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Let’s start with an oddball, as I read the records, here clearly marked Andree. The bulkhead design and lights look like Barge Canal, but I can’t place the location.    BGSU’s Historical Collections of the Great Lakes show the 176′ x 43′ vessel was rebuilt–lengthened to 209′– in 1933 at Todd Shipyards in New York City for a T. A.  Kenney. This begs the question of her original build location/date.  also, was her original name William F. Kenney?   I wish I had a photo of the stern, because also according to BGSU she had a Honduran registry, as Andree, I assume.  Here‘s the BGSU info card.  Her registry changed to Panamanian in 1947.

An easier-to-track motor vessel is Buckeye State, and I quote here from an unpublished Roger N. Benson paper:  “owned by the Federal Motorship Corporation of Buffalo, she was 1473 GRT and 1180 NRT, 245.5′ long, 43.6′ in beam, a 1942 horsepower of 720 and a crew of 17 in freight service. She was built at Ogdensburg, N.Y. in 1930.”

I believe the location here is between locks E-2 and E-3 in Waterford.  

Here and here you can find info about the St. Lawrence Marine Railway in Ogdensburg owned by a George Hall, but the info here is piecemeal.  This case summary provides interesting info about Buckeye State, her cargoes, and crew circa 1941, in what could be called “what caused 87,700 bushel (2610 short tons) of perfectly good corn to rot between Chicago and Lake Erie.”

A summary on Buckeye State scrapped in Honduras in 1956 can be found here.  It would be great to see the scrapyard in Honduras.

Here, on Edgewater, I quote again from Benson:  “First of the Ford Motor Company’s fleet of specialized vessels for the water transport of auto vehicles or parts to East Coast plants or dealers, she was built in 1931 at Ford’s River Rouge MI  plant as a steam vessel fitted for burning oil. Originally registered for the NYSBC on August 24, 1931, she had a crew of 19 in freight service, and her homeport was Detroit MI. She was rated at 450 pounds steam pressure and 1600 horsepower with a cargo capacity (in 1931) of 2175 net tons.  Edgewater was 300 feet long, by 43 feet wide with a 20 feet depth of hold and loaded draft measuring 9 feet, six inches. Some measurements were less for her April 24, 1942 re-registration, e.g.,  290.7 x 43.20 x 15.7 feet depth of hold and 1819 GRT and 1129 NRT. She was requisitioned by the U.S. Government, (in 1943 ?), for WW2 service but was returned to Ford briefly after the war.”  [It would be interesting to know the nature/range of her WW2 work.]  

“In 1947 she was converted to a tanker by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co. Staten Island and sold the same year to Cleveland Tankers, Inc. Cleveland OH which registered the Edgewater for NYSBC in 1947 and renamed her Orion in 1949 operating her under that name until 1964. In 1965 she went out of documentation, However, she had been laid up in Cleveland, OH since December 1957 and was sold to Acme Scrap Iron & Metal Co., Ashtabula OH in 1964 for scrapping, according to the data sheet on the Edgewater in Bowling Green State University’s Historical Collection of the Great Lakes, and left Cleveland on September 15, 1964 reduced to a 129-foot derrick barge which sank 1,000 feet off Lorain lighthouse on July 23 , 19688 while in tow [of the 1903 Laurence C. Turner aka museum vessel Ohio] . On August 2, 1968 the Corps of Engineers raised the wreck and pulled it onto the beach.” 

Here she’s eastbound approaching lock E-9.  Note the conditions of the “concrete canal barges” below compared with here

Here she’s westbound at E-10.

Ford Motor Company at that time had assembly plants in Edgewater NJ and Chester PA. You can find pics of the plants in each of the links in the previous sentence.  So not surprisingly, here’s a Chester, sister vessel to Edgewater.

For info on Chester, I return to the Benson paper:  “Chester was built in River Rouge MI in 1931 and first registered on the NYS Barge Canal on August 24, 1931. Her original use was to economically transport automobiles or parts from Ford Motor Company in Dearborn MI by water to East Coast plants and dealers. She was, in 1931, 300 feet long by 43 feet wide, with a 20’ depth of hold and loaded draft of nine feet, six inches, 1600 horsepower, and 2175 net tons cargo capacity, with the measurements differing slightly in later Canal re-registrations.  She was requisitioned by the U.S. Maritime Commission in 1942 or 1943 for WW II service. Returned to Ford in 1946, she was sold to The Nelson Lines, N.Y.C the following year and then to a Brasilian firm, the Empress Internacional de Transportes, Ltda., Santos, Brasil.”

From GLVH, let me add this:  She was twice renamed and converted to a barge in Brasil.  Her names were Lourival Lisboa in 1947 and Guarapes (sic) in 1949.  From another site, I see a different and more logical spelling for the vessel:  Guararapes.  She sank off Olinda Brasil.

Again, with the well-dressed crew aboard, this may be her 1931 maiden voyage.

It can truly be said that folks came out to the locks to see these freshwater-to-saltwater transiting vessels, maybe especially with these dignitaries aboard.  Back then ocean-going ships traveled through the small towns of NYS like Phoenix, Sylvan Beach, Canajoharie, etc.

Note the prominent Ford logo on her stern quarter. 

More detail of her stern.  Might this be the top of lock E-3 and an eastbound Chester?

All photos from Canal Society of New York and used with permission.

Any errors, blame them on WVD, who is amazed to find how promising the future of the Barge Canal looked during its first few decades of service and until mid-20th century.


Zee Bart sent some more photos from his vessel taken in December and January.

Orion 4 is a waterboat.  Here’s a translation of the function from the vessel website:  “The [business] Waterboat IJmuiden [pronounced eye MY den]  was founded by Mr. Jan Overvliet and his wife Tante Dien, captain and captain of the steam tugboat s.s. Orion in 1948. With the various steam tugs in the Netherlands, the tugs were regularly supplied with drinking water, which was loaded as ballast into the aft peak. Various potable water boats have emerged from these tugboat companies.”  This vessel, no longer steam powered,  was built in 1942 in Alphen a/d Rijn, NL.  She’s at the dock in Ijmuiden NL

The 2008 233′ x 52′ Vos Base is an anchor-handling supply vessel of a sort that might become more common in the sixth boro–less exotic–as the offshore windfarm industry evolves. Currently she’s at work at a North Sea wind farm.

The 2003 Belgian-flagged Manta has the same function and is slightly larger, 246′ 59′.  She’s currently on the North Sea.


Dutch ports have no shortage of these vessels.  This is the 2013 Kolga, 236′ x 62′. 

Diminished in size by the larger Kolga, the 1998 Fairplay 23 is a Polish-flagged assist tug slightly larger than those in the sixth boro, at 115′ x 36′. 


Isaac Newton, a 2015 build, is classified as an offshore supply ship, with dimensions of 453′ x 105′.  At the moment, Newton is in the South China Sea heading for Donghae ROK. 

Many thanks to Zee Bart for use of these photos.

First I need to make a correction:  in M2 I stated that Tigre would have traveled through the Panama Canal;  she did not because she worked out of the Peruvian Amazon in the area of Iquitos!  Thanks to Paul Strubeck for the image below.  That would have been an interesting delivery!!

Next, photos and details of the STs Matton built in the first half of the 1940s are detailed in this fabulous site compiled by by Dan Friend.

Now we jump to 1954 and this photo showing a Cleveland 498 engine being lowered into a tugboat simply named Matton, which was reefed in 1990 as Troy.

Moving forward chronologically, William Lafferty has shared these two old Kodachromes taken on a sunny late September 1960 on the Welland Canal and I adapt from his comments:  “The 1957 Ralph E. Matton has entered the lock.  The tug was powered initially by a Cleveland Diesel 12-278, 2100 hp, later repowered with an EMD 16-567C.  It hauled oil barges on the Barge Canal and Great Lakes in the summer, mostly for Seaboard Shipping Corporation and Moran’s Morania division, and fuel oil barges in the winter on Long Island Sound. Its Great Lakes service ended by 1962.” 

To add my comment, the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959 effectively ended transportation of cargoes between salt water and the Great Lakes via the Barge Canal.

“Bart Turecamo  purchased the Matton operation in 1964 and the 84′ x 25′ Ralph E. Matton became the Mary Turecamo and then Albany in 1972 for American Dredging Company of Philadelphia. In 1994 it was sold to Casco Bay Towing Company, Portland ME, where it was dismantled in spring 2007.”

“Following the Matton tug, the 1923 UK-built Keybar was carrying 2600 tons of pulpwood for a mill in Erie PA.    Keybar would then proceed from Erie to Oswego to load coal for Montréal, clearing Oswego 4 October 1960.   The handsome Keybar (look at those windows beneath the pilothouse) was launched 19 March 1923 at South Bank-on-Tees, England, by Smith’s Dock Co., Ltd., for Keystone Transports Co., Ltd., Montréal, a shipping firm organized by the Montreal Power, Heat and Light Company, Ltd., to bring American coal to its generating plants.  Laid up at Kingston ON after the 1961 season, it arrived at Port Dalhousie ON for demolition on 1 June 1963.”

Matton launched Everglades in 1959.     Later, renamed Captain Nelson, she shows up in this submarine assist.   That particular submarine suffered substantial damage in a Kittery ME fire, and was subsequently decommissioned.    

Everglades was Matton’s only tugboat in 1959, and their only one in 1960 was ChallengerHere she is after 1970 as Captain Brinn.    A 2012 image of her in Kingston, St. Vincent as Captain Bim can be found here.     This site claims she’s still afloat, but if you follow the location of her icon, she’s in mid-Sahara Desert, so  . . . uh, no.

Bart Turecamo was the first tugboat the shipyard produced after Turecamo had taken over the Hudson River shipyard. 

She’s still at work in Philadelphia bearing the same name, as seen in my photo from 2010.

After a series of launches for NYPD including the still extant No. 5, the yard released James Turecamo in December 1969, and she’s still works in the Albany area of the Hudson.  Has anyone seen James above the Troy Lock?

July 1971, the yard launched Mobil 1, which in 1992 was renamed Tioga and in 1993 was sold and renamed  Zachery Reinauer, still extant but I’ve not seen her in a long time.

In Sept 1976, the yard launched Largo Remo for Refineria Panama;  it eventually became Tridente and now (?) Vesca R-18.  Click on the photo below for more info.  Largo Remo is an island on the Caribbean side of Panama.

After Largo Remo, the yard produced only three more tugboats or boats of any kind:  Michael (now in Honduras as A. J. Ellis) , Joan, and Mary Turecamo, the latter in March 1983 being the very last.  Mary is alive and still working in the sixth boro, as evidenced in my photo from October 2021.

Many thanks to Paul Strubeck, William Lafferty, and the Canal Society for offer of and use of these photos.  Any errors in information attributable to WVD, and correction of such errors is appreciated.  Changes in font happen because of cutting/pasting.

Remember the Canal Society winter symposium is coming up a week from today;  I plan to be there.  Also, remember the conference in the early fall 2022.


I’ve mentioned before that I’m always looking for novelty.  Here’s one, new to me at least,

the 4400 hp Chincoteague with Double Skin 802.  I’d love to get closer-up pics one of these days.

Nicole Leigh Reinauer, a 7200 hp beauty twenty years almost senior, passes Chincoteague on her way to

rejoin her barge, RTC 135.

Meanwhile Miriam Moran follows in a ship as one of the assists.

Moments earlier, the 1979 3000 hp Miriam had accompanied 1982 4610 hp  Doris Moran to meet the ship.

The 2021 4000 hp Jordan Rose, ex-Evening Star and now in Rose Cay colors, is high and dry alongside Sorenson (?) Miller on the hard at Bayonne Drydock.

The 2008 4200 hp Pocomoke passes the KV buoy, which made soothing noises as it rose and settled in the chop.

The 1999 4500 hp Patrice heads out to meet a ship.


And finally, 1999 3600 hp Stephen Dann looked particularly good as she headed out to her next job.

All photos, this week, WVD.


After today, I have one more Matton post from the Canal Society archives.  Below is an aerial shot on the Matton shipyard on the Hudson, the one that closed in 1983 as a Turecamo-owned site. Bart Turecamo had purchased the yard in the mid 1960s , soon after Ralph Matton had died. More info and photos can be found here.

Thanks to William Lafferty, yesterday’s post identified the tugboat with a film crew as the 1895 P. C. Ronan.  Below is a clear shot of Ronan‘s bow, with the scow along the opposite side of the tugboat.  Clearly, the platform is on the scow, not as I first supposed yesterday, on the tug. I’d also wager that standing on the bow second from left and wearing a captain’s hat is the same gentleman/same clothes and hat as in yesterday’s photo.

At least two decades between the image of a Matton-owned tugboat above and Matton-built Tigre in December 1941. 

I’m guessing Tigre never entered the Barge Canal, but obviously would have transited the Panama Canal on the way to Peru.  According to Matton shipyard history, she was renamed as Franco, but it’s possible but highly unlikely that the 81-year-old boat is still extant.

Also in the 1940s, Matton had a number of US government contracts:  5 submarine chasers for the USCG and the Russian government, 4 small tugs (ST) to Finland, and 6 YTLs to Southeast Asia and Venezuela.  YTL 456 went to the Philippines, if this info is to be believed.  For example, it lists Watertown NY as location of a Matton shipyard, and I’ve never read of that.

Shown here in the Troy lock, upbound, Margaret Matton  

was launched in 1946;  subsequent names include

Fort Lauderdale,

Evening Light, and

Hudson. She was cut up soon after I took this photo in 2006.  The Evening Light and Fort Lauderdale photos  are used with permission from the Paul Strubeck collection.  I’ve heard stories from a captain who once worked as a deckhand on Hudson moving fuel to storage tanks north of Newark NJ on the Passaic, hearing gunfire from the city on the Passaic.  Traveling through gunfire on a gasoline barge might make for some insomnia.

The 1951 Edward Matton has appeared here before in part B of this series.  She became Morania No. 9 and eventually a NJ reef, with details here in part B.

The 1954 Matton became Kathleen Turecamo, then Troy, then scrapped or reefed in 1990.

The 1957 Ralph E. Matton became Mary Turecamo, then Albany, then scrapped in 2007.

Photo not credited to Paul Strubeck or WVD are used from the Canal Society of New York archives.

More Matton soon.

Recall that I started this series explaining that I’m drawing from photos in the archives of the Canal Society of New York. 

It’s fitting that this post in the series gets designated as M;  M for Matton. Here’s a quote from the shipyard history site:  “John E. Matton started his original shipyard in 1899, on the Champlain Canal, about three miles north of the Waterford side-cut: he moved to Cohoes in 1916. [I know the second site, but the 1899 site on the old Champlain Canal I’m not familiar enough with Waterford to know its location.] His son Ralph joined him in 1922 and the company became, first, John E. Matton & Son, and, later, John E. Matton & Sons.  The yard closed in 1966 and was sold to Bart Turecamo, who kept the Matton name, operating it as Matton Shipyard Company, until it closed again in 1983.” 

Two more installments of this post are coming, but a frustration of an exercise like this is that no fewer than five boats carried the name John E. Matton between 1911 and 1964.  Initially I imagined the photo below to show the 1911 John E. Matton, but that was a canal boat–not a tug–and the signboard in the photo below shows the company name, post 1922. 


Having cleared that up, this is an intriguing photo.  In this closer up view, you see no fewer than 15 men on board, some of them with white boards or drafting tables and instruments on tripods, either theodolites [likely] or cameras.  A good number of the men–but not all of them– are looking in the direction of the photographer, which makes this a somewhat casual shot.

Also, notice the name board on the bow begins with a P, then a C and ends with an N

The name board on the wheelhouse also begins with a P.  However, looking at the shipyard history site, I find no Matton-built boat that begins with a P. So what tugboat is this, and what would all these men be doing?  Did Matton own a tugboat which they did not build?

If that is complicated, it gets more so.  The 1939 John E. Matton was sold to the USN in 1940 and renamed Tamaque, YN 52, and the next  one was not built until 1945.  If this is not the 1939 build, what is it?

Identity of the tug aside, it’s interesting to see the barge max out the space available in lock E-2.

The photo below is clear, so is this the 1939 John E. Matton, which became Tamaque, Athena, Jesse D, and Atlantic 7?

With a clearer photo and better angle, I might be able to determine if the photo above and below show the same vessel.  Lightening of the photo thanks to Bob Mattsson.

This archive is no help for photos of the 1945 John E. Matton (then Hollywood and Brevard). 

The 1958 John E. Matton has been covered here as Cissy Reinauer, Cissi, Mischief, and finally Thornton Bros, which was scrapped in 2014. 

The 1964 John E. Matton also does not appear;  it became Helen J. Turecamo at some point after 1966 and sank in 1988, although I don’t know any of the details or location of that loss.      

More Matton boats–less frustrating ones– are up in next post.

Many thanks to the Canal Society of New York for allowing me access to these photos.

I’ve usually used “exotic” for offshore windfarm-related vessels or others that are rarely-seen, because prior to five or so years ago, such vessels never called here.  In this case, cruise ships became quite scarce because of Covid, and so I counted myself fortunate to catch QM2 arriving this morning. 

The fog blocked out the familiar landmarks of the port.

JRT did the honors.  Although I didn’t stick around to see how they spun around using her pods, I suspect the single tug didn’t have a lot to do.  If I’m wrong, someone will correct me.

Way back when I also caught the ship on foggy mornings here and here.

The passengers there stand quite close together, albeit in the fresh February air.

I believe this is her second post-Covid visit.

All photos this morning, WVD.

As William Lafferty pointed out in the previous post in this series here, Robert Barnes Fiertz was not a tanker.  I’ll have several more posts on Fiertz and her sisters including the one we now call Day-Peckinpaugh, but here we focus on a vessel launched two years later (in 1923) that builds on the same design and constraints of the Barge Canal.  Appropriately called Twin Ports, operating for the Minnesota-Atlantic Transit Company, the vessel below was designed to carry refrigerated goods.  My guess would be Great Lakes fish.  Somone better versed in developments in refrigeration might explain what means were used to keep the cargo cold.

I’m thinking she’s arriving at lock E-9. This could be the maiden voyage, which would mean Duluth to New York via Superior, Huron, and Erie.  She’d then enter the Barge Canal at Tonawanda, exit at Waterford, and travel the Hudson.  

Note people in closeups of the same photo above and below.  Seeing the two men in the lower righthand corner of the photo in relatively formal attire begs questions about the development of “work clothes.”  Similarly, the middle person on the bow . .  . is he supercargo or ship’s officer?

I’m surprised by the number of crew on deck here.   Also, in the days before hand-held VHF radios, how did crew and bridge communicate?

Here the Erie Canal bulker, as she is classified here,  transits a different lock. Her dimensions were 251′ x 42′ and built by Great Lakes Engineering Works in Ashtabula OH.

Closeups show again the large number of folks on deck. Also, in all the photos above, notice the disassembled ventilators flat of the deck. In other photos here, masts, davits, awnings, and other deck equipment lie flat on deck.

Here’s forward,

and midships.

And here she departs the lock.

All photos used with permission of the Canal Society of New York.  I’m not sure who the photographer was, but these were taken before 1931, when she was sold to General Motorship Corporation and renamed Clevelander. Subsequently, she was sold to National Motorship Corp (1934),  to Island dock Company (1946), and to Cleveland Tankers Inc (1947) for conversion to a tanker.  That conversion was never made and she was sold to Moran Towing and Transportation for work off the Lakes but that never happened.  In 1954 she was sold to A. Newman & Co. and scrapped in Port Colborne ON.



These photos by Trevor Powell were forwarded with his permission by Jan van der Doe.

ASD Aquilon on 12-2021 departing from port of Adelaide for Whyalla after refit.

Riverwijs Grace on New Year’s Day 2022 in port of Adelaide.  She dates from 2000.


This SL Endeavour photo was taken on a summery January morning in 2022 at Outer Harbour, Port of Adelaide.  She dates from 2010.

Here in a December 2021 SL Endeavour assisted new patrol vessel HMAS Arafura from the builders yard in Adelaide.  It is named for its intended area, the Arafura Sea.  Could you identify where in the Pacific or Indian Oceans that sea is located?

The 1998 Sea Pelican photo was taken in the  Outer Harbor, Adelaide in December 2021.

Svitzer Albatross assisted MSC Tokyo into the port of Perth back in December 2021.

Svitzer Eureka in December 2021 was departing from Port of Adelaide to Melbourne, after docking at Osborne

Walan on January 1, 2022 down from Port Pine for dry docking at Adelaide.  Walan dates from 1986.

And finally, we go back to New Zealand for this photo of Hinewai in Admiralty Bay (on northern tip of the southern island) in mid-January 2022

Many thanks to Jan and Trevor for sending along these photos from the areas currently enjoying summer.  See more of Trevor’s photos on FB here.

Here’s a place name I stumbled onto today, Null Island. Any idea where it is?  Check here. The Soul Buoy is located there.


Many thanks to Zee Bart for sending along these photos he took in Ijmuiden, the port where the locks are at the west end of the North Sea Canal, the waterway linking Amsterdam with the North Sea.  Check out the dredge.


This dredge started life as a container ship, Gerd!  After 78 days in drydock and 22,000 hours of skilled work, the container ship became a dredge.  See more detail here. Yed Prior is a star in the constellation of Ophiuchus.

Rollingstone is another conversion story, also spotted near Ijmuiden.

You can probably see what her earlier incarnation was when she worked for Dockwise . . . now Boskalis.

Of course, she was a semi-submersible heavy lift ship.  She was called Super Servant 1, and now she’s a pipe burying vessel. 

Thanks to Zee Bart for sending these along.  More Zee Bart (aka Sea Bart) here.

I have done “second lives” posts about transformations like these.

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February 2022