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Old Apr 08, 2014, 05:07 PM
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Sacramento River Gillneters

As told to me by my brother. Our grandfathers immigrated to America as a teenagers looking for a better life. The trip from NY to Pittsburg, Ca was deliberate. They came for the fishing. As a teenager my grandfathers started fishing. As they earned money they bought building supplies. As was the Italian way at the time when you had a lot and enough materials the Italian community came together and helped build your house. The Italian fisherman started immigrating to the area as early as the mid 1800's. The Felucca sail boats morphed into the double ended Monterey.
Born in Monterey, Ca and living there until I was ten I didn't know about the fishing in Pittsburg. My father brought me to the river and introduced me to his double ender the Huba Huba. The boat was named after a popular saying during WW II when they saw a beautiful woman. As a young boy I had a paper route, after delivering my papers I would meet my father at dock. He had worked all day as a carpenter. We would put my bicycle in his locker and go fishing to check his nets.
The boat at that time had a center cabin and a six Hicks engine. A one cylinder engine that he started by swinging the flywheel.
Around the time that we moved here the State wanted to close the Sacramento River to Salmon gillnetting. The premises was that the fisherman were catching all the salmon. Well! the issue was and still is water. All the local fisherman would trek to Sacramento to plead their case. Almost to no avail, but the managed to get an initiative on the ballot and the river closer was aborted. For a while any way.
The Huba Huba was completely dry rotted, right down to the water line. My dad with the supposed knowledge that the river would be left open for fishing had his boat completely rebuilt by a local boat builder. I watched my father tear the boat apart with his bare hands. The boats in this area tended to dry rot. They called the remaining material tobacco, as that was exactly what it looked like.
I had the good fortune as a young boy the watch this craftsmen during the winter months as often as I could. I wasn't there for the launching of the new hull. according to my dad it was a sight to see. The shop had a back door that faced the river. It had been a particularly wet winter. The christened the hull did some drinking and then thought it would be an easy way to launch it by pushing it right out of the door. The hull swamped. The new boat was fitted with a 42 HP Grey marine engine. At the time they called it a high speed engine. It was more than adequate as double enders tended to bury their sterns with to much speed. The cabin was built by a local cabinet maker. When my dad and I fitted it to the hull it was so low that he could not stand up. Dad and I scribed an extension to the bottom of the cabin and job done. The locals went fishing in the fall of 1967 thinking that they would fish for many more years. But politics reared its ugly head and the State closed the river at the end of the season. My father was compensated $1300. In the end the state sold the buy backs and the Huba Huba had a fuel leak exploded and was lost. Here are two examples of Sacramento gillnetters. The Huba Huba and the Pescatori. Both models are based on the Billings Boats Monterey. As all there was, was one small incomplete picture of the Huba Huba I made the best rendering that I could from my memories that are more than 55 years old. Here are two examples of a Sacramento gillnet boats. No measurements of either boat were taken. ( be sure and click on the pictures to see what ever I have written)
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 05:31 PM
...man wants his boat
United States, MA, Woods Hole
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Nice posting. Not sure which models you are building. More info please.
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 05:39 PM
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Nice looking vessel.
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 06:13 PM
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Oakland Ca.
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Man what a GREAT description of how it was, 100 + years of fishing for a living as the world changed around them ~

The boats in the first few pictures look quite beamy compared to later Monterey's, were they wider in ratio that far back than later on, or ist is juts the perspective of the photo's ?

Does this model shown still exist, and has any more been done to it ?
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by chum444 View Post
Nice posting. Not sure which models you are building. More info please.
chum444; Sorry for your confusion. These two models were built long before I found rc groups. I have always been and continue to be bad at documentation. The Hubba Hubba (the white with green trim boat has no construction photos) the few that I have are of the Pescatori. (the white with blue trim boat) Pictures of the Pescatori are in the post and the one and only picture of the Hubba Hubba is at the very end of the post. That was not done by design but just an oversight. I hope this clears things up for you.
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim B. View Post
Man what a GREAT description of how it was, 100 + years of fishing for a living as the world changed around them ~

The boats in the first few pictures look quite beamy compared to later Monterey's, were they wider in ratio that far back than later on, or ist is juts the perspective of the photo's ?

Does this model shown still exist, and has any more been done to it ?
Tim, you would be surprised my uncles boat was 29' long and maybe 8' wide. I don't think any of them were more than 81/2' wide. I do have both models and no I have not done any thing to them.
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 07:13 PM
no such thing as to many boats
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Nice looking boat
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim B. View Post
Man what a GREAT description of how it was, 100 + years of fishing for a living as the world changed around them ~

The boats in the first few pictures look quite beamy compared to later Monterey's, were they wider in ratio that far back than later on, or ist is juts the perspective of the photo's ?

Does this model shown still exist, and has any more been done to it ?
sorry Tim I just realized that I didn't include the finished Pescatori
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 07:17 PM
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Outstanding!!!
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 07:43 PM
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Oakland Ca.
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This hull planking is ART, where it curves up at the bow is a challenge I don't think I would ever tackle.

Is / was there to be a cabin of sorts in the center atop of the roof section ?



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Old Apr 08, 2014, 07:45 PM
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A double - ender / Monterey Day would be a welcome addition to the Power Squadron calendar at Spreckels ....
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 08:14 PM
Grumpa Tom
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What an amazing story asbruno! Thanks for sharing it. Your models look awesome!
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim B. View Post
A double - ender / Monterey Day would be a welcome addition to the Power Squadron calendar at Spreckels ....
I would need to look at the schedule but we have/had a fishing boat day in the club. Still, great boats show up- but not many years ago, there were a LOT of Montereys that would come out and participate.

...they were as colorful and varied as the 1:1 boats. I wonder where they are now?



Such an important part of the West Coast / Northern California story.


(you need one Tim!)
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 10:16 PM
WooHoo!
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Lake Balboa, CA
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Great story and models. Meminds me of Bob Herrera.
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Old Apr 08, 2014, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by woodybob View Post
Great story and models. Meminds me of Bob Herrera.
Amen!!!
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