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

    San Francisco Maritime

    National Historical Park California

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  • Hyde Street Pier Closed Mondays through Thursdays (July 24 - August 20)

    For public safety, Hyde Street Pier will be closed mid-pier Mondays - Thursdays from July 24 - August 20 during replacement of Eureka's mooring piles. There is no access to the historic ships. The visitor center, Maritime Museum & Aquatic Park are open. More »

Small Craft

The park's collection of more than 100 traditional and significant small craft is a fine introduction to boatbuilding and the maritime trades. Read an article about six small craft in the collection, or experience one brave sailor's small craft odyssey on San Francisco Bay!


 
A boat sailing on SF Bay with a white mainsail and jib.

The MERRY BEAR on San Francisco Bay.

NPS

This is the Merry Bear, part of the park’s small craft collection. She was built at the Nunes Boatyard in Sausalito in 1931, and is the first Bear Boat. Bear Boats are the first class of sloop* yachts designed and built to sail on San Francisco Bay.

The Nunes brothers came up with a winning design. The Bear Boat was small enough to be affordable in the depression-era 1930s, yet large and strong enough to sail well in the brisk winds and challenging currents of the Bay, and they quickly became a popular choice for sailors. Almost 80 years later a small but dedicated group of Bear Boat sailors still lovingly maintain their yachts and can be seen racing their craft on the Bay.

Length: 22 feet, 9 inches
Beam: 7 feet
Draft: 4 feet
The keel is made of iron. The planking is Douglas fir and the ribs oak.
Sloop rig.

A sloop* is a boat with a single mast and a fore-and-aft-rig (not a square rig).

 
A black and white photo of a wooden sailboat with the mainsail and jib raised.
A historic photo of the MERRY BEAR sailing on San Francisco Bay
NPS
 
The shrimp junk, Grace Quan, sailing on San Francisco Bay.
The shrimp junk, Grace Quan, setting sail on San Francisco Bay.
NPS Photo
 

Chinese Shrimp Junk Project

In 2003 employees and volunteers from San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and China Camp State Park in Northern California, built a replica of a Chinese Shrimp Junk and named it Grace Quan.

The Grace Quan is a replica of the type of fishing vessel used throughout the Bay Area by Chinese shrimp fishing companies between 1860 and 1910.

More about the shrimp junk.

Did You Know?

San Francisco Fire, 1906. A painting by William A. Coulter.

San Francisco Fire, 1906. A painting by William A. Coulter. The "Great Earthquake" shook the city at 5:12 am on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. William A. Coulter, a maritime artist and journalist, painted this scene on a ten foot wide window shade that he pulled from a demolished bank building in the rubble of the still-burning city. More...