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

    San Francisco Maritime

    National Historical Park California

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  • Ferryboat EUREKA closed for maintenance.

    Ferryboat EUREKA is closed for maintenance. The gangway that links the ship to the pier is being repaired.

Hercules

The steam tug Hercules, built in 1907, navigating on San Francisco Bay.
The steam tug HERCULES, built in 1907, navigating on San Francisco Bay.
NPS
 
HERCULES Statistics
Length 151 feet
Beam
26 feet
Draft 18 feet aft, 10 feet forward
Gross Tonnage
409
Engine 3 cylinder, triple expansion
Cylinders 17", 24", and 41" with 30" stroke. 500 Indicated Horsepower (ihp)
Fuel Type Bunker C oil
Boiler Scotch marine fire tube. 16' diameter, 11' 9" long. Four oil-burning furnaces

 
  • Hercules is a steam powered tug built for ocean towing
  • The 151-foot ship, of riveted steel construction, still contains her original triple expansion steam engine
  • Built on the East Coast in 1907, she towed her sister ship from Camden, New Jersey around South America to San Francisco
  • Hercules also towed sailing ships, disabled vessels, barges, log rafts, a cassion (a steel structure used for closing the entrance to locks) for a dry dock at Pearl Harbor, and a cassion to help build a Panama Canal lock
  • The tug usually carried a crew of three firemen, three oilmen, a chief and two assistant engineers, three deckhands, cook, two mates and a captain
 
 

 

Did You Know?

Three sailors posing and the man on the left is holding a small dog.

Animals once served as important members of a ship's crew. Even though many of them worked to control pests or provide food, their main function was to serve as ship's mascot. The dogs, cats, birds, monkeys, and even bear cubs that went to sea as mascots, can often be seen in formal crew portraits. More...