Name: Idaho Type: Steam ferryboat
Built: 1864 by C & R Poillon Shipbuilders for the New York and Brooklyn Ferry Company Owner: Jacksonville Ferry Company
Date Sunk: February 18, 1895 Cause: Foundered while under tow
Size (ft.): 153 ft x 33 ft Tonnage: 496 gross
Propulsion: steam Location

The Idaho originally served as a ferry on the East River in New York City. She was being towed south, by the tug Luckenback, to Jacksonville, FL. She was recently bought by the Jacksonville Ferry Company to serve the route between Jacksonville and South Jacksonville. With the Idaho in tow, the Luckenback left Norfolk, VA on Sunday, Feb. 17, but by Monday was encountering heavy seas. The ferryboat quickly filled with water and sank. The captain and 3 crew members escaped only with the clothes on their back.
Typical example of steam paddlewheel ferry

Diving Depths: 160 ft.
Current: Slight to I suspect strong/undiveable.
Visibility: 60+ feet
Summer Temperature: High 70s
Points of Interest: Steam engine, boiler, and axle for paddle wheels
Fish/Animal Life:This wreck is not visited very often, so it could be just about anything
Description: The Idaho, aka "paddlewheeler", was assigned a name after some dives and research by Uwe Lovas, Steve Lang, and the Association of Underwater Explorers in 2006. I have dived the wreck once and when I was there, the viz was great and the wreck was covered up with baitfish. The wreck site is small, so it is easy to navigate on and to completely cover in one dive. The major points of relief are the steam engine and large boiler. Like most wooden wrecks of this age, all this is left are are the metal parts and various concretions. Pretty little dive and visited infrequently.

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Diver inspects the boiler Oyster toadfish finds a home in the wreckage
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The bow(?) end outlined in the sand Ever present lionfish and outline of the wreck
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"Fuel end" of the boiler Axle for the paddle wheel
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Engine and linkage mechanism Other paddlewheel axle

Unless otherwise noted, all images, photos, text are Paul M. Hudy © 2009 (

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