Gulvain, an auxiliary cutter yacht, was designed by Laurent Giles Navel Architects of Lymington, and built in aluminium alloy in 1949 by the Sussex Ship Building Company of Shoreham.
She was owned by J.H.Rawlings who, in 1950, sailed her from his homeport in England to Newport, Rhode Island, to participate that summer in the Newport to Bermuda Race. She finished the race in 83 hours, 28 minutes and 5 seconds, which was in the middle of the Class A yachts.
The design of Gulvain caused considerable comment when she arrived in Newport as she had what is called a 'reverse shear'; that is the deck arched up in a line, from the bow to the stern, making her a unique and distinctive yacht at that time.
She returned to England from Bermuda and was actively raced in English waters. Laurent Giles described her as one of the offshore racing yachts of the period that had an 'exemplary racing card'.
Lloyds Register of Yachts shows that by 1958, she was owned by the Tankship Management Corporation of New York, and that she was classed as a 100 A Yacht.
Dawson is recorded as painting this work in 1953.