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

“A Dispute Settled”

Available as a signed limited edition print

Click on the image above or the images below to see more detail. Detail from "Rhoda Mary" and "Katie Cluett" Detail from "Rhoda Mary" and "Katie Cluett" Marine art at it’s most vibrant, measuring  76 x 120 cms (30″ x 48″), oils, by Gordon Frickers. Estimated current value £15000.00 to £25000.00 The painting A dispute settled. This large painting commissioned by a descendant of the families involved has now passed to the gentleman’s sona dn is likely, I hope not for many years yet, to pass to his grandson. Its highly original composition was carefully researched including from family archieves. A model at the time at Cotehele House Maritime Museum was useful as was ‘Merchant Schooners’ by Bazil Greenhill and the archivists at the National Maritime Museum Greenwich, London. I am too indepted to another good friend, Patrick Selman who took me to sea, to Falmouth bay in his Falmouth working boat ‘Agnes’ to check out the background details for this painting and for Last Departure. Although I have sailed those waters many times it still adds to the painting if I can see the location and make studies. This painting is a glimpse of the only day the pair raced and proudly records “Rhoda Mary‘s” victory for posterity. “A dispute settled” was commissioned by Mr Frank Trebilcock, a descendant of William Ferris the builder of the winner. Rhoda Mary“, “Katie Cluettand the Mary For years professional schooner men had argued 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 as laid up at the end of her working life in a mud berth on the River Medway; the fate of many British coastal vessels. As I write (24.06.15) there is a scheme to recover and restore here, I wish that team all the best of luck. The proposal is to recover the wreck of the “Rhoda Mary” from the Medway and rebuild her in Truro near her birth place. A direct descendant of her builder William Ferris, and the people who operated Rhoda Mary still lives near the site she was built (Devoran Creek). He is a long time ship mate of mine… He lives within walking distance of the mud berth were Rhoda Mary was built and the grave of her principal builder William Ferris. It was said by sea men “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. TheRhoda 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 yachts, “Rhoda Mary” and “Katie Cluett” were considered the “Cutty Sark” and “Thermopylae” of the coast trade, crack ships & very smart. The little sloop “Mary” was another family built vessel designed to work locally, also noted for her speed. Would you like to commission a similar painting?   Further Reading: Useful facts + excellent stories about Schooners Racing, "Rhoda Mary" and "Katie Cluett".

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