Pack 815 Overnight Ship Experience - Balclutha

Event has passed (Sat Mar 24, 2018 - Sat Mar 24, 2018)
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
07:00 PM
Dating, Tour / Sightseeing
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All Aboard!!!!  Welcome Pack 815 to the overnight experience aboard the Sailing Ship Balclutha.

The Balclutha is a steel-hulled fully rigged ship that was built in 1886. She is the only square rigged ship left in the San Franciso area and is representative of several different commercial ventures, including lumber, salmon, and grain. She is a U.S. National Historic Landmark and is currently preserved at the San Francisco Maritime Historic Park in San Francisco, California. She was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 7 November 1976.

This is an overnight experience and will start the evening of Saturday, March 24th, 2018 through the following morning, Sunday, March 25th, 2018. 

7:00 PM Park on lower Van Ness (or Ghirardelli Garage); unload gear from all cars and walk to Hyde St Pier as a group
7:15 Leader meets instructor at gate to Hyde St Pier with paperwork for check-in
7:30 Program start-time; orientation of ship’s rules, stow gear aboard ship
8:00 Group activity; may be a choice of any of the following: raise the staysail (weather permitting); ship board scavenger hunt; rowing a longboat (for small group size less than 20); raising a dory; chantey singing; knot tying; history of ships and sailing; Q & A
9:30 Snack (if available), head call and nighttime orders
10:00 Bunk down
6:00 AM Get up, pack up gear and make head call
6:30 Hot cocoa, coffee (supplied by Balclutha)
7:00 Ship exploration, swab decks, lower staysail (if raised), last look around
7:40 Disembark ship; final head call
7:55 Participants leave through front gate, instructor closing it behind them

Each crewmember is responsible for bringing his/her own sleeping bag, sleeping mat and personal items.  The weather can be very cold and damp; appropriate layers will keep participants warm and dry.  Long pants and close-toed shoes are a must – no shorts or sandals are to be worn, in any weather.

Please eat dinner prior to your arrival and be finished with your meal by the time you arrive so that we may begin the program as quickly as possible. Anyone attempting to eat after their arrival will delay the start of the program for everyone. Please be aware that there is no cooking on the vessel during this program. The San Francisco Maritime National Park Association will provide hot cocoa, coffee and tea (and hot cups) for the morning

CONTRABAND (items not allowed aboard):
Cell phones or electronics of any kind (since phones and electronics take away from the experienceof all on board please inform all participants that, if brought, these items will be collected at the beginning of the program and returned prior to leaving in the morning). An adult can keep a cell phone for emergency purposes.

Cameras held by Scouts; adults are allowed to have cameras - as stated above, no cell phone cameras.

Personal food or drinks, with the exception of a bottle of water. All food brought to the program will be collected at the beginning of the program and stowed appropriately. This helps us to prevent infestation and damage to this beautiful old ship.
Flashlights and umbrellas (be sure to wear rain gear in inclement weather)
The San Francisco Maritime National Park Association is not responsible for any lost or stolen articles.

To ensure a safe and pleasant visit, all participants in the overnight program are expected to abide by the established rules. NO ONE MAY LEAVE HYDE STREET PIER ANYTIME DURING THE PROGRAM OR ARRIVE AFTER THE PROGRAM HAS BEGUN. Once participants arrive on the pier they must stay with the group onboard the vessel. “Head calls” to the restroom are made as a group until bedtime, after that the buddy system is in effect. Details of the rules are announced by our staff member at the beginning of the program before boarding the vessel. Groups may return during regular business hours (pier opens at 9:30 a.m.) to tour the rest of the historic ships; please go to the ticket booth and let them know your group just spent the night on board BALCLUTHA.

Free parking is available at the end of Van Ness Avenue (be aware of time limitation signs) and there are multiple paid parking structures approximately 2 blocks from the pier. The Ghirardelli Parking Garage is located at Larkin and Beach, approximately 2 blocks from the pier. Overnight parking at the Ghirardelli Parking Garage is available in a paid parking structure, but there is no discounted cost for an overnight program.  Car pooling and public transportation are highly encouraged.


  1. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    499 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA