GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 12, 2012

True to form: Model maker crafts museum replica of Andrea Gail

The Andrea Gail, the ill-fated fishing vessel lost at sea during the “perfect storm” of 1991, made many trips during its time on the water, but possibly none as long as the one a replica of the fishing vessel has taken from Israel to Gloucester.

Paul Gran, an American who has lived in Kfar Saba, Israel, for the past 30 years, worked on his model of the Andrea Gail on and off for a year, completing it a couple of years ago with the intention of having it displayed at Gloucester’s Cape Ann Museum.

Gran and his wife, Brenda, have spent the past several summers in Rockport, after stumbling upon the area during a road trip from Philadelphia to Maine.

Gran, 71, said that he has been a hobbyist since he was a teenager, but he started building model ships, including the U.S.S. Constitution and the Titanic, shortly before retiring a few years ago. He said he chose to build the Andrea Gail because it was a local modern ship that stood out as important and newsworthy. Six crew members, including three Gloucester men, were lost in the tragedy that was the subject of a best-selling book and an Academy Award-nominated movie.

Gran said that he is most proud of the accuracy of his model.

“The overall look of the model and the accuracy of it is really good,” he said.

One challenge of building an accurate model from scratch, as Gran does, is getting plans and line drawings of the original vessels, he said. A Danish company that makes ship models provided some plans, but they contained inaccuracies. Gran contacted the Florida shipyard where the Andrea Gail was built, but no one responded. Finally, he used information he found on the Internet: Coast Guard reports of the sinking that described details of the ship and photos of the ship at sea and in port.

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