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We’ll return to the 1921 ILI canal motor ships part D in a later post, but for now, the 1935 Kermic was one of seven diesel motor ships designed to maximize the size of the Champlain/Chambly International Waterway, with size restriction dictated not by the Barge Canal locks,  but even smaller, the Chambly locks.  As such, these seven vessels all had the dimensions of 106′ x 22′.  She was considered a coaster, or un caboteur.  More caboteurs along with their particulars, including this as IV No. 14, can be found here.

Their principal cargo was rolls of newsprint transported between the pulp mills in Quebec and the presses in New York City. With a crew of four, many from the Lotbinière area on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence upstream of Quebec City, they had an average transit time of 2.5 days with 225 tons of cargo, usually composed of 300 rolls of newsprint at 1500 pounds each.  Much more info on these newsprint carriers can be found here, an article that was informed in part by a tugster post from 2010 here.  As of November 2021, this vessel was still on the hard in Lotbinière after an ill-fated attempt to turn her into a restaurant.

For more on the pulp and paper trade between Canada and the US, here’s a great little reference.  The fact that the photo on the cover below is Chicago Tribune and others in the book have names like New York News and Washington Times says it all.

While we’re on Canadian commercial vessels in the New York canals, the photo below didn’t make sense until I started thinking about Quebec:  M. Robidoux is clearly French, and with a search I found she was earlier named Katchiwano, built in Peterborough ON in 1932, a wooden tug with dimensions of 50′ x 13.  A Peterborough-build means she accessed the NY canals via the Trent-Severn Waterway. 

She was M. Robidoux from 1951 to 1963, which nicely dates this photo.  I’m not sure of the location, but this too could be on the Champlain Canal.  Her last registry was in Cap Chat QC on the Saint Lawrence.  Better lighting on this photo would be desirable.  The ship’s bell configuration is unique.

This might be a good place to throw in this mystery vessel, for which I have no clues.

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

Thanks to Bob Mattsson for lightening the photo of M. Robidoux.

 

Compare the verticality of Evelyn Mae’s “windshield” in the photo below with the rake in the next photos.  The photo was taken in April 1946.

The interior photo below shows the helm and the modified “raked” windshield.

Here Evelyn Mae gets some emergency work done at the floating dry dock at Matton’s in Cohoes in July 1947.

In 1959 Evelyn Mae made a trip to the Champlain Canal.

 

Here’s a closeup of the whole crew.

During that trip, she went up on the marine railway at Velez Marina in Port Henry.

Steve continues with his narrative:  “Circe was a sister boat to Evelyn Mae. She is up on beach in Mill Basin Brooklyn after hurricane of Sept 1944. I was told by my uncle that these pics were taken after hurricane of 1946 or 1947, but apparently no hurricane hit NY in those years as per internet.”

 

“[This was] the last year the yacht club was at Mill Basin because the City of NY condemned the property so a builder could build lots of houses. So the vacant land in background of pic is now all houses. In 1955 the yacht club moved to Paerdegat Basin. My grandfather, Frank, was instrumental in obtaining a 99 year lease from the city as he was working at the NY Dock Company in Brooklyn and “knew” NY City Marine and Aviation people to help with obtaining the land. Midget Squadron Yacht Club is still there today (internet) as well as the Hudson River Yacht Club on the other side of Paerdegat Basin, which was there in the 1950s also.”
Many thanks to Steve for this look to the past, when summer boats” were just gorgeous wood.
More decades-old sixth born photos to come.

Thanks to Erich Amberger for these photos up near Mechanicville.  According to Erich, this could be the first boat on the canal this season.

Lock C-2?

 

And it’s the mighty Betty D, which I’ve caught here only once.

One of my goals for this summer is to travel the Champlain.

 

Many thanks to Erich for whetting my appetite.

 

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