starting in the bow, there is a locker forward for the forepeak. This locker is created by the first full bulkhead and accessed by a removable panel (this could be converted into a waterproof compartment). The forepeak is fitted out as “the garage” work bench, tool lockers and draws.  Two spare anchors are held in chocks to starboard. Well lite with 2 deck prisms and well as LED lighting. Next aft is a sail locker to port with a Sunbrella “sling cloth” zippered closure, Large hanging locker/tool bay to starboard fitted with 2 doors. There is a large Bomar hatch overhead as well as a custom stainless steel ladder which also opposes the baby stay deck attachment. Next is the saloon, center line folding table, settees port and starboard (port settee has a fold up addition to make a cozy double). Outboard of both settees are bookcases, storage, and shelves. There is a 50-gallon water tank on each side as well. There is a Bomar hatch at the aft end of the saloon and a Dickerson “Artic” diesel heater centerline aft of the table. Aft of the saloon to starboard is the head/shower, with doors an either end. The forward bulkhead has a beautiful etched glass panel of a mermaid and the inside panel of the aft door has a full-length beveled glass mirror with another etched mermaid. The head has a vanity with a hand sink freshwater foot pump, removable sole panel with a wood grate replacement over the fiberglass shower pan, a removable shower curtain and ample cabinets outboard the toilet, vanity and under the vanity too. Aft of the salon to port is the walk-through galley. On centerline is a work counter and stainless steel sink with pressurized hot and cold fresh water and foot pump for fresh water. Below is the engine compartment. Overhead is storage for plates and beverage ware. Outboard is the gimbaled oven/range, counter space, and top loading refrigerator/freezer, draws and cupboards and below and storage behind doors runs the full length of the counter. Moving aft is the “mud room” at the base of the companion way. Hanging lockers port and starboard, benches with storage also. Battery box under the companionway ladder, sea chest at the base of the ladder and electrical panels and nav instruments facing aft centerline on the bulkhead (instruments and visible from the helm). Aft to starboard is a double bunk fitted with a custom memory foam mattress, to port is a large lazarette which is used for linens and other storage. Fuel tanks are under the birth and upright between the bunk and the lazarette.

The cockpit as two lazarettes to port, one is a fuel locker the storage for the 2 propane bottles, the Honda EU 2200 generator, outboard and generator fuel, and any other volatiles. Aft of the lazarette is a deeper one providing storage for the outboard motor fenders, safety equipment and lines. The cockpit is fitted with 6 PVC deck ports which provide dry storage in the cockpit combings. There is a hard dodger with tempered glass as well as a Bimini over the helm. Port and starboard primary and secondary winches are mounted on the cockpit combing, 3 additional winches are mounted on the cabin top under the dodger. Aft of the cockpit is another Bomar hatch to excess the aft lazarette with anchor rode for the stern anchor, auto pilot hydraulics, rudder post/quadrant and additional storage


  • Large Galley with  cobalt blue tiles fitted with mahogany fids both centerline and port side
  • Large single basin sink , on center line with center line drainage, hot & cold pressurized fresh water, foot pump fresh water
  • Refrigeration - Top loading with 6″ insulation(2 lifting lids over 2 compartments) fitted with 2 separate cold plates with separate controllers. Compressor is 110 AC sea water cooled.
  • New Zealand Stainless Steel Fabricators Regal Mariner, gimbaled,  3 burner range/oven/broiler fitted with rails and holders
  • Storage – Plates and beverage ware above centerline sink/counter top, cutlery draw on port side, cookery in cabinets below draw and oven, addition cabinet outboard of oven food and galley supplies in 3 cabinets outboard port side counter with 2 shelves & fitted with fids and slip resistant mesh
  • Covered trash container forward of centerline counter
  • On demand propane hot water heater
  • Stainless Steel commercial grade pots and pans, 1 aluminum commercial stock pot with lid.
  • Complete set of commercial grade utensils.
  • Cutlery – Stainless Steel commercial grade service for 8
  • Blue PVC plates, bowls, tumblers, stainless steel insulated hot beverage cups (service for 8)


Starting in the bow is a custom double anchor roller/stem fitting. Port and starboard bronze hawsers in the toe rail and bronze chocks on the cap. There are 2 large bronze cleats to serve as mooring bits. The windless is on the centerline. The spinnaker pole is stored in teak chocks to port. Roller furling line runs aft to the cockpit through low friction rings attached to starboard stanchions. There is a bronze cowl and replaceable bronze deck plate to ventilate the forward locker.  At the mast base, turning blocks lead all running rigging aft to the cockpit through deck organizers, winches and clutches are located under the custom hard dodger. The jib halyard is lead to port and the staysail halyard to starboard, there is a dedicated winch for each mounted on the cabin top adjacent to the mast. Cabin top handrails are stainless steel. There are 4 Dorade boxes fitted with bronze cowls which can be replaced with bronze deck plates when weather requires. The sail track is mounted outboard on the cap rail and inboard on the deck. There are several heavy-duty pad eyes for running back attachments, in hauls, outhauls, and boom down hauls.

Sail and Sail Handling

  • Double Headsail Sloop
  • Aluminum Mast and Boom
  • STanding Rigging – Forestay 3/8″ all others 5/16″ 1×19 Stainless Steel (replaced Nov 2020)
  • Norseman Terminals
  • Harken Mark 2 Jib Furler (serviced Nov 2020)
  • Mainsails -2 (1) 9.5oz Ulman (2013 with 2-reef points 1-cunningham/flatter), (1) 9 oz. Neil Pryde
  • Headsails - (1) 8oz. 110% high cut Neil Pryde furling , (1) 8oz 130% Lidguard furling, (1) 8oz. 110% Staysail Neil Pryde dyneema hanks, (1)Storm Jib 9 oz. Neil Pryde rope bolt on all edges International Orange 
  • Trysail - (1) 9 oz. Neil Pryde rope bolt on all edges International Orange 
  • Asymmetrical Spinnaker -(1) 3/4 oz. Nylon Neil Pryde with ATN sock
  • Spinnaker pole
  • Dacron Retractable Lazy Jacks
  • (2) Lewmar 55 ST 2 speed
  • (2) Lewmar 42 ST2 speed
  • (2) Lewmar 34 ST (1) Lewmar 30 ST
  • (2) Lewmar 42 ST 2 speed
  • (1) Lewmar 30 ST not installed
  • Winch Handles
  • Forestay -Stainless Steel integrated into bow roller assembly, through bolted to laminated stem and reinforced deck
  • Backstay – Stainless Steel, through bolted to laminated stern and reinforced deck
  • Staysail Stay- Bronze deck fitting, supported by turn buckle and 1×19 SS wire terminating to SS fitting attached to laminated stem and has an external tab at waterline (anchor snubber attachment)
  • Shrouds – 2-chain plates per side pierce deck 1foward and 1 aft of internal laminated deck beam. Each is attached to Stainless Steel Knees which are bolted to the deck beam and then attached to Stainless Steel strap which is bolted to a reinforced fore & aft bulkhead with is tabbed to main bulkhead, then bolted to Stainless Steel internal pad with is bolted to hull.
  • Mast Step – Stainless Steel web welded to 3’x3′ Stainless Steel Plate. Isolated Aluminum Mast plate with locator tabs is screwed to web.
  • Mast Collar – Stainless Steel exterior collar and attachment plate for turning blocks, isolated aluminum backing plate. Below deck turn buckle attached to mast and collar to reinforce partners.


  • Raymarine ST 60 Windpoint/Windspeed
  • Raymarine ST 60 Depth
  • Raymarine ST 60 Speed
  • Raymarine RN 300 GPS
  • Raymarine SL72 Radar
  • Autopilot – W-H P-3A Whale with under deck hydraulic ram, gyro compass mounted to Edison bronze auxiliary rudder post tiller, 30″ tethered remote. 
  • Standard Horizon GX 2000 VHF (2021) 
  • Zesper XB6000 stand alone antenna and external GPS antenna (2021)
  • Garmin Handheld GPS
  • Panasonic CQ-DP103U with (2) Cybernet Speakers in saloon, (2)KLH Speakers in aft cabin
  • Danforth Classic Compass, mounted on binnacle with vintage bronze housing


  • 110V and 12V systems with electrical panels
  • Shorepower cord
  • (2) 8-D Batteries
  • (1) Group 24/27 Battery
  • ProMariner ProTech 1240i PlusBattery charger 
  • 2018 Honda EU 2200 companion portable generator
  • All light fixtures fitted with “Marine Beam” LED bulbs with red/soft white option, fixtures located throughout vessel including engine compartment, cockpit lazarettes and forepeak.

Mechanical and Systems

  • 1983 Yanmar 3QM30H with after market fresh water cooling (never sea water cooled) PO overhauled in 1992 – 2175 hours
  • Kanzaki 2.03:1 Transmission
  • 1-1/4″ Aquamet prop shaft  (2002, removed and inspected 2017)
  • 3-Blade MaxProp Feathering 17″ (Reconditioned 2017)
  • Spare 3 bladed prop
  • Dickenson Artic propane cabin heater
  • Honda EU 2200 companion (2018) Portable Generator

Anchor and Anchoring gear

  • Electric windlass -Nilsson 12 volt electric with manual crank back up. Switched at both bow and helm. (serviced 2019)
  • Bruce 30kg Anchor
  • CQR 60# Anchor
  • Danforth 35#  Anchor
  • Danforth 20# Anchor
  • 200 ft 1/2″ rode on stern anchor
  • Several lengths 3/4″ Anchor rode
  • Chain - All 3/8″280 ft on primary, 30ft on stern, 3 additional lengths stored below cabin sole and starboard settee approximately 75 ft. each


  • Beige Acrylic Canvas
  • Mainsail cover
  • Bimini
  • Awning
  • Compass Cover
  • Wheel Cover
  • Binnacle Bag

Additional Equipment

  • Achilles 9″ roll up Dinghy
  • Yamaha 8hp 2 stroke (repainted and major service 2016) with 3 gallon aux. tank, stored in aft cockpit lazarette
  • Avon 6-person soft case Life Raft (needs recertification)
  • Dan Buoy, ARC strobe, MOB pole
  • Paloma propane on demand hot water heater
  • Brass, gimbled, mounted on aft side of mast kerosene lamp
  • Dickenson “Artic”, diesel heater located at aft end of saloon folding table, gravity fed from day tank in saloon table.
  • Aries Model 5 lift up with wheel clutch windvane
  • Custom Stainless Steel boarding ladder mounted to reinforced stanchion on port side. Hinged to facilitate stowage parallel to deck with attachment on next aft stanchion.

Contact Information

45′ Custom Wylie 45 1983

Ventura, CA

Status: Active