• A section of the bowsprint and figurehead on the bow of BALCLUTHA.

    San Francisco Maritime

    National Historical Park California


The scow schooner Alma sailing on San Francisco Bay.
The scow schooner ALMA, sailing on San Francisco Bay.
ALMA Statistics
Overall Length
80 feet
Registered Length
59 feet

Beam 22.6 feet
Depth 4 feet

Gross Tonnage
Height of Foremast
67 feet

Alma is a wooden-hulled scow schooner built in 1891 to carry bulk cargo.

The flat-bottomed hull was designed to navigate the shallow waters of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and to rest on the bottom at low tide.

With few bridges and connecting roads, scow schooners delivered goods all over the Bay and Delta much as trucks do today.

By 1880 there were 250 sailing scows on San Francisco Bay.

Click here to read more about ALMA's history, and the history of scow schooners on San Francisco Bay.


Did You Know?

A white marking painted on the port side of Balclutha with letters and lines.

This "Plimsoll Mark" is painted on the port side of Balclutha and named for Samuel Plimsoll, an Englishman who fought to pass the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876. Before this law, many ships were dangerously overloaded and many sank. These “coffin ships” claimed the lives of many sailors. More...