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In an icy corner of the Soo, it’s Indiana, launched in 1926 and still on the roster.

Over at the Algoma Steel plant, it’s Leonard M, and

nearby, it’s Sharon M I.

This isn’t a great photo, but it shows both McKeil Marine tugs at the steel plant.

Farther around the lake in Two Harbors, it’s Nels J and

Edna G, a survivor from 1896.  Oh, the stories she could tell.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I started this series using a title that was a play on words here.

The only clue that Olive L. Moore and self-unloading barge Menominee–formerly a ship built in Maryland–are in winter waters is the sea smoke rising from the water.  Actually, it appears the ATB itself has risen from the water and is floating

on air past the Detour Reef Light.

Complementing that pair, here are two photos of USCGC WLBB-30 Mackinaw

tied up on Lime Island.  Her crew was recently involved in an icy rescue.

A pair of 47′ MLBs awaits springtime, and a

duo of hardy deer demonstrate their sure-footedness on ice.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here are previous posts in this series.  Other titles with the word hulls can be found here.

I’ve taken all these photos since the start of 2019.  The one below is a leap forward:  that’s my first view of the 1912 hull of the oft-mentioned tug I know as Grouper.  This might be the year of destiny for this 107-year-old boat, although I’ve thought that many times before. If plans are to emerge from the foundry of all possibilities, this is the time to forge them.

A decade and a half younger at 90 years young, Kentucky illustrates the draft on these tugs.

Tender #1 will also be 90 years in service this year.

Fairchild is the youngster in this set . . . launched in 1953 at Roamer Boat in Holland. MI

And finally, I don’t believe this is the 1938 Kam.  But what boat is this?  And why are those square openings in the hull just above the waterline?  And is this the Purvis scrapyard?

All photos by Will Van Dorp, in Lyons NY and the Soo.

 

Here are the previous 8 installments.

We’ll start just north of Belle Isle and move north for these. From l to r, it’s Kimberly Anne and Andrew J, both sailing for Dean Marine & Excavating.

 

Near Sarnia and in front of the refinery that creates its product, McAsphalt Transportation’s Everlast lies at the dock.  Previous Everlast photos show her in locations as far east and downstream as Montreal. Here’s a bit of history on McAsphalt.  Want more here on the history of usage of asphalt, bitumen, or as Noah the boat builder called it, tar and pitch?  And want to get really nerdy “good news” about the evolution of asphalt road building and McLeod’s contribution published in Asphalt: The magazine of the Asphalt Institute , click here.

Venturing farther north and along the east side of Nebbish Island, it’s a fish tug.  Anyone know the name?

Farther upstream and hauled out, this tug appears to have Soo as the first part of its name, but I can’t make it all out.

Over on the Canadian side in the city of Sault Ste Marie, these boats appear to be floating for the duration.

On the US side of the Soo, it’s Rochelle Kaye and Kathy Lynn, both of Ryba Marine from the lower peninsula.

Beside the Bushplane Museum, it’s the Purvis Marine yard, beginning with large Norwegisn-built tug Reliance.

On the other side of the building is a menagerie of other tugs, including Avenger IV and W. I. Scott Purvis.

Wilfred M. Cohen, with some inside and out built in the US, lies along the pier.  Cohen previously appeared here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has the luxury of staying indoors today.

Wait!  Is there a tree-lined snow-covered canal exiting there?  A dry dock drifted full of snow and hidden by pines?

Nope, it’s a cottage like no or few others, launched in Toledo in 1923 as John W. Boardman.  Click on that first link to see interior shots of the cottage on the St. Marys River just north of Detour Passage.

Hundreds of miles to the south, Benson Ford serves as a similar cottage on an Erie island.

Less than a mile away is John Sherwin, fairly new as lakers go, and yet laid up for some years now.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the WYT-60 Manitou that spent part of its life breaking Hudson River ice?

These photos come from a fortuitous pass with the 1943 built former USCGC at the north side of Lake St. Clair.

And she is Apalachee class?  Click here for a summer shot.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

You don’t know those names although the colors and profile look familiar?

 

The first linked post here was from exactly 366 days ago when the name attached to the tug was Craig Eric Reinauer.  Margaret used to be RTC 101. 

The unit was down bound in Lake St.Clair making her way to Lake Erie.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose hiatus online has ended and who was thrilled to see these familiar colors while coddiwompling.  Thanks to all who kept the lights burning and heat on in Tugster Tower during my absence.

We all have our colonels or folks like him, Col. James M. Schoonmaker.  The photo below, in the center, shows the man.  While he’s important, I’m really talking about the vessel shown in yesterday’s post.

After the war, the colonel made a fortune in coke, not the carbonated, heavily-sugared beverage.  The colonel and the iron broker created a company.

Since we have a “how,”  let’s jump to a “where.”  Where the ore boat carried its cargo is shown below, one of the holds.  Her total ore-carrying capacity was 12,200 tons.  By way of comparison, the largest laker today has capacity of 68,000 tons of ore.  Dividing each of those numbers by 20, i.e., 20 tons per truckload, you have a ratio of 610 to 3400.  Schoonmaker aka Willis B. Boyer was launched in 1911;  Tregurtha in 1981, the year after Schoonmaker was retired.

How it’s steered is shown here, although most boats have only a single wheel.

How crews stay in touch with families, friends, and businesses . . .  the bucket is lowered.  The Detroit mailboat J. W. Westcott II can be seen in the photo above and to the right of the mail bucket.

How the crew gets onto the dock to handle lines . . . the green boom swings out, and the crewman sitting on the bosun’s chair is lower.

 

Why these robust blocks of cross-plied wood with the blue line attached can be found on lock chambers’ sides . . . is explained above.

What is an iron deckhand?  It’s a frame that moves the length of the cargo deck on rails and lifts the covers off hatches.

What backhaul helped keep ore boats like Schoonmaker profitable?

Where in the world are there similar  vessels?

How long have these vessels been built?  A fine book called Buckets and Belts traces the evolution of the design.

Where do these vessels fit into US economic history?

And here’s more.

What happens to laker after they are taken out of service?  Some become museum ships, like William A. Irvin or William G. Mather.  Others are converted into barges, like Joseph H. Thompson.  Still others are scrapped.

Here are two more photos of the Colonel.

 

Wh-words, the engines of writing have brought you this post.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who encourages you to visit the Colonel if you’re passing through the Toledo area.

 

GL tug Mississippi has appeared on this blog several times before.  She’s a tiller-steered boat that looks good and still works hard although built in 1916!!

GL tug Ohio was built in 1903!! and originally served as a Chicago Milwaukee fireboat. 

She’s recently changed roles again, as a result of her joining up with that green-hulled laker behind her.  Recognize it?

Now she’ll live on more decades, centuries we hope.

Of course, the green hull is the Colonel, Col. James M. Schoonmaker. If you’re in Toledo area, check them out.

Many thanks to Paul for use of these photos, and reminding me, I have a bunch of Schoonmaker photos I’ve never posted.  Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.

Here are some previous posts with photos from Paul.

If you want to see all my posts with photos of these wonderful towing machines, click here, the tag GLT.

Illinois is typical of this fleet.  Look at the riveted hull.  She’s still working, launched in 1914, before the US entered WW1!!!    Behind her is Idaho, 1931.  If you want an exemplar of American engineering and manufacturing, you need look no farther than this fleet.

New Jersey dates from 1924.    . . . . .       And Wisconsin is the oldest.  I’ll let you guess and you can read the answer below.

Wyoming . . .  1929.

Many thanks to Paul Strubeck.

1897!!  And she still works.  some day I hope she goes to the Smithsonian, as long as the Smithsonian establishes a wet display area.  And of course, the National Museum of the Great Lakes has already seen fit to add one of these to their wet display.  more on that later.   If I lived closer, I’d be there on November 30.

There’s a whole chapter on G-tugs in Tugboats of the Great Lakes by Franz A. VonRiedel.

 

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