"How do I find...?" Getting the best from searching - International Six Metre Archive

“How do I find…?” Getting the best from searching

One of the main aims of this project is to make the history of the Six Metres as accessible as we can. We have aimed to create a website that is intuitive to use and easy to navigate, but with such a large pool of information available it can sometimes be tricky to find what you are looking for.

With this in mind I thought it would be useful to put together a guide to help our users get the most out of their searches. With a few hints and tricks you should find looking for the information you need much easier. If there is something you are still struggling to find you can always get in touch and we can happily help you out.

Site structure

The main body of information on the site is split into three sections: Archive Documents, Boat Profiles and Race Results. On top of this we have our About pages, News etc. If you want to search the whole site use the search button in the top right hand corner of the screen. Obviously any search term you put in here will bring back results from across the entire site, so you may find you get more than you were expecting!

We would recommend that if you are looking for something specific you encapsulate the search term using quotes. I have found that this is particularly useful when looking for a boat with Roman numerals in its name.

If you want to search in a specific are of the archive you can do that too…

Archive Documents

The range of material in this section of the site is diverse. Each document is catalogued in such a way that it helps searching so, for example, key places, events, builders, designers, dates etc are all recorded. We will try to give as much information in the listing as we can to help our researchers find what they need.

Please bear in mind that, while all of our pdfs are searchable, our website cannot search through the documents themselves. If you want to search within a pdf it is easy to download it and search using a standard pdf viewer. It is worth noting that we can’t guarantee the accuracy of the text overlay, and there is really no substitute for reading the document for yourself!

Every archive document also has its own unique Archive ID, which can be found on the individual item page. If you want to find an archive again quickly and easily, make a note of the code and next time you can search using that. Downloadable files are also named using this code for easy reference.

Boat Profiles

This area of the website contains an individual record for every Six Metre built since 1907. In total there are more than 1200 records.

Each record uses the boat’s first known name (if more than one is recorded) as the principal name. This ensures that the listings cannot go out of date when a boat changes hands, although owners need to be aware that their boat’s name may seem unfamiliar. Where we don’t know which name was given first, names are listed in alphabetical order. So, taking a real example, if we search for “Jane Ann”, the result will come up with the boat’s original name “Irene”. Similarly, you will also come up with “Irene” if you search for this boat’s alternative name “Gredelin”. Don’t forget that the search engine is looking for text within the body of the page so the results may not initially seem to make sense!

Other tips for searching this section are:

  • We would strongly recommend encapsulating your search term in quotes, particularly if you are looking for a boat that contains Roman numerals in its name.
  • Try out different spellings for the name you are looking for e.g. Try “May Be” and “Maybe”
  • You could try searching with and without accents, hyphens etc. e.g. Try “St Francis” and St. Francis”
  • If searching by name proves difficult try a different tactic, such as searching for a sail number or designer.

One of the biggest problems we have found in constructing this site is the fact that Six Metre owners are particularly keen on changing the name of their boats, and some boats will have had up to ten or more names in the course of its lifetime. The names are also frequently repeated making it very difficult to distinguish between each boat. To get around this problem we have given every boat a unique Boat ID. This is probably the most powerful search tool available to anyone researching a specific boat. If searching within the Boat Profile section it will only bring up that one record, which can be very useful if there are many boats with the same name, or there are variations on spellings of a particular name.

The Boat ID is used to link records within the site, meaning that if you search in the general search area (top right hand side of every page) using the Boat ID the results will include every instance of that particular boat across the archive, including documents, race results and the boat profiles. It is worth noting that a boat’s individual profile page also includes a list of every archive document it appears in.

Race Results

We have started by focusing on including results for the larger international regattas and so far we have results for the Olympics, World Cup/Championships and European Championships online. Over time we will expand to include the results of a wider selection of regattas.

You may be using this area of the site to find the results of a particular regatta, or perhaps looking to see how one boat has performed over time.

  • If you are searching for a particular race make sure you add the year to your search term. Searching for World Championships alone will bring up many hits, but adding the year will narrow this down a lot.
  • Try variations in spellings etc. e.g. the Worlds has been referred to as both the “World Cup” and “World Championships” over the years.
  • If you are looking for the performance of one boat, we would recommend looking up the boat’s ID number and putting that in the Race Results search box. This should bring up a list of races in which that boat is mentioned.

And Finally…

You will see that certain terms throughout the site are in red hyperlinked text. If you click on the links they will take you to a list of other incidents of that terms. For example in the boat profiles you will see that the designer and builder names are linked. If you click on “Bjarne Aas” you will be given a list of all boats listed as being designed by Bjarne Aas.

The same is true for the archive documents; if you click on the archive type, for example, you will be given a list of all other archives of that type; if you click on a collection name you will be given a list of all documents from that particular collection. The links are many and numerous and we hope you find them useful.

Most importantly we hope that the site helps you to find the information you are looking for. We are always happy to help if you are having problems, and very grateful for any feedback you can give us.

Happy searching!


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