Watercolors by
  Bill Hudson     
Monthly Newsletter 

Owning A Monterey Clipper
by Bill Hudson

For me, no California boat has more history, utility, and appeal than the double-ended Monterey Clipper. Introduced to the San Francisco area by Italian fishermen after the 1849 gold rush, these 25 to 30-foot, lateen-rigged sailboats were known as “feluccas.” By 1890, over 1000 feluccas, or 70% of the entire fishing fleet, worked as shrimp boats, gillnetters, and Dungeness crabbers from Fisherman’s Wharf.
By 1925, the feluccas had transformed into classic Monterey Clippers. A single cylinder, four- stroke, “heavy duty, marine gas engine” made by Hicks (circa 1910-1950) replaced sails. And, the straight felucca bow became a magnificent curved clipper bow.

Today, about a dozen restored wooden Monterey Clippers still dock at the wharf and a few can still be found along the Pacific coast. But the little boat is now too small and slow to profit in commercial fishing.
I enjoyed last week with some of my family on the Pacific coast in Fort Bragg and Mendocino, CA. As a marine artist, my two favorite locations are Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg and the harbor in Newport, Oregon. While leaving Noyo on a half-day fishing boat with my daughter, Val, and 10-year-old grandson, Liam, I spotted a rare Monterey Clipper at the dock. I started taking reference photos as quickly as they came into focus. 
Now, there might not be a sign hanging, but we all know that every boat is for sale. It’s just a matter of negotiation. Those kinds of thoughts enter my head whenever I get near beautiful, old, one-man-operation fishing boats. It's the kind of feeling that makes my wife, Ellie, nervous. So, it was a saving coincidence when I entered Sportsman’s Park Gallery and Gifts on Harbor Drive near the end of Noyo Harbor. There I found…I couldn’t take my eyes off…a beautiful, homemade, one-of-a-kind, wooden model of a Monterey Clipper…for sale! I talked with Stephanie Kraus, artist and operator of the gallery. She said the wood models are made by her husband, Paul Kraus. So, we made arrangements to all meet the following day. 
Paul Kraus is a tall, affable artist with many talents. He grew up on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii becoming a surfer and expert swimmer. His family moved to Southern California in the 1950s where he began shaping surfboards while also learning from his dad to build and play both guitars and ukuleles. After graduating from Long Beach State University, Paul spent four years in the U.S. Navy, then worked in Hollywood as a Special Effects artist. He married, started a family, and moved to Northern California to work for George Lucas at Industrial Light & Magic. He worked on films that included “Star Trek,” “Willow,” “Indiana Jones,” and “Always” among many others.
Paul also designed and built custom homes, and opened both the North Pacific Surf Shop and his own art gallery in Fort Bragg. He continues to paint in all mediums while now including wooden boats in his artistic repertoire.

Paul can be contacted directly at balsaboy2@gmail.com.
It was the meeting with Paul, Stephanie, Ellie, and myself that cinched our deal and future friendship.
I bought both the Monterey Clipper and a trawler. As soon as we returned home, I put them on a prominent shelf in our TV room. I admire them both constantly and think how much better this is than owning and caring for the real thing. I wrote Paul and ordered 5 more: a Chesapeake Bay Deadrise, a Jenkins Creeker, a Maine lobster boat, a Chesapeake Bay Buyboat, and a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack. Paul said he began his research.
I encourage anyone travelling through Fort Bragg, CA to call 707-813-7261 for an appointment and/or stop at:

   Sportsman's Park Gallery and Gifts
   32094 North Harbor Drive
   Fort Bragg, CA 95437
For any boat enthusiast or historian, I could not recommend a better investment than a custom wooden model made by Paul Kraus
Again, I thank each of you for your continued interest in this Newsletter. If you wish to make any art related announcements or comments that may benefit the readers, feel free to submit them for the next issue.
Past Newsletters
Past Newsletters are listed chronologically by title in the Newsletter section of my website www.BillHudsonArt.com/newsletter/

Events & Galleries
Singulart, an online gallery selling original art from juried artists with free global shipping and returns. I recommend Singulart for any collector or contemporary artist.
Fine Art America, is an online print-on-demand gallery which sells nearly all my images. These are available in a wide range of sizes on many substrates and objects including: coffee cups, shirts, towels, greeting cards, puzzles, phone cases, and tote bags.
Art Instructor, Laguna Methodist Art Association, Mondays in January, 9:30 to 12:30