: The Internet's leading database of Paddle Steamers past and present


Paddler in static operation as a restaurant

LE PACHA (1901)

According to legend, a wealthy Eqyptian "Pacha" decided to build his own floating retirement palace on the Nile in the late 1800s but died in 1901 before he could fulfil his dream of living aboard in some luxury. The boat fell into disrepair and lay partially sunken for a long period of time until discovered, identified, refurbished and modernised for reopening in 1992 by Johnny Zahra, a well know businessman in the Cairo hospitality scene. It is now a five-star entertainment centre with a range of restaurants and function rooms and has won may international awards for the standard of its cuisine. Clearly it is far removed from the original form with two decks added during its modern reconstruction. It is moored on the Nile at Gezira Island at Cairo at Saray El-Geriza St.


san Francisco nat mat Hist park 2003 C J Wood.jpg
The San Francisco National Maritime Historical Park with the British steam paddle tug Eppleton Hall in the centre and to the right PS Eureka, the local bay ferry clearly showingthe walking beam engine. Directly behind Eppleton Hall is the infamous island of Alcatraz. Photo taken in 2003 by kind courtesy of Chris J Wood who made this available on creative commons licence,which should be applied for any re-use : . Many thanks Mr Wood
Eureka stanfranman59 2008.jpg

Close-up of paddle ferry Eureka.
Photo taken in 2008 by kind courtesy of  "Sanfranman59" who made this available on creative commons licence,which should be applied for any re-use : . Many thanks to sanfranman59

In static operation as museum ships

Ticonderoga (1906)
Shelburne, VT

Lake Champlain sidewheeler now landlocked at the nearby Shelburne Museum, having been moved overland in 1954. between 1951 and 1954 she had been operated by preservationists.

Eureka (1890)
San Francisco CA

Double-ended wooden-hulled paddle ferry, built in 1890 (and rebuilt in 1923) and with original walking-beam steam engine. Preserved at the San Francisco National Maritime Historical Park

Capt Meriwether Lewis (1932)
Brownsville, NE

A dustpan dredge built by the Marietta Manufacturing Co at Point Pleasant, WV and 268 ft long. Now exhibited on a dry berth at Brownsville owned by the Meriwether Lewis Foundation.

William M Black (1934)
Dubuque, Iowa

277 ft long dredge built by the Marietta Manufacturing Co at Point Pleasant, WV and now a floating museum owned by the Dubuque County Historical Society

For Paddle Tug Eppleton Hall, click here to go to the Paddle Tugs section of this database

In private ownership and open as an entertainment venue

William S Mitchell
Newport, KY

In private ownership and open as a "Haunted Ship" attraction called "USS Nightmare" at Newport, Kentucky (opposite Cincinnati, Ohio).

In Private Ownership

Sausalito, CA

Originally built in 1879 as a side-wheel ferry at Portland, Oregon as "Ferry Co No 2". Moved to San Francisco, CA, in 1898 and renamed Vallejo in the following year. ran until 1948 when she was sold for scrapping at Sausalito. Bought from the scrapyard by three artists for use as a studio and houseboat. Significant repairs were undertaken in 2000-2002. Most of the machinery still in situ.


Antioch, CA

Sausalito serves as the clubhouse for the Sportsmen Yacht Club at Antioch and is moored in a harbour off the San Joaquin river. She has been here since 1934, soon after retirement. She was built in 1894 by the Fulton Ironworks in San Francisco for the North Pacific Railroad Company and carried railway wagons amongst others from San Francisco to Sausalito . She was involved in the worst ferry disaster in San Francisco bay in 1901 when she rammed and sank the ferry San Rafael near Alcatraz island with the loss of three lives. her engines have been removed

Diesel-powered paddlers

Laid up with enthusiasts hoping to restore her to operation

Elsinore Princess
Lake Elsinore, CA

Hauled overland in 1999 on a three-week road journey from Long Beach (where she had been moored behind RMS Queen Mary) to Lake Elsinore, California, she was originally one of a fleet of 5 ships built in 1923/4 for chewing-gum entrepreneur William Wrigley and named "Princess". Originally with a glass bottom she undertook tours around Catalina Island and was often patronised by the rich and famous. She was sold in 1959 and her glass bottom planked up as a condition of the sale. She sailed around San Pedro and Long Beach until 1994. She is now owned by the Lake Elsinore Princess Foundation but is in poor condition and land bound apparently after a fall in the level of the lake. She is of wooden construction. A designated Riverside County Historic Landmark since 2007..



Exequiel Ramos Mejia (1911) 

Roque Saenz Pena (1911)

The British were well known for their involvement in the construction of the railway system in Argentina, and their shipyards also supplied ferries to work in association with the railways. A&J Inglis, whose yard was at Pointhouse, Glasgow and is well known for being the builders of the famous surviving paddle steamer Waverley, built a number of train ferries for Argentina, including two paddlers for the Entre-Rios Company, which operated until 1990. These ships linked Argentina and Paraguay across the Parana river at Posadas/Encarnacion and served together from 18th October 1913 until 8th March 1990 when a railway bridge was opened. They still exist although laid up near Posadas.
President Roque Saenz Pena is in the better condition and in recent years but local railway enthusiasts have adopted it and made it into a small railway museum, open since 2002. It has also been used for entertainment functions. In 2003, the two ferries were declared National Historic Monuments, and are now unique survivors, being train ferries.
Whilst much of the engine and boilers remain, valuable brass has been stripped out


Blumenau by Dieter Heiss.jpg

Blumenau (1895) : Photo taken on February 18th 2009 kindly made available for publication by Dieter W under Creative Commons Licence :

28 metres x 4.4 metres. Built in Dresden, Germany but assembled in Itajai, Brazil, for the Itajai-Blumenau Steam Navigation Company sailing between the two settlements for which the company was named as "Vapor Blumenau" ie Blumenau Steam. Sailed until the 1950s and then preserved as a public attraction with a historical display concerning local river navigation. A refurbishment in 2002 sought to return her to approximate her original design. The boilers and engine remain intact.

Saldanha Morinho

Side wheeler built in the USA and sailed on the Mississippi before being transferred to the Brazilian Amazon basin.
Served on the Velhas River (a tributary of the Sao Francisco) and also sailed on the latter based at the city of Sao Francisco and later at Pirapora
ow preserved at Petrolina (Juazeiro) alongside the Sao Francisco river


The remains of a Brazilian naval vessel, captured by the Paraguayans in 1865 is displayed along with other old vessels on dry land at the Vapor Cue National Park at Caragutay which also acts as a memorial to naval war dead. Although in deteriorating condition, her hull is intact and the main elements of her two oscillating cylinders and crankshaft remain. Her paddles are also attached to the side of the hull and a tall narrow funnel survives.

Maid of Sker

Maid of Sker was built in 1884 by JW Sutton at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane. She moved to the Gold Coast in 1893 and sailed on the Nerang River between Nerang and Brisbane until 1930. Its hull was given to the Gold Coast City Council in 1984 and towed from Brisbane to her new home, Bichof Park in Nerang, where she was exhibited on land in 1986. In 2015 she was at risk of scrapping due to severe deterioration, but the council agreed a funding package to save the ship 


Operational Paddle Steamers
Paddle Steamer Reactivation Projects
Laid up Steamers
Statically Preserved Paddle Steamers

Paddle Steamers Under Construction
Lost Paddle Steamers
Paddle Steamers of the past
Paddle Steamer Engines
Clyde Steamers
British Paddle Steamer Index
Paddle Tugs