The proclaimed “yachting capital of America” and home to prominent designers, builders and notable racing yachts of lore, Marblehead, Massachusetts is herein a backdrop for the grace and beauty of the Schooner ARIEL and the artistry of Shane Couch. Fresh launched into her maiden racing season, ARIEL would dominate the schooner class this year for her owner, Commodore George G.B. Hill of the Seawanhaka Yacht Club and her designer, the renown A.C. Smith.
The compositional mastery of Couch is to be marveled at, and his accuracy and attention to detail rivals marine artists of any age. The city itself is well featured, with the risen tower of Abbott Hall, Marblehead’s seat of government, clearing the layer of forested hillside. Many waterfront establishments are clearly in view, as are other schooners, a steam launch and a couple at leisure. It is ARIEL and her active crew that captures the eye and comes forward in motion. Her black-burnished sides and graceful lines drew many admirers. ARIEL measured 109' overall, 79.85' at the waterline with a beam of 13.9' and a 10.5' depth.
The large schooner would be immediately challenged for dominance with the arrival of J. Rogers Maxwell’s EMERALD the next year. Interestingly she would retire for five years to cruise and enjoy non-competitive sailings, only to race again in 1899 under ownership by New York Yacht Club’s F.L. Leland.
Oil on Canvas
Signed LL: Shane Michael Couch
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