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Because of a cold brisk wind, I shot some of these through glass, which is never a good idea.   But looking at this set, taken between Belle Isle and Sarnia, illustrate the variety of lakers, all in a context of not a single recreational vessel, something you’d never see in summer.

Select info from the excellent boatnerd site says this:  launched in 1943! from American Shipbuilding in Lorain OH, Cuyahoga was sold to Canadian interests in 1995, cargo capacity of 15, 675 tons, 620′ x 60′ and converted from steam to diesel between the 1999 and 2000 seasons.  She’s the second oldest Canadian vessel on the Lakes, younger only by a month than Mississagi.

Note the house forward and boom pointing aft.

Tecumseh (641′ x 78′) is also a Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. boat, also built in the US . . . in Seattle at Lockheed Shipbuilding in 1972.  Because she has no self-unloader, she discharges her maximum 29,510 tons of cargo using shore gear.  For more info, click here at boatyard.   [Autocorrect always wants to replace my “boatnerd” with  “boatyard.”]

Robert S. Pierson is the last Lower Lakes boat in this post.  It too was built in Lorain OH, in 1973 and was sold and registered Canadian in 2008.  At 630′ x 68′ she has a capacity of 19,650 tons.  Of course,by now you’ve noticed her house is aft with her self-unloader pointing forward.   Much more detail can be found here.

Hon. James L. Oberstar was launched in 1959.  At 710′ loa, only a handful of boats on the Lakes were longer, including the Edmund Fitzgerald at 729.’  She was lengthened to 806′ between the 1970-71 seasons.  A self-unloader was added between the 1980-81 seasons. In 2008, she was repowered, replacing a steam turbine with a diesel.   Her cargo capacity is 31,000.  Again, much more info can be found here.   Notice that in contrast with  Cuyahoga above, Oberstar has house forward and self-unloader boom pointing forward.

The white steam is evidence of the emissions scrubbers pioneered on Oberstar in 2016, and now visible on other Interlake Steamship boats like Paul R. Tregurtha and James R. Barker.

CSL Tadoussac, already in winter layup and light here, has the same basic configuration as Oberstar, but is less curvaceous.  She was launched in 1969 in Collingwood ON but extensively rebuilt before the 2001 season.  Currently she is 730 x 77′ and has cargo capacity of 30,151 tons.  Her namesake is an early settlement dating from before Jaques Cartier on the St. Lawrence downstream from Quebec City.   Boatnerd has her complex her here.  Alice Oldendorff is part of the very diverse CSL fleet.

To round out this post, let me add a tanker.  Truth be told, I include this photo here partly because of the dramatic difference in scale between the ship and the tanker truck alongside.  I’m not sure what product the trailer tank is there to deliver or receive.

Algoma Hansa was built in Mobile AL in 1998.  She entered Canadian waters for the first time in 2013, and for the past few years has worked mainly in Algoma’s domestic fleet.  Is it  correct to assume the Canadian fleet relies more on tankers for what in the US is transported by large ATBs?

Let’s leave it here.  I hope you’ve enjoyed these comparisons as much as I have.

All photos and information interpretation by Will Van Dorp, who is solely responsible for any errors.

Oh, and if the Tugster Tower internet wizards sent you a puzzling 404 error message in lieu of yesterday’s URL, try this:  https://tugster.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/late-season-lakers-1/

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