You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Boatnerd’ tag.

To start, these are boats, I’m told, not ships.  I first saw the type as a kid, reading a book that made an impression and crossing the St Lawrence on the way to the grandparents’ farm.

I’ve posted Great Lakes photos a fair number of times in the past few years, so I continue CYPHER series here with Manitowoc –a river-size self unloader–departing Cleveland for Milwaukee.

Alpena–1942–with the classic house-forward design transports cement.  I was thrilled to pass her late this summer on a magnificent Lake Huron afternoon.

Although you might not guess it, Algoma Harvester was built here half a world away from the Lakes.  To get to her trading waters, she crossed two oceans, and christened less than four years ago.  The selling point is that she carries more cargo than typically carried within the size parameters of a laker (Seawaymax), requires fewer crew, and exhausts cleaner.  I took the photo on the Welland.

Thunder Bay hails from the same river in China as Algoma Harvester and just a year earlier.  The photo was taken near Montreal in the South Shore Canal.

Tim S. Dool was built on a Canadian saltwater port in 1967.  I caught her here traversing the American Narrows on the St. Lawrence.

American Mariner was built in Wisconsin in 1979.   In the photo below she heads unbound on Lake St. Louis. I’ve seen her several times recently, here at night and here upbound St. Clair River.

Baie St. Paul is a slightly older, nearly identical Chinese built sister to Thunder Bay.

Algolake, launched 1977,  was among the boats built in the last decade of the Collingwood Shipyard.  

Lee R. Tregurtha, here down bound in Port Huron,  has to have among the most interesting history of any boat currently called a laker.  She was launched near Baltimore in 1942 as a T-3 tanker, traveled the saltwater world for two decades, and then came to the lakes.  I  also caught her loading on Huron earlier this year here.

Mississagi is another classic, having worked nearly 3/4 of a century on the Lakes.

Buffalo, 1978 Wisconsin built, and I have crossed paths lots recently, earlier this month here.  The photo below was taken near Mackinac;  you can see part of the bridge off her stern. Tug Buffalo from 1923, the one going to the highest bidder in five days, now stands to go to the bidder with $2600 on the barrelhead.

I’ll close this installment out with lake #12 in this post . . . .    Hon. James L. Oberstar, with steel mill structures in the background, has been transporting cargo on the lakes since the season of 1959.  She is truly a classic following that steering pole. See Oberstar in her contexts here, here, and really up close, personal, and almost criminally so for the diligent photographer, here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  More to come.

 

 

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I missed the ship  at first, even though I was looking for it.  Then its slow steady movement caught my attention.  Behold the bunker carrier Buffalo in Cleveland

steaming upstream without tug assist, although it has thrusters.  There’s 68′ beam of this self-unloading bulker winding her way upstream.

See the green-domed clock tower on the ridge?  On the photo above it’s just to the left of the bow mast of Buffalo.  That’s Westside Market.

See the West Side Market on the map below?  And the red line in the river heading its way under the Detroit Avenue bridge?  That was my location for these shots. Destination was somewhere near the red circle below.  Imagine shoehorning a 634′ ship through here?

 

And whatever reputation the Cuyahoga had a half century ago, there’s river life stirred up here, as evidenced by the gulls.  Anyone know what draws the gulls?

The folks in the apartments on the ridge (along W 25th Street) must have an enviable view of this traffic.  Invite me to visit?

 

Again, what amazes me is the absence of tug assist.  And learning to pilot this . . . I’m impressed.   See this location in a time-lapse at 11 seconds in this short video.  And the outbound leg is done stern wise, as seen at about the 6:00 mark in this video. 

Cleveland . . . I’ll be back.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who posted the first of this series here.  See a bit more of Buffalo on the Cuyahoga here.

 

Off in the distance, I believe those lights are Greys Reef and Skillagalee . . . and the

ship is another 1000-footer named for an Indiana port.  Maybe it’s the time of day, but I think I see the iron ore dust on the white paint.

Getting back to my invented  TTT unit (twenty-ton trailer), she has the capacity of 3942.5 trucks off the road.

Algoway (1972) is another appropriate -sized laker, serving ports otherwise possibly inaccessible, and replacing 1200 trucks.

Here she passes through the Round Island Channel, eastbound.

Notice the hatch in the hull below the stack?

An engineer taking some fresh air?

American Spirit . . .  another 1000-footer . .. has a capacity equal to 3120 TTT.  Imagine having all those trucks on the highways between the mines and the steel mills 500+ to the south!

Anyone know how many tons of cargo these boats lug in a season?

Philip R. Clarke, 1265 TTTs.

I do love the paint scheme of USS Great Lakes fleet.

James R. Barker, 3165 TTT.

She’s been running for 41 years on the lakes.

 

And as James R. Barker disappears in the direction of the Soo and Lake Superior, Hon. James L. Oberstar (1550 TTT) heads for the steel mills.

Here’s a list of the 1000-footers on the Great Lakes

American Century

American Integrity

American Spirit

Burns Harbor

Edgar B. Speer

Edwin H. Gott

Indiana Harbor

James R. Barker

Mesabi Miner

Paul R. Tregurtha

Presque Isle ITB

Stewart J. Cort

Walter J, McCarthy Jr.

For an alphabetical listing of these Great Lakes-locked vessels, check out Dick Lund’s page.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

 

 

 

My staying with this * thread leads me to wonder how to refer to this long peaceful international boundary between the US and Canada, and after rejecting a few like “third coast” (It would be disputed with the Gulf of Mexico) and “fresh coast” (Fresh has too many negative connotations) I’ve settled –for myself–with “great coast.”  Keep the Lakes Great stems from great partnerships.  Check out this great short video.

So let’s continue with this cataloging of a finite set of vessels from both countries along the great coast.

  CSL Laurentian (1977) is a fleet mate of my erstwhile crush . . . Alice Oldendorff.  We’ve we’ve both moved on;  at least I have.  I can’t speak for Alice of the stone heart.

Kaye E. Barker is one of the classics, to me.  Launched in 1952, she went back to work in spring 1976 after experiencing  a 120′ growth spurt that allowed her to lug 6000 more tons of cargo.

Adding a self-unloader shortened her in-port times, making her more profitable in the steel-related trades.

Here she’s at the south end of Lake St Clair, Detroit river bound.

Atlantic Huron‘s story here details just how much of an panAmerican boat she is, having worked from the Orinoco to Newfoundland.

As a former resident of Indiana, I’m amazed by the diverse usage of that state’s 40-mile shoreline along Lake Michigan from national lakeshore to national leader in steel production.

As such, it’s not surprising to find this name on one of the Great Lakes 1000-footers.

Can you tell the direction of travel?

Can you “read” the prop wash of Calumet?

Here the 1973 “river class” boat has backed out of the stone dock in Holland MI and is heading through Lake Macatawa out to Lake Michigan.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp, who will continue to unpack the summer (and fall) gallivants, along with a few diversions.

 

The * here denotes these are freshwater ships, plying their trade along what must be the longest peaceful international water boundary in the world, a fact I think deserves to be more widely known and celebrated.  Here are installments 1–3.

Radcliffe R. Latimer has appeared here a year ago.  For a complete history of the 1978 launched vessel on her third name after a transformative trip to China, click here.

Algoma Mariner is entirely built in China, delivered in 2011. Initially, the forebody was intended for Algoport, a vessel I’d photographed the the Seaway in July 2008, but (to allude to a story told by links here) Algoport sank on its way to China.   For more detail of this vessel, let me redirect you again to boatnerd.

The United Way logo here piqued my curiosity, and here’s the answer from corporate Algoma.

 

Buffalo is US-built and US-registered, a product of Sturgeon Bay WI and launched in 1978.

Bigger isn’t always better, and that’s the genesis of Manitowoc, built to negotiate the rivers around the Great Lakes, waterways where commerce and manufacture still lives inside cities often dismissed as having succumbed to “rust belt” disease.   She was launched in 1973 in Lorain OH.

Frontenac is a Canadian built launched in 1968

the the classic “house forward” design.

Coe Leni is the only “salty” in this batch.

Her previous name–Marselisborg–is still visible.

Sam Laud is another Sturgeon Bay WI product, launched in 1974.

Algoma Olympic–named for Canada’s hosting of the games in 1976–was launched that same year.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes you’re forming an impression of the dynamic economic engine along the international border with our friendly neighbors to our north.

 

 

Seeing and riding SS Badger is a goal that’s been acomplished, a pilgrimage made.  And I will return to more fotos of Badger soon, but along the road we looked for nirvana, too.  Nirvana, Michigan . . .  it’s a place name on my road atlas, and unsuccessfully I looked for a post office and a zip code.  Alas!    But journeys are comprised of what unexpected places you find and take time to savor.   Here are some of what can be discovered between Manitowoc (home of Sputnikfest!!) and Port Huron (home of Thomas Edison Depot Museum).

SS Badger runs on coal, transformed by an engineroom crew of 20 into torque on the twin cast steel  166″ diameter propellers.

Tourism . . . largely derived from the vessel on the welcome sign . . . buoys this town of less than 10,000.

Turn any direction, almost, and you’ll see the importance of the SS Badger and

things Michiganite in this town.

Halfway across this section of the state a billboard brought us to this bakery/coffeeshop, which appeared caught in a timewarp.  Here’s the history, and here’s

a portrait of the nine guys who saved this business.  And check out the paraphernalia!!

Now I’ve known the boatnerd website for a long time, but I hadn’t gathered this .  . . world headquarters set within Great Lakes Maritime Center.  The sixth boro needs something like this . . . maybe this will be my retirement project??  It will need a benefactor or many . . . like Dr. James C. Acheson.  More on this renaissance of land once used for scrap.

I plan to do a whole post about this place, for now, let me share an artpiece inside that resonated with me.  Read the name on the stickie note.  I’ve already befriended a lot of nuts along the fringes of the sixth boro.   And they’ve enriched my life.

I love the weathervane on the pilot station and

the exotic small boats passing by, like PonTiki and

this Sea Skiff and

this 42′ vessel–same age as Badger–named for this island,Lime Island.

Are the Great Lakes great?  Greater than great, but there are too many great places for me to discover before I cease these gallivants.  All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Sign the “save Badger” petition here.  I have.  Here’s the other side.  Here’s an article about the other Lake ferry . .  . the one out of Muskegon.

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