Schooner Race Further Reading

Schooners Rhoda Mary and Katie Cluett; discover here the remarkable story which inspired this fine art work and see how the painting developed.

Schooners Off Falmouth, Cornwall
‘Schooner Race’, commissioned by a gentleman in Florida with a family connection.

Marine painting in oils by Gordon Frickers,  70 x 105 cm (27.1/2″ x 41 1/4″).


Schooners, Florida
Schooner Race Framed

For a friend in the USA ! Completed, framed, packed, ready to take pride of place in it’s new home in Florida.

This fine, classic marine painting portrays 3 vessels built by his ancestors, off the port of Falmouth, #Cornwall.

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If yes, here is a story to charm and inspire for you to action !

Schooner Race a detail

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My client received the parcel with the #painting in the USA and is very pleased.

You may like me to share with you what he wrote to me “Dear Gordon,

I got it safe and sound!

The painting is magnificent and stunning.

Each aspect of the painting exceeds my expectations.

While your paintings are beautiful to look at over the internet, the actual painting has a warmth that can only be felt by seeing the real thing.

I also had a reaction I had not expected.

When I opened the box and revealed the painting, I got the smell that I had not had since I was seven.

I guess it was both the varnish and paint but it was warm and wonderful.

Thanks for a great experience,

P.S. I’ll contact you when we have it installed at the new house. Maybe we can get a Skype session and I’ll give you a tour of its new home“.

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This #painting is a second version of A Dispute Settled painted by me in 1989, a little further into the schooner race.

Schooner Race‘,  my client saw “A Dispute Settled” on this web site “.

He found he bonded with  and to his surprise, he is ‘related’ to “A Dispute Settled“.


There was no chance of buying “A Dispute Settled” as it’s become a treasured family heirloom, passed from Father to son and marked for grandson.

Thus this marine painting was commissioned by the gentleman in Florida USA with a direct family connection to these vessels.

He used the CONTACT link on the menu above to get this marine painting ‘under sail’.

The gentleman wished and emailed me.


My wrote saying “I’d love a painting like that one“…

We spoke via Skype and using the video link, designed this new painting showing the same vessels a little further into their race.

A charming compliment [shared with you with permission] my client, Mr. Eric Evans.

Mr. Evans wrote to me saying “Please let me add my adjective…stunning. I realize that I am looking at it on a monitor so I am not fully getting the warmth that a physical painting allows“.


Eric was referring to the spontaneous compliment the finished ‘Schooner Race’ won from the first person to see the finished work, “Magnifique, luminouse“…

‘Schooner Race’ shows Rhoda Mary and Katie Cluett entering Falmouth Bay, sailing hard to a SW by S fresh breeze over an ebb tide.

A neat touch, Rhoda Mary is showing her code number, Katie Cluett is yet to hoist her number as the pass [not shown here but would be a bit to the left] the Falmouth Coast Guard Station on Pendennis Head.

As ‘Rhoda Mary‘ passes ‘Mary of Truro‘ a conversation takes place between Cornish cousins.

Schooner Race, detail


In the background we see St Anthony’s light, standing on Fraggle Rock, The lighthouse, in those days it had a bell, Fraggle Rock became famous as the home of Fraggles, muppet like characters in a TV series for children of all ages.

Further into the background you see the village of St Mawes with it’s castle built by order of King Henry VIII, and Carrick Roads.


A Dispute Settled set in the same background, is available as an excellent value a fine art print from my Marine Art Prints page, see the menu above.


This picture shows this very ‘Cornish’ Race, as first marked out from the original ‘Skype video link’ sketch.

Acquire a similar painting, simply, securely; contact me or  place a deposit or payment on our Purchase page  to make a similar painting, yours.

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read on for the story behind these vessels.

These schooners are the ‘Rhoda Mary‘,of Falmouth and the ‘Katie Cluett‘, of Fowey were said by sailors of their epoch to be the best, most elegant, the fastest of the 3,000 British working schooners.

With them is the cutter ‘Mary of Truro‘ built by William Ferris who had built Rhoda Mary  at Devoran, Falmouth, Cornwall.

William Ferris is buried near by, many descendants live in the area, i’ve sailed with and against a good few including the late Henry Ferris, an excellent sailor who flew Mosquitoes during World War Two.

According to the family oral history, on one occasion and one occasion only these two hard working merchant schooners, both widely regarded as the fastest, most elegant afloat in British waters, anchored together in Falmouth port.

Imagine if you will, the conversation at the bar that night, between the crews some of who would have been relatives, most probably friends?

Rhoda Mary

painting progress posted 12.08.19

A very ‘Cornish Race’. Painting progressing nicely …

The following day an impromptu race settled the issue.

Rhoda Mary and Katie Cleutt were intended from inception as ‘crack ships’, the schooners were built by two competitive, rival brothers.

The Rhoda Mary had been built in a dug our dock on the beach at Devoran, Falmouth.

It is still possible to see where the beach was dug out for her dock.

William Ferris sleeps in a grave in the nearby church yard.



The Katie Cluett was built at Caffa Mill by Fowey [pronounced Foy as in toy].

This painting also includes the cutter ‘Mary of Truro‘, also noted as a sound vessel.



Mary of Truro was built by the Falmouth brother, William Ferris.

This her crew would have known some of the men on board Rhoda Mary and Katie Cluett.

Mary‘ spent her useful life carrying granite from The Lizard to Falmouth, for building and road construction.



The location, one I’ve sailed more times than I can remember, is off Falmouth, Cornwall.

Easily identifiable by St Mawes Castle and St Anthony’s lighthouse in the background.

Before I painted “A Dispute Settled” I checked the background and bearings by going to sea with my friend the sail maker and fisherman, Patrick Selman ‘Agnes‘.


‘Schooner Race’ is destined to become the centre piece of the new house and house warning party of this gentleman is building in Florida, USA.

If you see one of my paintings and think  “I’d love a painting like that one“, now you know who to ask!



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 ‘Schooner Race‘, [unfinished, steady progress 21.09.19]

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Gordon Frickers © 08.08.2020 updated 26.03.2020

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