Vagrant off the Needles – Extra Info

Vagrant off the Needles

Vagrant” was built in 1910 by the master builder Nathaniel Herreschoff of Rhode Island, famed for his unbeaten America’s cup defenders.



#marinepainting by Gordon Frickers 76 x 101 cm (30″ x 40″), original sold to Peter de Savary

A happy story; the captain of Vagrant at that time has just purchased one of the last prints for his home.
As I write 06.May 2020, there is just one copy remaining unsold of this classic edition of 500.

Purchase Now , Paypal or bank to bank;

or by arrangement with Gordon Frickers, in instalments.

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One of “The Cowes Week Regatta Collection”.


Making the painting :

This was my first picture ever to go into print as a fine art limited edition.

How did that happen?

The yarn goes back to my good fortune to be invited into a large ‘RIB’, being driven out to see join the Vagrant

We had more good fortune, seeing the historic brig “Maria Asumpta” (on which I later sailed) approaching Cowes under all plain sail.

Sharing an enthusiasm my helmsman diverted to take a closer look at Maria Asumpta.

She even smelt of tar and hemp ropes…

My ‘driver’ did a first class job of following my camera directions, we got a super set of pics.

When thanking him and offering copies he wrote his name and address.

He was the (also legendary) Sir John Oakley, former Flying Dutchman world champion and author of I book that inspired me, “Winning”…

We soon obtained an equally memorable set of photos and some sketched of the schooner Vagrant, then I was ‘boarded’ onto her over the transom to explore and enjoy sailing her.



“Vagrant”, built by the now legendary Captain Nathaniel Herreschoff at New York, this beautiful classic schooner is shown demonstrating “big boat yachting” to celebrity guests for Peter de Savary’s America’s Cup Challenge.
At the time radio celebrity Noel Edmunds and Cabinet Minister Norman Tebbit were  the principal celebrity guests.

Sailing Vagrant was an exhilarating experience.
A Gordon Frickers self portrait, in red waterproofs, braced by the main mast is included among the figures as is Peter de Savery helming and his captain in a white jersey standing a little aft of PdeS.


About Vagrant :

Mr. Peter de Savery found her near derelict in the Caribbean. Vagrant was to sail again, and had a first class restoration carried out

Vagrant“, the second of that name built for Vanderbilt, measures 106.5 feet (32.46m) overall & was a graduation present for Harold Vanderbuilt, costing $26,000.

Her first race was from New York to Bermuda. In 1925 she was still regularly winning the New York schooner class & by 1938 renamed “Queen Mab“, she was the New York Yacht Club flagship.


By the 1970’s, she was a near wreck lying on a Caribbean island.

Peter de Savery found & restored her making such an excellent job of her that she was listed as one of the 10 finest new yachts of 1988.

He cruised with her as a family boat & also used her to promote an America’s cup challenge. What would old Nathaniel have made of that?


Gordon Frickers painting of this rare schooner shows her at that time, demonstrating big boat sailing during Cowes Week to VIP’s & celebrities.


Vagrant” & “Mariette” appear to be the only surviving examples of large Herreschoff schooners.

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Gordon Frickers © 02.08.2009, updated 05.05.2020

[This Gordon Frickers, art signature is on all my more recent paintings]