Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Cuyahoga Finally

So the ship I was going up to see was the ship that I almost missed.   Based on information from AIS, I saw that she was going to be docking in Sarnia but I wasn't sure.  I was pretty sure it would be the stone docks that were right across the River from the boatnerd headquarters but there were a couple of other places she could dock.

So I decided to head towards the Blue Water Bridge thinking that I would catch her as she entered the mouth of the River.  That would have been an excellent plan had I not seen her boom through a patch of trees.  So I had to turn around to find a place to catch her.
 And catch her I did.  She has been elusive to me but I haven't really been actively seeking her out.  But now that I have her, I kind of wish I would have taken pictures of her sooner because she's everything I like in a freighter.
 The Cuyahoga is a Martimer class bulk freighter built in 1943 to help in the war effort.  She was built by the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, OH and was originally named Mesabi.
 She is 620 feet long and can carry almost 16,000 tons of cargo.  She is now powered by 3,000 horsepower diesel engine.
 She was delivered to the Great Lakes Steamship company after her construction and named the J. Burton Ayers.  Her namesake started with the Brown Company in 1901.  This fleet merged with others to become the Great Lakes Steamship Company in 1911.  He became General Manger in 1934, President in 1937 and Chairman in 1955.
 In 1957, she was sold to the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (who also owned the Fitzgerald) and was operated by Wilson Marine Transit.  She only worked for a year for them due to a drop in demand for iron ore and her size.
 In 1973, she was acquired by Kinsman Marine Transit Company and was sold to Oglebay Norton in 1974.  During the winter of 1973/1974, she was converted to a self unloader.  In 1975, her boilers were converted to oil.
 In 1990, she entered long term layup after a couple of incidents that damaged her.
 In 1995, she was sold to the Lower Lakes Towing Company and was the first laker of that company.  At that time, she was given her current name.
 In 1999, her steam engine was replaced with her current diesel engine.
The Cuyahoga is the second oldest Canadian registered laker and the last remaining "A1" laker.  Like I said, I was glad to finally get pictures of her.  It was even cooler to see her do a 180 in the river.


Isaac said...

She is a rusty boat! I'm not sure what the oldest Canadian-built laker is now... I'm thinking Algoma Montrealais (1962). Mississagi is the oldest Canadian altogether.

Isaac said...

Also she never sailed as Mesabi. She was laid down and launched under that name but sailed for her first 50 years as J. Burton Ayers.