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Watch for These New Faces

Algoma Central Corp. saw two bulk carriers enter service in 2018, Algoma Innovator and Algoma Sault. Algoma Conveyor is due early in 2019.

Algoma Tankers Ltd. is running two new tankers this season, Algonorth and Algoterra, both former saltwater vessels.

Rossi A. Desgagnés and Paul A. Desgagnés, which can be powered by any of three types of fuel – heavy fuel oil, marine diesel or liquefied natural gas – are now in service for Groupe Desgagnés.
Cleveland Rocks, rebuilt as the cement barge Commander, entered service in late 2018 for Port City Marine Services of Muskegon, MI.

Fleets Scrap More Familiar Ships

Algoma Central Corp.’s self-unloaders Algoway and Algorail were towed to Port Colborne, ON, for scrapping during summer 2018. Algoma’s Algowood and Capt. Henry Jackman were laid up at the end of 2018 and are likely to be towed overseas for scrapping in 2019.

The retired cement carrier English River arrived at the Port Colborne scrapyard under her own power in July 2018, joining the cement carrier Paul H. Townsend, which was brought there in September 2017. Another cement carrier, Stephen B. Roman, sailed under her own power to Aliaga in late 2018. Their runs, mostly on lakes Ontario and Erie, were taken over by the converted saltwater vessels NACC Argonaut and NACC Quebec of the new company NovaAlgoma Cement Carriers, as well as the McKeil fleet’s McKeil Spirit. After languishing for nearly two years in lay up at Montreal, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd.’s grain carrier Manitoba (formerly Mantadoc, Teakglen and Maritime Trader) arrived at Aliaga on Nov. 18, 2018, for scrapping.

When the former laker American Victory arrived at Aliaga on Sept. 3, 2018, the career of one of the most distinctive and historic vessels to ever sail the Great Lakes came to an end. A 1942-built U.S. Navy veteran decorated for service in World War II as USS Neschanic before being converted for Great Lakes use in 1961, she sailed most of her career as the Middletown for the Oglebay Norton fleet. In 2006, she was sold to the American Steamship Co., which gave her a fitting name, American Victory. She entered long-term lay-up in 2008, a victim of that year’s economic downturn, and never raised steam again. In late December 2017, she was sold to the Algoma Central Corp. of St. Catharines, ON, and was resold for scrapping overseas in the spring of 2018.


As the 2018 shipping season began, Algoma Central renamed its two new acquisitions from American Steamship Co., Buffalo and Adam E. Cornelius, Algoma Buffalo and Algoma Compass respectively.

Lower Lakes Towing Ltd.’s barge James L. Kuber was renamed Maumee early in 2019, the second vessel of the fleet to bear that name.

On Feb. 16, 2019, a devastating fire swept through American Steamship Co.’s St. Clair while she was docked at Toledo. Her future is uncertain.

Ships Still on the Sidelines

CSL Tadoussac returned to service in 2018 after three years idle at Thunder Bay, ON. American Steamship Co.’s American Courage is back out in 2019 after two years in the barn. The future is not so certain for Great Lakes Fleet’s Arthur M. Anderson, which has been laid up at Superior, WI, since the end of the 2016 season. Time will tell if this classic receives needed hull repairs and returns to service soon. The same goes for Edward L. Ryerson, in long-term lay-up at Superior. American Valor, Sarah Spencer and Manistee remain sidelined at Toledo. Manistee and Sarah Spencer are expected to be scrapped eventually, while American Valor’s future is still uncertain. Interlake Steamship Co.’s long-idle John Sherwin remains tied up at DeTour, MI, waiting for her services to be needed, as does McKee Sons, docked at Muskegon, MI.