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Ex-C&O Carferry SS Badger Sold

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, May 20, 2022 4:22 PM

As long as the John Sherwin is still tied up at Detour, I think the rest of the Interlake fleet is safe. Big Smile

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, May 20, 2022 4:12 PM

One can see the downturn as well with the Lee A. Tregurtha still at the wall at Fraser in Superior. I'm confident she'll sail this season, but typically she'd of already been out at this point of the season.

That said, at least she's not endangered. She's in excellent condition after her mid 2000's modernization and repowering, leaving her with a secure future. But her size works against her a bit at times like this. She's too small to directly compete with the footers and at the same time she's too big for other customers serviced by the smaller ships in the fleet.

And where the lengthened and repowered steamers in the fleet are concerned, she's outclassed in capacity by the Oberstar while lacking some of the flexibility for accessing the tighter confines around the lakes that the somewhat smaller size of the Barker allows her to reach. 

Edit: She should depart Frasier Shipyard on June 1st. :)

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, May 20, 2022 12:12 PM

I drove by the Ford Rouge plant yesterday and noticed that the two Cleveland Cliffs/AK blast furnaces didn't appear to be operating.  I've also noticed that the four Interlake boats that normally do the Marquette-Dearborn shuttle appear to be mainly hauling stone and coal for other customers.  They were the Kaye Barker, Lee Tregurtha, Oberstar and Herbert Jackson. They weren't on it fulltime but kinda rotated through it.

ETA- There was a story in the Detnews today about the explosives dogs employed by the Badger.  I didn't know about them.

Meet Hans and Greta, the S.S. Badger’s new explosive detection K9s - mlive.com

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Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, April 23, 2022 10:39 PM

When I was in the US Navy, the ship boilers were powered by JP5 fuel which the emergency diesel generators ran on and the fork lifts and other vehicles used to move aircraft around as well as the aircraft themselves- various USMC helicopters and Harrier jump jets. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, April 23, 2022 8:05 PM

Are there any ships powered by LNG, other than LNG tankers?

They also mentioned diesel fuel.  Would that be used to fire the boiler?  I think I heard that bunker C is less available these days.

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, April 23, 2022 6:21 PM

Leo_Ames

Sounds like Interlake is exploring repowering her.

https://boatnerd.com/boatnerd-news-april-23/

 

I saw that.  On the one hand, we'll miss the coal fired boilers.  On the other, that speaks well of her continued service.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, April 23, 2022 5:24 PM

Sounds like Interlake is exploring repowering her.

https://boatnerd.com/boatnerd-news-april-23/

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, December 11, 2021 3:22 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

 
Backshop

Maybe with Cleveland Cliffs changing from a mining company to an integrated steel producer, they'll buy some ships.  Cliffs Victory 2...I can dream...

 

 

 
Ship purchases are not likely, boat purchases are something that may be under consideration.
 

I was just on the boatnerd.com layup list and they have the two old Inland Steel boats (Wilfred Sykes and Joseph L Block) as being managed by Central Marine Logistics for Cleveland Cliffs with the Cliffs emblem on the funnel.  Maybe that's why the Sykes has been making occasional visits to the Cliffs Rouge Steel plant.  It used to be strictly a Lake Michigan boat.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:49 AM

I have pictures of 'the J' 660, also in orange, in the ex-Southern Forrest Yard, just west of Buntyn, last year...

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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 10:19 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

 
Backshop

Maybe with Cleveland Cliffs changing from a mining company to an integrated steel producer, they'll buy some ships.  Cliffs Victory 2...I can dream...

 

 

 
Ship purchases are not likely, boat purchases are something that may be under consideration.
 

Touche! Smile

I may be heading down to the Ford Rouge plant in awhile.  The Wilfred Sykes is in town and it hardly ever makes it over to this area.  It isn't exactly a spring chicken, either.  I've never seen it.

ETA--I had a few errands to run and didn't check my AIS tracker and it had left and was almost at Zug Island, so I didn't chase.  There'll be a next time...I hope.  To bring this back to railroading, I did see a real rarity at the CN (DT&I)Rouge Yard--an ex EJ&E SD38-2 #656, still in orange.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 10:02 AM

Backshop

Maybe with Cleveland Cliffs changing from a mining company to an integrated steel producer, they'll buy some ships.  Cliffs Victory 2...I can dream...

 
Ship purchases are not likely, boat purchases are something that may be under consideration.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, November 27, 2021 9:06 PM

Maybe with Cleveland Cliffs changing from a mining company to an integrated steel producer, they'll buy some ships.  Cliffs Victory 2...I can dream...

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, November 25, 2021 4:12 AM

Backshop
I'm starting to think that the 600-800ft segment on the Great Lakes is the way of the future.  DTE will be shutting down their St Clair power plant.  It, Belle River and Monroe keep 2-3 of ASC's 1000ft boats busy.  With the reduction in steel production in the region, I don't know if the GLF needs all their 1000fters.  The smaller boats are much more versatile, hauling coal, limestone and stone to smaller ports when needed.

I suspect you're right.

Interlake seems to be of similar thought as well, when one reads between the lines. Not only with the Mark W. Barker, but with what investment they've put into their three bought-new footers (They also operate the Cort under charter).

Only the newest and largest of the three, the Paul R. Tregurtha, has had her aging Colt-Pielstick engines replaced with modern power plants. The other two are still on their original and increasingly problematic diesels, 10+ years after the Tregurtha was repowered.

While this provided precious spare parts for the other two (Especially spare crankshafts, which have a several months long lead time if one breaks), one can't help but wonder if they saw the trend and didn't think it made long-term financial sense to proceed with such a major refit of all three.

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Posted by Backshop on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 7:55 PM

I'm starting to think that the 600-800ft segment on the Great Lakes is the way of the future.  DTE will be shutting down their St Clair power plant.  It, Belle River and Monroe keep 2-3 of ASC's 1000ft boats busy.  With the reduction in steel production in the region, I don't know if the GLF needs all their 1000fters.  The smaller boats are much more versatile, hauling coal, limestone and stone to smaller ports when needed.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, November 15, 2021 4:29 AM

They were constructed as self-unloaders, but were getting pretty ripe. Lots of salt cargos and lots of salt water shortened the lifespan of their original forebodies and left them a mess after 25 years of service. 

All four were built to coastal (Nova Scotia) class standards that allowed them to leave the St. Lawrence Seaway and serve in the Atlantic around the eastern coast of Canada. So not only did they suffer from salt loads, but their ballast tanks regularly were receiving salt water.

A common duty for them would've been for five of CSL's Nova Scotia class self-unloaders to meet a giant ocean going bulk carrier in deep water off the coast and unload their coal loads into the holds of the saltie. Paid well, but took a toll on the ships.

My count of active CSL ships was off by two ships. Went off Boatnerd.com's fleet gallery page when counting, forgetting that they're in the process of migrating over to a new site and not all the ship pages are present just yet. Missed the CSL Niagara (One of those 4 forebody replacements) and the CSL Tadoussac (One of two traditional lakers remaining in the fleet, her life extended by a major rebuild to her mid section).

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, November 14, 2021 9:59 PM

Leo_Ames
Four of the remainder were forebody replacements, utilizing the refurbished stern of 1970's era CSL freighters mated with a brand new cargo section and bow. These four Port Weller built forebodies from the late 90's and early 2000's marked the end of Canadian Great Lakes construction, with import duties lifted a few years later.

Why were the boats cargo sections replaced?  Were they reconfigured to self-unloading?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, November 14, 2021 2:42 AM

MidlandMike

Speaking of Interlake, they just built the first new great lakes ship built on the lakes since 1983.

Only on the US side. Canada's now scrapped Paterson/Pineglen was the last before this.

https://boatnerd.com/pineglen-2/

And if we include ATB's, large US flagged freighters have been built in more recent years on the Great Lakes. The Erie Trader in 2012 and the Michigan Trader in 2020 are 740' x 78' self-unloading barges pushed by tugs.

https://boatnerd.com/erie-trader/

https://boatnerd.com/michigan-trader/

MidlandMike

I wonder if any boats were built outside the great lakes for lakes service since 1983?

Algoma Central and Canada Steamship Lines are so far into their fleet renewal programs that most of their fleets are less than 15 years old. But they've sadly been built overseas.

To illustrate, CSL operates with 13 vessels on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Of those, 6 are new vessels known as the "Trillium Class" that entered service betwee 2013 and 2015 (With a 7th designed for serving the Mines Seleine salt mine in the Magdalen Islands being constructed now).

Four of the remainder were forebody replacements, utilizing the refurbished stern of 1970's era CSL freighters mated with a brand new cargo section and bow. These four Port Weller built forebodies from the late 90's and early 2000's marked the end of Canadian Great Lakes construction, with import duties lifted a few years later.

Only the Atlantic Huron (Ballast tanks and such replaced circa 2000, widening her from 75' to 78' and the reason why she's still with the living), Frontenac, Oakglen, and Spruceglen remain for older vessels (With the latter pair just seasonal grain boats these days).

Algoma Central's transformation has been even more dramatic. Only one Great Lakes vessel that they entered the 2000's with remains in service. And only two from Upper Lakes Shipping remain active, a fleet that Algoma acquired in the early 2010's.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, November 13, 2021 9:19 PM

Speaking of Interlake, they just built the first new great lakes ship built on the lakes since 1983.

https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/door-co/2021/10/29/first-new-great-lakes-freighter-built-lakes-38-years-launches-fincantieri-bay-shipbuilding-sturgeon/6193598001/

I wonder if any boats were built outside the great lakes for lakes service since 1983?

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Posted by 54light15 on Friday, November 12, 2021 10:28 PM

This may be of interest for all you Badger likers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOMO_3w3xGU 

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Posted by Backshop on Sunday, November 7, 2021 8:41 PM

Sturgeon Bay seems to be growing since they got bought by Fincantieri.  

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, November 7, 2021 8:10 PM

I suppose it doesn't hurt to mention that the Badger was towed to BayShip in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin for drydocking, 5 year survey, and her first full paint job since her Chessie career ended (Her traditional color scheme will be retained).

Was rather surprised to learn that. While I doubt much of what you see above the waterline hasn't been touched up several times since then, this is the first time since her railroad days ended that she'll be fully repainted.

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Posted by Backshop on Sunday, November 7, 2021 7:34 PM

On a related note.  Boatnerd.com is reporting today that Oaktree, an investment group, may be buying Rand Logistics, the parent company of American Steamship, Lower Lakes Towing and Grand River Navigation.  The press release said that part of the reason is for "connectivity in ports" with Watco, another of their holdings.  Problem is, Watco really doesn't service any Great Lakes ports.

Boatnerd News – November 7 – Boatnerd

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, November 4, 2021 7:49 PM

They stripped all remaining usable parts and warehoused them a number of years ago. She's basically just an empty steel hull now.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, November 4, 2021 6:44 PM

I understand that the Spartan is a parts donor for the Badger.  Would it be practical to storehouse those potential parts once the boat is cut down?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, November 4, 2021 3:16 AM

Interlake has bought the retired army tug Winfield Scott and have been conducting inspections of the SS Spartan.

While they're staying mum on what their plans are, appearances are that she'll be a running mate for the Pere Marquette 41, a classic railroad car ferry that was cut down into a deck barge in the late 1990's.

https://boatnerd.com/pere-marquette-41-barge/

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, February 22, 2021 2:28 PM

Thsi showed up in my You tube today- no shots of the engine room, unfortunately. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFZ7TaKDNN0 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, January 7, 2021 6:21 AM

Great Lakes Fleet is technically American owned, which was necessary to satisfy the provisions of the Jones Act. 

The American Steamship Company has 12 ships. They've been sold to Rand Logistics, the owners of Lower Lakes, but are believed to continue to operate as a separate fleet going into the future rather than merging operations.

The Interlake Steamship Company has fewer ships and their tonnage is still less than today's reduced ASC fleet can handle (ASC's fire damaged St. Clair is believed to be constructive total loss, two other vessels have gone off lease and moved elsewhere in recent years, and the 5 ships they sold to Algoma Central).

Backshop

There has been a trend on the Great Lakes of going over to tug/barge co mbinations. While some of the barges have been new builds, most are the cargo compartments of older freighters with uneconomical steam turbine powerplants. 

Thankfully, the trend has reversed course in the 2000's.

All the mainstream operators on the Great Lakes like the Interlake Steamship Company that experimented with this concept have left it behind with their fleet modernization programs. They're all back to repowering old ships or buying new ships, not barging ships or building new ATB's.

This is thanks to a variety of factors that I'll try to list below.

  • Tightening of regulations on ATB's and ITB's like hull surveys, reducing their savings over a traditional ship.
  • Decreased crew sizes on ships, bringing them close to the crew cost of a big tug.
  • Inherent fuel disadvantage of the hull form thanks to where the tug mates with the barge disturbing how the hull cuts through the water. This perhaps more than anything else has swung the pendulum away from the ATB/ITB concept for the large US fleets and both Canadian giants.

The big exception in the 2000's are the fringe operators around the Great Lakes. Van Enkevort is now a significant operator in the ore and stone trade on the lakes and operates three large self-unloading ATB's all built new in the past 20 or so years (And the barged Joseph A. Thompson). They seem to still be a believer.

And some small operators have barged old steamers in the 2000's. The St. Mary's Challenger is a sad example, but notching her and buying a used tug was much cheaper than repowering and won the day. And with her short runs and regular layups during the course of a season, the decreased fuel efficiency was viewed as not being a big issue.

K&K Warehousing was another, barging the Buckeye and Reserve from the Oglebay Norton fleet in the late 2000's (Now sailing for the US arm of Lower Lakes).

Paul Milenkovic
I am being picky, but I believe the correct term of art is towboat when he are talking about a boat acting as a road locomotive to one or more barges?  A tugboat is more akin to a switch engine that directs a ship in a terminal area? Why would people do this on the open Great Lakes.  Those waters can experience non-trivial storms as many historic shipwreck disasters atest, and is this river-barge tow arrangement such a great idea?

They're a far cry from a Mississippi River towboat pushing a group of barges. One never hears the term towboat used for the types of vessel combinations he's talking about. 

They're called "articulated tug barges" or "integrated tug barges" (Depending on how the tug connects to the barge). They're essentially a Great Lakes freighter in everything but name, taking advantage of loopholes to deliver savings to the operator over a traditional ship.

Here's a good example of one from the Interlake fleet converted from a classic steam powered freighter.

http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/pathfinder.htm

And some of the giants that were built this way from the keel up, even look like a ship at first glance from many angles.

http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/PresqueIsleBarge.htm

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Thursday, January 7, 2021 5:46 AM

Backshop

There has been a trend on the Great Lakes of going over to tug/barge co mbinations. While some of the barges have been new builds, most are the cargo compartments of older freighters with uneconomical steam turbine powerplants. The forward pilothouse is disposed of, along with the rear of the hull.  A "U" shaped notch is cut into the new stern and a square hulled tugboat is inserted.  While detachable, they are semi-permanently coupled.  A very good read on the concept is Real, Honest Sailing by Gary Schmidt.  He was captain of Interlake's Pathfinder/Dorothy Ann combination.  I believe Interlake may be the biggest American company on the lakes, now that the old US Steel fleet has been sold to CN and American Steamship Lines has sold some of their ships to Algoma Central.  Interlake has the contract for the Marquette (LS&I) to Ford Rouge Dearborn run.  They alternate 3-4 of their smaller, older ships on it.  The Hon. James Oberstar, Kaye Barker, Herbert Jackson and Lee Tregurtha.

 

 

I am being picky, but I believe the correct term of art is towboat when he are talking about a boat acting as a road locomotive to one or more barges?  A tugboat is more akin to a switch engine that directs a ship in a terminal area?

Why would people do this on the open Great Lakes.  Those waters can experience non-trivial storms as many historic shipwreck disasters atest, and is this river-barge tow arrangement such a great idea?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?

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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 8:32 AM

Yes, I've seen it on Put-in-Bay.

FYI--the reason for the tug/barge combos is also that pay rates and crew sizes are determined by the size of the power unit.  So, a freighter includes the whole boat while a combo is considered a tugboat.

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