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USS ‘Potomac’ Heads to Dry Dock at Bay Ship, Alameda

The historic presidential yacht USS Potomac will be dry-docked at Bay Ship, Alameda, on March 11. The 165-ft vessel is hauled out every 30 to 36 months for US Coast Guard inspection and any needed repairs.

The USS Potomac sails beneath the Bay Bridge.
© 2024 USS Potomac Association

The vessel was built in 1934 and put into service as the Coast Guard cutter Electra. With a displacement of 416 gross tons and cruising speeds of 10 to 13 knots, she was commissioned as a US Navy vessel in 1936, and renamed the USS Potomac. She then served as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential yacht until his death in 1945. During this time the vessel hosted foreign dignitaries, high government officials, and British royalty, and was used for recreation. Among the activities were fishing, poker games, and family gatherings. FDR also reportedly spent endless hours onboard with his beloved stamp collection. After his death in 1945, the ship was brought to the West Coast.

USS Potomac
You can see more historical information on the Potomac here.
© 2024

Today the Potomac docks at Jack London Square, where she has been since 1995, fully restored, and is open to the public for cruises and educational tours.

The ship is managed by the USS Potomac Association, a 501(c)(3) organization. The organization relies on income from its charter schedule and corporate and individual donations, together with support from a host of volunteers.

The USS Potomac as she looks in dry dock.
© 2024 USS Potomac Association

Once in the yard, the Potomac will undergo an extensive work schedule over two to three weeks, at an expected cost of $250,000. The association is now undertaking a fundraising effort to amass the needed funds. You can learn more and contribute here.

If you’d like to experience the USS Potomac, check the schedule of cruises, tours and events here.

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