Pierce Galleries, Hingham and Nantucket Fine Art Dealers, Museum Quality Paintings

Richard Firth

Richard Firth

Richard Firth
(English b. 1971)

Brigadoon and Yankee, San Francisco

Oil on canvas, 30 x 50 inches

Signed lower right


The 65-foot schooner Brigadoon was built as Joann by Britt Brothers in 1924 in Lynn, MA and was designed by L. Francis Hereshoff. She sailed on the East Coast under various owners during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Sterling Hayden, sailor, actor, and writer renamed the boat Brigadoon of Booth Bay and sailed her to the West coast in the 1940s. He sold her in the 1950s to a Southern California sailor who took her on the 1959 Transpac, and then to Tahiti for 6 months. Brigadoon came to the Bay Area in 1960. She was owned by the land developer Gary Reese for 15 years, and sold to Dino Valenti of the Quicksilver Messenger Service. Patti and Terry Klaus purchased the boat in 1976, rebuilt her over the years, and have been successfully racing and sailing her for the past 30 years. Brigadoon has been the flagship of the St. Francis Yacht Club, the Master mariners, and has been a consistent winner in MMBA, Jessica Cup Races, and has been a winner at the MMBA/Corinthian Wooden Boat Show held each June in Tiburon. Brigadoon has been sailed by the two generations of family and friends over the last 30 years, with the third generation starting to come aboard. The Klaus Family still owns Brigadoon. She is berthed at the family home in Alameda.

Yankee was designed and built by W.R. Stone in 1906 and was abruptly launched on April 18, 1906 when she was shaken off her cradle by the great San Francisco earthquake of ‘06. In 1907 she was sold to Charles Miller, who began her trophy-winning racing career. In 1915, Miller installed a gas engine and re-rigged Yankee as a schooner. He often took her from her home to Southern California, and Yankee’s logs showcased her popularity among celebrities of the day, as she hosted various film stars. In 1926, Yankee was purchased by brothers Sydney and Arthur Ford of the St. Francis Yacht Club. Yankee continues to be a proud family tradition of the Ford Family today, and a flagship craft of the St. Francis. The Ford brothers continued Yankee’s racing career, and she won the first race they entered, the Vallejo Race in 1928. She won trophy after trophy through the decades, many of which currently adorn her stateroom. In 1942 Yankee was conscripted by the U.S. Navy – her interior is still painted in Navy grey in honor of her service. Yankee has been the flagship of 3 generations of Commodore of the St. Francis Yacht Club – Sydney W. Ford (1942-1943), his brother Arthur W. Ford (1951-52), Arthur’s son Robert D. Ford (1972), and Bob’s son Richard F. Ford (1984). In 1998 the Yankee was renovated, her stem, most ribs, and great sections of her hull were replaced -- a herculean labor performed by the master craftsmen of the KKMI shipyard.