In the February issue, we sought confirmation of the renaming of the Amoco tug/barge combination, AMOCO MICHIGAN and AMOCO GREAT LAKES. We have since been advised that the vessels have been observed running under the new names, and that the official change took place on the U.S. Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, 1985. The actual firm that operates the tug and barge is now known as the Coastwise Trading Company.
For many years now, the 40-year-old carferry LOWELL D., 38 Gross tons, has been operating the ferry service across the St. Clair River between Algonac and Walpole Island. Her operator, Grant B. Dean of Port Lambton, Ontario, has now decided to build a new ferry for the route, and the replacement for LOWELL D. is presently under construction at the yard of Hike Metal Products, of Wheatley, Ontario.
On January 31st, the C.S.L. self-unloader ATLANTIC SUPERIOR arrived at the shipyard at Lauzon, Quebec, and she then went into lay-up for most of the remainder of the winter. ATLANTIC SUPERIOR went on the drydock at mid-February, and at last report was scheduled to remain on the dock through most of the month of March. It would seem that the ship is receiving a massive rebuild and retrofit, apparently to repair damage which she has suffered in deep-sea service, and to give her hull additional longitudinal stiffening to prevent any further stress damage.
We understand that an affiliate of ULS International Inc. purchased the big ocean tanker COLUMBIA LIBERTY, registered in Liberia, late in 1985 or, at the latest, in early January of 1986. The vessel is now named (b) CANADIAN LIBERTY, but is still operating under the Liberian flag. This tanker, previously owned by the Cherryfield Steamship Company Inc., of Monrovia, was built in 1980 by Sasebo Heavy Industries Company Ltd., Sasebo, Japan, 754.6 x 137.8 x 65.0, 43570 Gross and 32185 Net. She is powered by four l6-cylinder MAN diesels built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Kobe, Japan.
Meanwhile, ULS International has disposed of one of its salt-water carriers. PHOSPHORE CONVEYOR was a self-unloading motorship, 816.9 x 105.6 x 62.3. 36506 Gross, 26027 Net, built in 1969 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., at Hiroshima, Japan. She was built for the Naviteck Company of Monrovia, Liberia, which was a consortium involving Upper Lake Shipping and United States Steel. In 1983, she was renamed (b) RICHMOND HILL and her ownership was transferred to an Upper Lakes affiliate, Mar-Bulk Shipping Ltd., Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu, the ship's managers being Barber Steamships Ltd., Hong Kong. She was laid up at Mobile, Alabama, on April 4, 1983, and it was not until the autumn of 1985 that she was reactivated as (c) RICHMOND. She was, however, almost immediately sold for scrapping. As yet, we have no details concerning her dismantling.
The new Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker SIR WILFRID LAURIER, which is presently being completed by Collingwood Shipyards, is scheduled to be commissioned during July at Quebec City. It is said that she will be used as a replacement for C.C.G.S. MONTCALM, which either will be transferred to another station or retired. Meanwhile, another new icebreaker, C.C.G.S. EDWARD C0RN-WALLIS, a sistership of the LAURIER, is under construction at Sorel, Quebec, the yard's Hull 450. The name is already painted on the hull, which raises the interesting question of what the Coast Guard will do with the old EDWARD CORNWALLIS, which was built in 1949 and has been based at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia . It should be noted that Marine Industries also has been awarded a contract for the construction of a second Type 1100 icebreaker.
We had previously reported that the self-unloading motorship RICHARD J. REISS (II), (a) ADIRONDACK (43), owned by the Reiss Steamship Company and operated by the American Steamship Company, Buffalo, is spending the winter laid up at Erie, Pennsylvania. What we all had suspected has now been confirmed, that being that the REISS will operate in 1986 under charter to the Erie Sand Steamship Company. Erie Sand will, however, continue its charter of CONSUMERS POWER from American Steamship, and she may operate in addition to the REISS if sufficient cargo should be available.
Here we go again! Someone in the Thunder Bay area appears to be attempting to get a Ro/Ro service operating on the lakes. On February 22, an advertisement appeared in the "Business Opportunities" listings in one of the Toronto newspapers, the notice inviting investment in a Ro/Ro shipping company. Two telephone numbers were listed, one of which was answered in the name of a local (Thunder Bay) express company. It will be interesting to see whether anything ever comes of this project.
It has been reported that the USS Great Lakes Fleet's self-unloader JOHN G. MUNSON, which is wintering at Superior, Wisconsin, is being fitted with a sternthruster, and that the equipment being used for the installation is in reality the bowthruster which was in the retired tinstack "Super" ENDERS M.
VOORHEES. The fact that the VOORHEES is being cannibalized in such a manner (and we have heard that the other "Supers" may also be losing their thruster units) simply confirms that the 44-year-old VOORHEES and her four sisterships are no longer considered to have any prospects for further service.
Slowly, we are still receiving reports concerning the dismantling of lake vessels in overseas scrapyards. The eventual purchaser of E. B. BARBER was Miguel Martins Pereira, who began work at Guixar-Vigo, Spain, on August 9th, 1985. SAGINAW BAY was acquired by Rafael Diez Martinez, whose crews began work on her on the same date and in the same port. The purchaser of GORDON C. LEITCH was Joao Luis Russo & Filhos Lda., Setubal, Portugal. It was Desguaces Heme that acquired LEON FALK JR., and cutting on her was started on November 6, 1985, at Gijon, Spain.
Back in our May 1985 issue, we reported that the excursion vessel WAYWARD PRINCESS, (a) CAYUGA II (83), which had remained idle at Toronto during the 1984 season, had been taken to Sarnia by new owners. It is true that WAYWARD PRINCESS did go to Sarnia during April (we saw her there then), but she was operated in the excursion trade out of Windsor during the summer of 1985. It would appear that the vessel is now owned by the same parties who operate DUC D'ORLEANS out of Sarnia, and who also run Jacques' Restaurant aboard a barge on Sarnia Bay. In the late autumn of 1985, WAYWARD PRINCESS was seen lying at a private dock on the St. Clair River at Corunna, Ontario.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.