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Rebuilding 79-year-old boat provides history lesson

Some boats are famous, like America’s Cup yachts, and some are historic. But they all come with stories and small adventures.

This one is about a 30-foot-long wooden boat named Eva B., the family that built it, and the family that sailed it on San Francisco Bay and on warm summer voyages to the quiet waters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

The Eva B. had suffered the ravages of time and old age, has been rebuilt and restored over a five-year period to its old glory, and at the age of 79 will be rechristened and relaunched at noon Saturday at the Hyde Street Pier.

For the last five years or so, staff and volunteers at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park have repaired and rebuilt the boat and, in the process, discovered its history.

“It’s like the saying from 'Field of Dreams,’ you build it, and the stories will come,” John C. Muir, a curator at the maritime park who had a big role in restoring the boat, told the San Francisco Chronicle.