Ye Ed, ink-stained wretch that he is, sits behind this typewriter each month, attempting to keep our readers as up-to-date as possible with accurate marine news. Generally speaking, we are not usually far off the mark with our observations but every so often we really pull a good one. This normally occurs when we are trying to write an intelligent article on a subject about which we know very little! A case in point occurred in the March issue when we commented upon the renaming of the carferry INCAN ST. LAURENT. We opened our mouth, it seems, only to change feet!
Any resemblance in appearance between INCAN ST. LAURENT and INCAN SUPERIOR is strictly imaginary, for although they are roughly of the same size, the ST. LAURENT was built with an enclosed car deck while SUPERIOR is open above the main deck. The Gross Tonnage of INCAN ST. LAURENT is 7892 while that of INCAN SUPERIOR is only 3838.
INCAN ST. LAURENT was built on the west coast in 1975 for Incan Ships Ltd., a C.P.R. affiliate, which intended to operate her on the run from Baie Comeau to Matane, Quebec, carrying railroad cars loaded with newsprint destined for New York. Unfortunately for Incan, the Quebec government looked more favourably upon the plans of Compagnie de Gestion de Matane Inc., (commonly known as Cogema), of which the C.N.R. is the major shareholder, to operate a similar service. Incan, having built INCAN ST. LAURENT, found itself with a boat but no route on which to operate her and accordingly she was used on the Alaska service by Alaska Trainship Corporation.
In the long run, Incan had little alternative but to sell the ST. LAURENT to Cogema which took delivery of the ship last autumn and named her GEORGES ALEXANDRE LEBEL in honour of the company's founder. She arrived at Matane in November 1977 and in 1978 will operate between that port and Baie Comeau, later extending her service to Port Cartier and Sept Iles.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.