There are some ships that I rarely get a chance to see because they are almost exclusively in Lake Michigan. The St. Mary's Challenger is one of those but she runs a fairly predictable pattern and I just need to figure out a day when I can go see her. This ship is another one of them but her pattern doesn't seem as predictable.
Needless to say, I was pretty happy to see that she would be passing under the Bridge at roughly the same time I would be up there. She is a ship I've been wanting to see for a while. Although I would like to see her fleet mate more.
The Wilfred Sykes started her life at the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio in 1949. She was the first new American Built Great Lakes vessel constructed after World War II. At the time of her construction, she was the largest vessel on the Lakes.
She is powered by two steam engines with a total rating of 7,000 horsepower and can go 16 mph. She was the first steamship built to use fuel oil instead of coal.
She is 671 feet long and can carry a little over 21,000 tons of cargo. She is also equipped with a bow thruster.
She was the first Laker to have a 70 foot beam. She was also the first able to carry over 20,000 tons of cargo. As a result, she set a number of records (for the time) of iron ore carying.
In 1975, she was equipped with her self unloader.
As I said in the beginning, she mostly trades on Lake Michigan. This time she was heading over to Port Dolomite but that is rare. She is currently owned by Central Marine Logistics.