EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 16, 2013

Essex schooner proves a model work

By James Niedzinski
Staff Writer

---- — The Evelina M. Goulart, the historic ship patched up at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum now has some competition for attracting visitors — a model of the same ship, just 1/29th the size of the original.

The Evelina M. Goulart, named after the only daughter of the ships builder Manual Goulart, was launched in 1927; it is just one of seven surviving schooners built in Essex.

Although Evelina died about three years after the schooner was completed, the ship’s legacy still lives on.

In its heyday, the Evelina acted as a swordfishing vessel and then as a trawler, fishing out of Gloucester.

The 86-year-old ship is a survivor of a 1938 hurricane; it was at sea at the time. However, the Goulart was not ship-shape in 1985, where it sunk during a storm while it was docked in Fairhaven. It remained there for about a year, it eventually raised and made its way back in Essex in 1990.

The model, built by Paul Gran who also frequents Rockport, is a much more international affair; it measures about 40 inches long while the fishing vessel is about 86 feet.

The model ship was built and assembled in Israel — where Gran is a also citizen — with specific parts ordered from the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan.

Once completed, it had to be disassembled and shipped to Boston after changing planes in Madrid. The model vessel was then reassembled in Rockport and brought to the museum.

Despite its worldly ventures, Gran said he had little trouble getting the ship through securities checkpoints in Israel and the United States. The process itself is much more involved.

After speaking his Rockport colleague Erik Ronnberg Jr. — who wrote a book on the schooner — Gran decided on the Goulart because the last model was done in the 1950s. The work us also a model of the ship when it was a trawler.

Gran’s model is different from the one done by Ronnberg. When the Goulart acted as a fishing trawler, its bowsprit and foremast top are removed and a dragging wench, larger cabin and hull protection plates are added.

The schooner can be converted from a trawler to a sword fishing vessel, its original purpose and the reason; and the reason Gran decided to build it as a swordfishing vessel.

”This is the way it was originally launched,” Gran said.

Gran had to know the ins and outs of the boat before he can start construction himself. He studied what he called the “bible” of the trade, “The American Fishing Schooners 1825-1935” by Howard Chapel, in addition to “American Fishermen” by Albert Church.

He pooled his resources by searching images of the Goulart online, and lucked out as the Historic American Engineering Record, a record keeping division of the federal government, had a full outline of plans on the ship.

“Very few boats have a complete set of plans,” he said.

From the marker stokes between the wooden planks on the deck meant to simulate tar to the special cloths that mimic the Goulart’s sails, the ship is a near perfect model.

Gran conceded some aspects are not 100 percent accurate, but it is a spitting image of what the ship used to be.

Gran spent roughly 8 months and it took about 1,000 hours of his time.

The schooner itself still sits in the back of the museum and just feet away from the model encased in a glass box, and the two are just yards away from where the Evelina M. Goulart was originally constructed in what is now Harold Burnham’s shipyard.

Shipbuilding itself is nothing new to Gran. Last year, he constructed a replica of the Andrea Gail, the ill-fated Gloucester fishing vessel lost at sea in 1991 with a crew of six aboard and whose story is told in the book and movie “The Perfect Storm.” The model of the Andrea Gail is housed at the Cape Ann Museum.

Gran said the Essex Shipbuilding Museum was a natural choice for the Evelina M. Goulart, considering the vessels’ relationship with Essex.

“Everything on this boat,” he said, “is as close as I can get it to the real thing.”

Now the model itself sits close to “the real thing.”