Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Birchglen

Since I was galavanting across the state on Monday, I decided that I would take Tuesday off. That gave me a chance for a little bit of boatwatching at Belle Isle as there a few ships coming down the Detroit River. As it turns out, I only stayed for three of them but that's okay.The first ship of the day for me was the Birchglen which is making her first appearance here on Michigan Exposures.
The Birchglen started her life as the Canada Marquis built by the Govan Shipbuilders in Govan Scotland for the Misener Transportation Company in 1983. The goal was to use these ships year round. The would be used in the summer months on the lakes and on the oceans in the winter months. She had two sister ships, one of which still sails with her as the Spruceglen.
The ship is powered by a 10,000 horsepower diesel engine which gives her a top speed of almost 14 miles per hour. She is also equipped with a bow thruster.
She is 730 feet long and can carry almost 27,000 tons of cargo.
She was most used as an ocean vessel for the first part of her career.
In 1990, she was transferred to Federal Navigation and re-christened the Federal Richeliu and still used mostly on the oceans.
In 2002, she was acquired by the Canada Steamship lines and given her current name. She regularly calls on the Great Lakes but is used on the ocean quite a bit.

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