It has been suggested that the yacht depicted here is the legendary America but there is no evidence that she was at Cowes or even in British waters in 1871.
Born in Boulogne in 1825, Haughton Forrest was the son of Captain T.A. Forrest, an equerry to Queen Victoria. Most of his early works were by commission and one of his patrons was the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), an enthusiastic yachtsman. He served in the army for many years before moving to Tasmania, where he died in 1924.