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San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park

Eureka - San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park - BEST Places to Picnic

Lower Fort Mason, Bldg. E
San Francisco, CA 94123

Visitor Information
(415) 447-5000
(415) 561-7000

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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