Schooners Racing, “Rhoda Mary” and “Katie Cluett”

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Detail from "Rhoda Mary" and "Katie Cluett" Detail from "Rhoda Mary" and "Katie Cluett"

By Gordon Frickers, marine art at it’s most vibrant, measuring  76 x 120 cms (30″ x 48″), Oils, commissioned by a descendant of the families involved this painting has now passed to the gentleman’s son. Estimated current value £15000.00 to £25000.00

The painting

A dispute settled.

For years professional schooner men had agrued about which ship was fastest, most agreed it had to be one of the elegant pair “Rhoda Mary” or “Katie Cluett“.

Rhoda Mary” and “Katie Cluett” were famous schooners as any reading of the story of the thousands of British merchant schooners soon reveals.

Today the rotting hull of Rhoda Mary lies in a mudberth on the River Medway, as I write there is a scheme to recover and restore here, I wish that team all the best of luck.

This picture was commissioned by direct descendants of the people involved in the scene shown here, a family who still live withing walking distance of the mud berth were Rhoda Mary was built and the grave of her principal builder William Ferris.

“A dispute settled” was commissioned by Mr Frank Trebilcock, a descendant of the winner.

It was said “Rhoda Mary” and “Katie Cluett“, built by the Ferris family, were the fastest and most elegant of the 4,000 ‘ish working schooners sailing from British ports between the 1870′s and 1930′s.

The tale gets better;

Not only were “Rhoda Mary” and “Katie Cluett” crack ships, both Cornish built in the rival ports of Falmouth and Fowey, they were built by different members of the same Cornish family!

Built and maintained to an equivalent standard to today’s superyachts, “Rhoda Mary” and “Katie Cluett” were considered the “Cutty Sark” and “Thermopylae” of the coast trade, crack ships & very smart.

Would you like to commission a similar painting?

This painting is a glimpse of the only day the pair raced and proudly records “Rhoda Mary‘s” victory for posterity.

Copyright Gordon Frickers (C) updated 14.04.2015


Further Reading: Useful facts + excellent stories about Schooners Racing, "Rhoda Mary" and "Katie Cluett".


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