In his magisterial catalogue raisonné of the paintings (and grisailles) of both Van de Veldes, M.S. Robinson gives his opinion that this picture was "painted substantially by the Younger" and dates it to circa 1675, a mere two or three years since father and son first arrived in London at the invitation of Charles II.
After describing the work in his usual meticulous detail, Robinson then draws attention to various features of the yacht, in particular the fact that her ensign is "in a weft", which may indicate that she is in distress; certainly the weather conditions suggest she could well be in difficulties. As to the yacht's identity, the author is unable to proffer a name despite the fact that another version of the picture (Robinson 246, no. 4) apparently shows her with the figurehead of a bird with outstretched wings. Reference to any list of the King's yachts in commission circa 1675 reveals about fifteen vessels although most can be excluded on the grounds of size. Sadly however, there is no obvious candidate on the basis of the supposed figurehead and it seems unlikely that any firm identification will be possible. Robinson's other suggestion, that the work may relate to Charles II's visit to Portsmouth to attend the launching of the 100-gun First Rate Royal James in 1675, is also explored but, once again, there is no real evidence except for a group of drawings by the Elder Van de Velde showing yachts off the Isle of Wight in heavy weather which might be related to the same event.
Although Robinson believes the painting offered in this catalogue is the prime original version and the only one "substantially by the Younger", he nevertheless records three others as follows: an indistinctly signed work in the Morgan Collection, New York, described as "painted partly by the Younger, perhaps, circa 1690"; a signed variant, "painted partly by the Younger, perhaps, circa 1690" formerly in the collection of the Earls of Chichester; and a fourth version, said to be signed by Peter Monamy, and possibly painted in the Van de Velde studio (Robinson, op. cit. p.p. 1041-42, no. 246, nos. 1-4).