San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park
Lower Fort Mason, Bldg. E
San Francisco, CA 94123
WELCOME to Eureka
The ferryboat Eureka, built in 1890.
- Overall length: 299.5 feet
- Extreme Width: 78 feet
- Gross tonnage: 2420
- Horsepower: 1500
- Passengers: 2300
- Automobiles: 120
Eureka is a
wooden-hulled, side-wheel paddle steamboat. From the passenger deck
up, she is nearly identical fore and aft. Her "double-end"
design made disembarking quicker and easier. Eureka's large,
"walking beam" steam engine remains intact.
Eureka was built
in 1890, at Tiburon, California, for the San Francisco and North
Pacific Railway (and named Ukiah to commemorate SF&NPR's
recent rail extension into that California city). A freight-car
ferry, Ukiah was SF&NPR's "tracks across the Bay,"
ferrying trains from Sausalito to San Francisco.
After WWI, Ukiah needed extensive
repair, and shipwrights at the Southern Pacific yard labored for two
years - eventually replacing all of her structure above the
waterline. This kind of reconstruction was called "jacking up
the whistle and sliding a new boat underneath."
Re-christened Eureka, the vessel was launched from the
Southern Pacific yard as a passenger and automobile ferry (her
present form) in 1923.
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