Welcome to the Monterey Clipper-pedia

The Monterey Clipper fishing boats have long had a cult following among boat modelers on the West coast. My hope for this site is to introduce the boats to a wider audience, and to help modelers find the details which are so important in constructing their creations.

The boats make appealing subjects, especially for the R/C modeler. As with tugboats, one can make a large model of a small boat, allowing for all sorts of character and charm. The Continue reading

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Another “New” Image of the Wharf

Commercial image of Fisherman’s Wharf. Click to open large format copy (6652 pixels wide)

Many vintage post cards showing the wharf are available. This is an example of a commercial image sold as a regular photographic print, in this case a bit larger than 3×5 inch. It has no date or creator marks on the back side, only the legend “Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco California”. It could easily date to the 1920’s. Clearly visible are the early boat registration numbers, such as “B.289”. This system later changed to a format like “28K398”, which in turn was replaced with the current numbering system, around 1960.


~~ MC ~~

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Hicks Engine Model- Almost Done!

Here it is, mounted on it’s display stand with sound system installed. A few more details to attend to before I can go off on my next project…


~ MC ~


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Yet More Hicks Engine Progress

1:8 scale model Hicks engine nearing completion

All the parts are painted and assembled, and all the mechanisms work. Many more pictures in my build thread at RC Groups.



~~~ MC ~~~



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Hicks Engine Model: Progress Report, March 2017

All the parts of the model Hicks engine

Getting near to the end of the model Hicks project. All the major parts are in hand to build the 1:8 scale model, just some fitting and painting to complete.

Below, I’ve made cylinders suitable for earlier Hicks, with the short exhaust outlet; and the later Yuba-Hicks with the long exhaust stub, as seen on the Hyde Street Pier engine. The long water-cooled outlet supports a cast muffler assembly.

As usual, the detailed build can be followed in my postings at RC Groups.

Long and short exhaust outlets.

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Hicks Engine Model: Progress Report


Port side view of 1:8 scale Hicks engine, showing Manzel oiler and magneto in place.

I’ve reached an important milestone in building the model Hicks engine: This is the first time I’ve had the valve gear, including the crossed-helical gear drive off the main shaft, all assembled and operating. It’s a wonderful Rube Goldbergy contraption, and it’s a relief to see it all functioning smoothly.


Starboard view, with camshaft and valve gear visible.


Close-up of the camshaft and followers.

Follow the build in detail at RC Groups.

Here’s a short video of the valve gear being exercised by hand:

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Fisherman’s Wharf, Lagoon & Ramp, ca. 1936


Fisherman’s Wharf, ca. 1936. Clicking on image will open a 13 MB, 8134 pixel-wide image with super detail.

Ernie W. just shared this fantastic image, scanned from a recently acquired negative. The negative came from Moulin Studios of San Francisco. Ernie had it scanned at high resolution, and the detail is wondrous.

Ernie thought the image might be from 1938… but looking closely at upper portion, one can just make out the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, and a cable– but no bridge deck. This means the image is likely to be from early to mid 1936.

Click on the image to open it full size– 13MB, 8134 pixels wide.

Thanks, Ernie!


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Scampo’s Hicks Goes on the Block


Scampo, a 1915 Monterey boat

The Benicia Historical Museum, which owns Scampo, a 1915 Monterey that worked the Delta, is making a decision as soon as tomorrow night (Weds 1/25/17) on accepting one of several bids on Scampo’s Hicks engine.

I don’t have the details, but I expect the winner will need to pull the engine with his own resources. This may require cutting up the boat, which the museum wants gone anyway. The boat is beyond repair, and has become a nuisance.

This is a marvelous and very complete engine and driveline, an early Hicks built at the original San Francisco factory (not a later Yuba Mfg version). I hope it all goes to a deserving soul!

See more pictures of Scampo here in the Real Boats Gallery: https://montereyclippers.wordpress.com/monterey-data/gallery-real-boats/scampo-benicia-ca/



Left high and dry, the boat has dried out and come apart. Other areas look even worse.


The very original and complete Hicks.


The nameplate (and other details) reveal this to be an early SF-built engine– not a Yuba.

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