Saturday, June 22, 2019

Great Lakes freighters of 1000 or more feet long

This Facebook post concerning Stubby has motivated me to note the Lakers that are 1000' or more but still short enough to fit in the Soo Locks. Boats optimized for using the largest Soo Lock are called 1000-footers. Since 1983 there have been 13 of them. But Interlake has ordered a new one from FBS.
Russ Plumb posted
Forty-nine years ago today [6/13/2019], Stubby (Hull 1173) departed the Welland Canal and headed for Erie, PA. Once there, Stubby was cut in half and joined to either end of an 815 foot body section under construction in the shipyard. In 1972, the new vessel joined the Bethlehem Transportation Company fleet and entered service as the first 1000 footer on the Great Lakes -- the Stewart J. Cort (Lake Carriers Bulletin, June-July 1970).
John Lyle There were a few Canadian Lakers built the same way. They were built in Scottish ship yards (bow and stern only. Sailed across the Atlantic then the bow and stern were separated and the cargo section inserted.
Darryl Harper Sections were also added to the sides of the bow and stern to match the width of the center section, to expand from Seaway max of 78 feet to approx 100 feet.( cant recall exact width).
David G. Small I knew the chief engineer, he said every time they picked up a pilot his first question was what is this thing. [When going up the St. Lawrence Seaway.]
I knew it was an old laker because it has a superstructure on the bow. It was the only Footer built with her pilot house forward. The rest of the 1000-footers were built in shipyards on the Great Lakes.
She has a regular route carrying iron ore between Superior, WI, and Burns Harbor, IN. When I accessed MarineTraffic, it had recently docked at Burns Harbor. She has a stern self-unloader instead of the more typical boom self-unloader. This makes it easier to load and faster to unload, but it limits the docks that can accommodate her. But if she unloads only at Burns Harbor, that is not a big deal.
[A popup on that page indicates that its speed range is 5.18-12.70 knots.]

In this video you will see that the ships have a square stern and a blunt, rounded bow. The good news is that the blunt bow maximizes cargo space in the lock. The bad news is that it does not cut through ice very well. It is not unusual at the end of the shipping season for them to get stuck. Then an ice breaker has to be dispatched to help get them to their winter port. Many of these 1000-footers spend the winter at the shipyard in Sturgeon Bay for maintenance work. For example, in 2018 eleven of them were there for the Winter season (Jan-Mar).
(new window)
0:21 Stewart J. Cort, BN (Superior, Wisconsin) 3:04 Presque Isle [the only articulated barge+tugboat of 1000'] 5:28 James R. Barker, BN [It has an interesting sounding horn.] 8:00 Mesabi Miner, BN 10:40 Walter J. McCarthy 12:46 American Integrity 14:46 American Spirit 16:50 Edwin H. Gott (Two Harbors, Minnesota) [This has the longest self-unloading boom at 280' and the most horsepower at 19,500.] 19:52 Indiana Harbor 22:05 Burns Harbor (Superior, Wisconsin) 24:45 Edgar B. Speer 28:39 American Century 32:15 Paul R. Tregurtha, BN [At 1013.5', it is the longest vessel on the Great Lakes. It has the nickname of The Queen of the Great Lakes.]

Some of these ships were built at American/Cleveland Shipbuilding's yard in Lorain, OH. Paul R. Tregurtha is of note not only because it is the longest of the 1000' class, but because it was the last ship built in that shipyard. It was originally name William J. De Lancey.

Lorain Historical Society posted
May 10th 1981, the last ship built in Lorain, the William J. DeLancey departed on her maiden voyage.
Barbara Piscopo And this ship still sails the Great Lakes under the name the Paul R. Tregurtha! To learn more, visit our Children’s Room at the Lorain Historical Society where there is a “cut out replica” of this ship.
Dennis DeBruler Thanks for the name change information. I thought Tregurtha was the longest Laker, so I was confused when I read that DeLancey was the longest.
Rick Shaw I've got miles of welds on that ship.
Aloma Arp I remember this. Steinbrenner shut down his ship building there and began the decline in Lorain.
Justine Schneider Volan Aloma Arp my dad always blamed Steinbrenner for the shipyard and Lorain.
Aloma Arp Justine Schneider Volan
He was right.

The bow and part of the cargo hold of this ship was built in the Toledo Yard and then towed here to complete the ship. It is powered by two 8,560 b.h.p. V-16 diesel engines. "On November 9, 2009 the Tregurtha laid up at Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay WI for a scheduled winter repowering project. Her twin Pielstick diesels were removed and replaced by a pair of medium speed MaK M43C 6 cylinder diesel engines providing a combined 17,120 BHP. Returning to service in April 2010, this re-investment reaffirms Interlake`s commitment to reliable and dependable service to their customers, and ensures a long and productive future for the Paul R. Tregurtha....During winter layup 2017-18, the Paul R. Tregurtha was equipped with an exhaust gas scrubber system to reduce sulfur emissions. Exhaust gas from the engines is sent through a series of absorption sprays that wash and remove impurities, specifically sulfur and particulate matter. That washed exhaust gas then travels through a droplet separator before a clean plume of white steam is discharged into the atmosphere." [Boatnerd has lots of photos]

Interlake Steamship
[Please click the link for info and more photos of the freighter].

Marc Dease added
From the Port Huron Times Herald, October 31, 1986. William J. DeLancey (now Paul R. Trgurtha) gives fleetmate James R. Barker a tandem tow to Sturgeon Bay, WI., after an engine room fire left the Barker disabled. photo by Ralph Polovich PHTH. from the files of Marc Dease.
Zach Harris Never seen a picture of them right next to each other. Guess the Tregurtha really is 12ft longer
Richard Gray Zach Harris 9.5 feet. The DeLancey is also towing, so the Barker is just behind it being pulled along. Look at the pilot houses and see that they don't quite line up.
Craig Bode There is about 4.5 acres floating
Bob Riegel Both built at Lorain AM Ship, about 5 years apart. Barker's the older one.

Bev Shaw shared

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