Great Lakes Ships

Waterways
7th February 2007, 02:26
There are many knowledgable people on this forum. So I wondered if anyone could answer my questions

The Great Lakes of North America have sailing on them 50,000 ton ships that can never sail outside the lakes - some are over 1000 foot in length. Amazing it itself - these lakes are more like inland seas with waves over 35 foot at times.

The design of the ships look quite ugly with bows that are quite straight compared to ocean going vessels and a bridge superstructure way fore on thye bow, that make the ships look quite odd indeed. Anyone know why they are like this? After all water is water, so why this design just for these ships?

I find it amazing that Duluth, at the wetern end of Lake Superior, is 2,300 miles for the ocean, and yet large ocean going vessels can reach the sizable port.

http://www.duluthshippingnews.com/pictures580/kayeebarker251226-1-053.jpg

treeve
7th February 2007, 02:41
I can only assume it allows for better navigation by sight in the "narrows".
I guess also they have to make their way through ice at some stage?

Waterways
7th February 2007, 02:49
I can only assume it allows for better navigation by sight in the "narrows".
I guess also they have to make their way through ice at some stage?

There is a canal from Superior to Huron, which is about the only narrows, and there is ice as the ships lay up, about now, for the winter. However I still can't see why they have this design as no other vesel appear to have this setup - although practical it looks being right at the bow.

Derek Roger
7th February 2007, 03:05
The ships are designed to be max size for the canal system ; St Lawrence Seaway ( a bit like "Panamax " for the Panama Canal )
Speed not so much an issue as capacity .
A lot carry bulk cargo such as coal and are "self unloders "
Some have a reclaimer which moves from one end to the other "reclaiming the product " Just One very large hold the full length of the vessel .
They are not certified for passage outside the lakes .
Ships which serve the lakes and deep sea are know as " Salties "
Without subdivision they ( Lakers ) would not get far in the Atlantic .

Hope this helps ; Our SN Laker Pros will no doubt add more information .

Derek

Waterways
7th February 2007, 10:26
The ships are designed to be max size for the canal system ; St Lawrence Seaway

Derek, thanks. Some don't have a size limit as they are too big for the Seaway canal. The restriction in width is the passage from Superior to Huron. If only moving inside Superior then they can be very broad indeed as no dock systems with locks on the lake.

lakercapt
7th February 2007, 16:04
The largest boats on the Great Lakes are referred to as "Footers" as their lenght is 1000ft. Their breadth is 105 ft and the carry approx 65,000 tonnes (depending on water levels)
They are all US flag and trade on Lakes superior as far down as lake Eire.
The size is the maximum allowed to transit the Poe Lock in the St. Marys river.
Canadian vessels are maxmum sized for the St.Lawrence Seaway system and this was increased to 736ft long and 76ftwide with a maximum draft of 26'6".
No lakers have been built for a long while with the pilothouse for'd. Think the last one ws Algosoo.
Having sailed on for'd end pilothouse and also after end it takes some getting used to as both have there advantages and disadvantages. In narrow channels (and there are many) your turning marks change from for'd end to after end as there is about 700 ft difference and if you forget you could end up in deep dodo.
There are differant types too for cargo.
The straight decks do not have any unloading gear and require shore equipment.
Self unloaders have a variety of arrangements but the most common is conveyor belts under the cargo holds and cargo is controled by hopper gates and this is carried along to either a loop belt arrangement or bucket elevator to the boom belt which is swung ashore and the cargo dumped on dock. That is a simplistic briefing as there is much more involved and it would take too long and convoluted an explanation to fully describe the unloading process.We could unload a full cargo of ore in about four hours (25,000 Tonnes).
The Great lakes has a culture of its own and you are a sweet water sailor up there. As I was both a salt water sailor and a laker man it was unusual to be both.
Enjoyed both experiances though completely differant types of sailing

Waterways
7th February 2007, 21:22
xxxxxxx

Waterways
7th February 2007, 21:22
The largest boats on the Great Lakes are referred to as "Footers" as their lenght is 1000ft. Their breadth is 105 ft and the carry approx 65,000 tonnes (depending on water levels)


Thanks capn. How long would it take to sail the length of Lake Superior?

John Cassels
7th February 2007, 21:31
The largest boats on the Great Lakes are referred to as "Footers" as their lenght is 1000ft. Their breadth is 105 ft and the carry approx 65,000 tonnes (depending on water levels)
They are all US flag and trade on Lakes superior as far down as lake Eire.
The size is the maximum allowed to transit the Poe Lock in the St. Marys river.
Canadian vessels are maxmum sized for the St.Lawrence Seaway system and this was increased to 736ft long and 76ftwide with a maximum draft of 26'6".
No lakers have been built for a long while with the pilothouse for'd. Think the last one ws Algosoo.
Having sailed on for'd end pilothouse and also after end it takes some getting used to as both have there advantages and disadvantages. In narrow channels (and there are many your turning marks change from for'd end to after end as there is about 700 ft difference and if you forget you could end up in deep dodo.
There are differant types too for cargo.
The straight decks do not have any unloading gear and require shore equipment.
Self unloaders have a variety of arrangements but the most common is conveyor belts under the cargo holds and cargo is controled by hopper gates and this is carried along to either a loop belt arrangement or bucket elevator to the boom belt which is swung ashore and the cargo dumped on dock. That is a simplistic brieifing as there is much more involved and it would take too long and convoluted an explanation to fully describe the unloading process.We could unload a full cargo of ore in about four hours (25,000 Tonnes).
The Graet lakes has a culture of its own and you are a sweet water sailor up there. As I was both a salt water sailor and a laker man it was unusual to be boith.
Enjoyed both experiances though completely differant types of sailing


Thanks Bill , excellent post.

JC

lakercapt
7th February 2007, 22:59
Thanks capn. How long would it take to sail the length of Lake Superior?

How long is a piece of string.?
There are many ports on Lake Superior but from say Duluth to Soo Locks its about 28 hours but differant boats steam at differant speeds.From Thunder Bay its about 20 hrs to the locks.
To go from Thunder Bay to Montreal would take about five days but that also assuming the the Welland Canal and Seaway are working at good dispatching

By the way I don't think there has been recorded wave heights of 35 feet.

Speed is not really the major factor in the "lakes" as times in rivers and canals are based on speed and wake restrictions and the fastest boat can't exceed those without suffering the consequences (large fines).

treeve
7th February 2007, 22:59
I am not at all up on this, but is the Welland Canal part of the Seaway?
I know it is on the Lakes, somewhere near the Falls.

Waterways
8th February 2007, 00:46
To go from Thunder Bay to Montreal would take about five days but that also assuming the the Welland Canal and Seaway are working at good dispatching


That is like a trans-Atlantic trip in time.


By the way I don't think there has been recorded wave heights of 35 feet.


Typo, 25 foot. The Edmund Fitzgerald went down in 25 foot seas I believe.

Was there ever any serious suggestion to take a ship canal from Lake Superior to the Pacific and make an Atlantic to Pacific canal? It would be long I know, and a hell of a big dig, however many ports could be in basins along the way, so the effect is multiple, not just a water throughway. There is a lot of flat land around there, apart from the Rockies of course, which dwindle off around Canada.

Derek Roger
8th February 2007, 03:03
I am not at all up on this, but is the Welland Canal part of the Seaway?
I know it is on the Lakes, somewhere near the Falls.

Yes Treve near the falls ( A little bit West )

It runs almost North to South Between Lake Ontairo @ St Catherines
( North ) to Port Colborne on Lake Erie .

It is an engineering marvel in my mind bypassing Niagra Falls . I lived there for 2 years and spent all my lunch times having a sandwich and watching the traffic
It was a bit of a pain when going to and leaving Port Weller Dry Docks where we were building the MV Arctic as one had to "time " the vessels passages and bridge operations to avoid driving delays . My office fortunatly had a good outlook so was not really a problem .

Derek

treeve
8th February 2007, 03:48
Thanks Derek -
I gather there is a good drop in a number of locks,
must take a good while to gain passage.

lakercapt
8th February 2007, 04:09
Transitting the Welland canal .
It depends on the ship traffic.
I have taken 22 hours and also done it in 6 hrs 2o mins as there was not much traffic and I wanted to get home for Christmas

randcmackenzie
8th February 2007, 11:25
I've posted an old (1965) photo mount of the Seaway on the gallery, which gives an idea of the magnitude of the project.

When you reach Lake Superior you are 602 feet and 16 locks above Montreal.

Baltic Wal
8th February 2007, 17:30
I have always been fasinated by these ships since as a 10 year old sleeping in a car by the old route to Montreal (Pre Seaway days) and watching them go by. We were on our way to Montreal to catch the Greek Line COLUMBIA.

Never seen a decent book on the subject with photo's of the older ships.

By the way, why is this in the 'Ferries' forum?

Waterways
8th February 2007, 17:45
By the way, why is this in the 'Ferries' forum?

Mistake. :(

treeve
8th February 2007, 18:21
perhaps there are ferries at the bottom of your garden?

JET
9th February 2007, 05:26
No one has mentioned the use of the elevated bowsprit, as shown on the ship in the photo. My recollection was that on vessels with the wheelhouse up for'ard it was used as a guide when steering, particularly in narrow waterways, as the bowsprit indicated the fore and aft centre line of the vessel.

Regards, John

magogman
9th February 2007, 05:38
go to www.boatnerd.com and you will either find the answer to your question in the archives or you can post your question on the information exchange. It is THE primary website for Great Lakes shipping.

All of the modern lakers to include the 1,000 footers which are the only lake boats captive to the lake (i.e., too large for the Welland Canal) have the bridge and accommodations at the stern -- the bridge at the bow went out of style quite some time ago.

Waterways
9th February 2007, 10:27
perhaps there are ferries at the bottom of your garden?

The way it has been waterlogged over the past 3 months - yes.

Waterways
9th February 2007, 10:30
go to www.boatnerd.com and you will either find the answer to your question in the archives or you can post your question on the information exchange. It is THE primary website for Great Lakes shipping.

All of the modern lakers to include the 1,000 footers which are the only lake boats captive to the lake (i.e., too large for the Welland Canal) have the bridge and accommodations at the stern -- the bridge at the bow went out of style quite some time ago.

These days cameras fore'd, sending picturers back to the bridge at the rear would be cheaper and just as easy.

lakercapt
10th February 2007, 02:32
That thingy sticking out the front is called a steer pole and is used for that purpose.
On US flag lakers there is always a deckhand posted for'd when in confined waters, night and day.

Waterways
10th February 2007, 11:23
That thingy sticking out the front is called a steer pole and is used for that purpose.
On US flag lakers there is always a deckhand posted for'd when in confined waters, night and day.

Is he in the open? Telephone contact with the bridge I assume.

lakercapt
10th February 2007, 19:34
Yes he/she has direct contact with the pilotouse otherwise it would be pointless.
Yes he/she is in the open so has to dress accordingly.
I put she in there but I don't really know if US flag boats have female rating as the Canadian ones.

JoK
11th February 2007, 00:14
Yes he/she has direct contact with the pilotouse otherwise it would be pointless.
Yes he/she is in the open so has to dress accordingly.
I put she in there but I don't really know if US flag boats have female rating as the Canadian ones.

Very PC answer :)

Trader
11th February 2007, 01:24
Here is a photo of one of the lock gates on the Welland. Taken on Manchester Fame early 60's.

Trader

Bearsie
11th February 2007, 10:52
Was there ever any serious suggestion to take a ship canal from Lake Superior to the Pacific and make an Atlantic to Pacific canal? It would be long I know, and a hell of a big dig, however many ports could be in basins along the way, so the effect is multiple, not just a water throughway. There is a lot of flat land around there, apart from the Rockies of course, which dwindle off around Canada.

Too expensive even for the US and it would have to be agreed on with
Canada in either case. I would want to see the locks across the Rockies ...

There has been talk over the years to connect Lake Superieur and Duluth to the Mississippi by canal, which wouldn't be that hard to do but sofar nothing has come of it.

lakercapt
11th February 2007, 16:52
The Great lakes are connected to the Mississippi system through Lake Michigan but only for river craft i.e. Barges and tugboats.
The Sanitary Canal (That name has been changed to a more P.C. as Chicago River) through the city of Chicago can also be used but as noy all the bridges can open now its a very limited air draft.
The lock system is via the Calumet riversouth of Chicago.

Bearsie
11th February 2007, 18:25
The Great lakes are connected to the Mississippi system through Lake Michigan but only for river craft i.e. Barges and tugboats.
The Sanitary Canal (That name has been changed to a more P.C. as Chicago River) through the city of Chicago can also be used but as noy all the bridges can open now its a very limited air draft.
The lock system is via the Calumet riversouth of Chicago.

Yeah, I'been there. Some of my customers on it still have the dock (or pier) out back, most no longer in use.
There doesn't seem to be as much traffic as there once was. My job allowed me to cruise around the midwest and visit on the occassional Laker in Milwaukee, Sturgeon Bay, Duluth and such.
The proposed canal from Duluth also would have been an inland vessel canal only.

Keith Adams
12th February 2007, 01:52
Hi Bearsie, Were you there in the 1960s? I worked for Great Lakes Storage
and Contacting Co. who operated ship terminals in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee and Duluth. I worked Navy Pier, Chicago where our competitor was North Pier Terminals, and in Milwaukee where competitors were PV Atlas and Hanson Seaway. I managed the inner harbour terminal and we filled up with US Steel laker-ships for the winter freeze. Only C&O
Rail and Car Ferry kept running with aid of an ice breaker. Oh happy days! Snowy

Trader
12th February 2007, 02:34
The Great lakes are connected to the Mississippi system through Lake Michigan but only for river craft i.e. Barges and tugboats.
The Sanitary Canal (That name has been changed to a more P.C. as Chicago River) through the city of Chicago can also be used but as noy all the bridges can open now its a very limited air draft.
The lock system is via the Calumet riversouth of Chicago.

I was on the "Esso Lambeth" in 1965 she was about 5,000 dwt., 360 feet long, 60 feet beam. We traded on the British coast supplying power stations with fuel oil. She was built in Duluth during the war for trading on the Maracaibo Lakes, Venezuela. She must have come down through the Mississippi system. I was wondering if she came through with her superstructure and masts etc. or were they added later. Her original name was "Caripito" I think.
Trader.

Bearsie
12th February 2007, 03:11
I was on the "Esso Lambeth" in 1965 she was about 5,000 dwt., 360 feet long, 60 feet beam. We traded on the British coast supplying power stations with fuel oil. She was built in Duluth during the war for trading on the Maracaibo Lakes, Venezuela. She must have come down through the Mississippi system. I was wondering if she came through with her superstructure and masts etc. or were they added later. Her original name was "Caripito" I think.
Trader.

She would have come straight though the Soo locks and via Detroit and the Welland kanal to the atlantic. Plenty of room for a ship that size.
The Mississippi connection is a different issue.

Bearsie
12th February 2007, 03:15
Hi Bearsie, Were you there in the 1960s? I worked for Great Lakes Storage
and Contacting Co. who operated ship terminals in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee and Duluth. I worked Navy Pier, Chicago where our competitor was North Pier Terminals, and in Milwaukee where competitors were PV Atlas and Hanson Seaway. I managed the inner harbour terminal and we filled up with US Steel laker-ships for the winter freeze. Only C&O
Rail and Car Ferry kept running with aid of an ice breaker. Oh happy days! Snowy

I was still on german coasters in the early 60's I am from Germany originally.
Didn't come to the US until 75. Met my wife in Germany, she is from Upstate NY. Most of my time in the upper Midwest was in the early 90's to 2001
as a crane technician, traveled all over and of course stopped by any ship I could.
Then I started my own "navy" bought a 36 footer and lived on it on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh for 3 years :)

Bearsie
12th February 2007, 03:39
@ Waterways

Re: ugly ships and forward bridges:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...
The more modern Canadian fleet has mostly aft bridges.
Lakers tend to have long lifes, so designs from a long time ago are still in the majority. But don't let that fool you, they are very efficient cargo movers and seaworthy.
The vast majority move bulk cargo's like Lime, Coal, Iron Ore, cement and so on.
Like any region there are local designs and preferences.
All ships had aft "bridges" until the event of the steamer, then the British put them all over the place...
I could never figure out why colliers and such have bridges in the middle of the deck or machinery in the middle of the ship where the cargo should be...
I am not sure but it could well be that the bridge forward design was borrowed from the river boats, the shape seems typical American, just like on the tug boats with the round front.
It was moved all the way forward to keep the cargo deck open. Americans tend to be practical folks.
I do not know if there were height restrictions in some places but a far forward bridge could be kept rather low and still have good visibility as compared to an aft bridge. Don't forget the early Lake Steamers were only 500 to a 1000 tons on average. I imagine the rest is just "Tradition" long after the need passed.
Compare this to the hydraulic bridges on european river sea ships, only recently have they moved bridges forward to avoid that complication.
especially with the container traffic now an aft bridge on those ships doesnt seem to make much sense.
ditto fishing vessels, many still cling to an aft bridge or a midships bridge when a forward bridge makes more sense.
But a lot of that is determined by local taste and such and the exact use of the vessel of course.

I agree with magogman: www.boatnerd.com is a great website to explore Great Lakes Shipping and history :)

ebbwjunc
12th February 2007, 14:14
in the late sixties at Sept. Iles we occasionaly saw a laker loading ore during the summer when the weather was good. I know one of the older stevadores involved in loading told us that during the war in summer several lakers did cross the Atlantic but I have no proof that it was in fact true but does seem plausible. Apparently they were uncomfortable in the Atlantic swells and didn't instil confidence.

Bearsie
12th February 2007, 15:06
in the late sixties at Sept. Iles we occasionaly saw a laker loading ore during the summer when the weather was good. I know one of the older stevadores involved in loading told us that during the war in summer several lakers did cross the Atlantic but I have no proof that it was in fact true but does seem plausible. Apparently they were uncomfortable in the Atlantic swells and didn't instil confidence.

A few Lakers have been sold as "Salty's" and a few Lakers are converted Salty's, there are several Canadian Lakers that were built in Scotland.
So they had to come across somehow...
As far as being seaworthy there are records of several "Salty's" that have sunk in storms on the Great Lakes, so much for the "seaworthyness" issue...
For the most part Great Lakes freighters are very specific for the trade in this region, not much sense selling them to the caribean or where ever.
As a historical aside almost all the earlier steamers were wood hulled, wood held its place in the US somewhat longer than in Europe I believe.
Again based on several local factors.
Trying to draw a line between uncomfy and sea worthy would be treacherous at best...

James MacDonald
12th February 2007, 17:34
I remember a tanker being converted to a laker in Govan drydock Glasgow in 1962 I cant remember her name though, something Hind I think.

boats
12th February 2007, 18:57
The Great lakes are connected to the Mississippi system through Lake Michigan but only for river craft i.e. Barges and tugboats.
The Sanitary Canal (That name has been changed to a more P.C. as Chicago River) through the city of Chicago can also be used but as noy all the bridges can open now its a very limited air draft.
The lock system is via the Calumet riversouth of Chicago.

For an amazing story on bringing a 619ft ship through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal that had 600 ft locks see
http://www.mhsd.org/publications/a&f2/cliffaf.htm
I was sailing on the lakes at this time, 1951. I wish I could have been on her.

Trader
14th February 2007, 02:14
She would have come straight though the Soo locks and via Detroit and the Welland kanal to the atlantic. Plenty of room for a ship that size.
The Mississippi connection is a different issue.

Hi Bearsie,

I think that you misunderstood my question. The ship was built during the war, 1942 I think. She must have come via Chicago to get to Venezuela,

boats,

You have answered my question with the story of the Cliffs Victory. A fascinating story. I sailed to Calumet, South Chicago on the "Manchester Vanguard" a Saltie, in 1956/57/58 before the St. Lawrence Seaway opened. She was only 258 feet long, built for the old St. Lawrence canals.

Trader.

Waterways
14th February 2007, 17:35
@ Waterways

Re: ugly ships and forward bridges:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...
The more modern Canadian fleet has mostly aft bridges.
Lakers tend to have long lifes, so designs from a long time ago are still in the majority. But don't let that fool you, they are very efficient cargo movers and seaworthy.


They are highly functional in design with little to no aesthetics in the design. Let's be honest they are no masters of form. The round vertical bows look very odd - to my eyes anyway. It wouldn't take little imagination to get a few looking quite sleek and pleasing to the eye.

They are designed to operate in placid lakes, yet these lakes can produce ocean like 20 foot waves. They should be designed to withstand these waves for long periods. I believe the idea is that they can always get to a safe haven quickly before the storm gets that big. If so, that is not sound logic to me. The 1000 foot Edmund Fitzgerald went under in 20 foot plus waves. Those waves would break over the low bows and sides. Ocean going vessels are designed to keep large waves away, would one of those gone down in the same circumstances?

As for the the bridge position. The older freigters had the bridge and the engines centre for balance. The cargo can be evenly distributed between fore and aft holds - in the days of mixed cargos. Also, less ballast may be needed when empty. When all the weight is aft the ship has to be long to counter the weight to give an even keel. In the olden days longer hulls would preclude many ships from many docks and berths.

lakercapt
14th February 2007, 18:48
They are highly functional in design with little to no aesthetics in the design. Let's be honest they are no masters of form. The round vertical bows look very odd - to my eyes anyway. It wouldn't take little imagination to get a few looking quite sleek and pleasing to the eye.

They are designed to operate in placid lakes, yet these lakes can produce ocean like 20 foot waves. They should be designed to withstand these waves for long periods. I believe the idea is that they can always get to a safe haven quickly before the storm gets that big. If so, that is not sound logic to me. The 1000 foot Edmund Fitzgerald went under in 20 foot plus waves. Those waves would break over the low bows and sides. Ocean going vessels are designed to keep large waves away, would one of those gone down in the same circumstances?

As for the the bridge position. The older freigters had the bridge and the engines centre for balance. The cargo can be evenly distributed between fore and aft holds - in the days of mixed cargos. Also, less ballast may be needed when empty. When all the weight is aft the ship has to be long to counter the weight to give an even keel. In the olden days longer hulls would preclude many ships from many docks and berths.

WaTERWAYS.
THE EDMUND FITZGERALD ANK IN LAkE superior
ITWAS NOT 1000FT BUT 711FT WHICH IS NOT BIG BY TODAYS STANDARDS.
thERE ARE SEVERAL THEORIES WAS TO WHY SHE SANK AND THE ANDERSON THAT WAS ASTERN OF HER SURVIVED.
wATER GAINING ACCESS THROUGH HATCHES WAS ONE BUT THE OTHER WHICH IS MORE LIKELY WAS SHE BOTTOMED OUT ON SIX FATHOM SHOAL AND BROKE HER BACK.
MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN BUT AS THERE WERE NO SURVIVERS TO TELL THE TALE, ITS MOSTLY CONJECTURE.
OPPS DID NOT INTENT THIS TO BE IN UPPER CASE.
A lake boat that is traditional design and has all the fancy lines is the Edward Ryerson and she is now back in service after many years of being laid up as uneconomicial as being a steamer with a small cargo capacity she is only now in service due to lack of tonnage. (Canadian vessels can not carry cargo between two us port (Jones Act)

Waterways
15th February 2007, 00:37
"Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck. This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association's contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands. The U.S. Coast Guard, report on August 2, 1977 cited faulty hatch covers, lack of water tight cargo hold bulkheads and damage caused from an undetermined source."

Take your choice. One thing is certain the low lines of these ships meant more water was thrown on the decks than if it was higher with an ocean ship bow design. Tons of moving water on the hatches makes a vessel unstable.

Bearsie
18th February 2007, 11:41
Derek, thanks. Some don't have a size limit as they are too big for the Seaway canal. The restriction in width is the passage from Superior to Huron. If only moving inside Superior then they can be very broad indeed as no dock systems with locks on the lake.

There is no place to go on Lake Superior, so they all have to fit the Soo locks.
In that sense there is a width limit

Bearsie
18th February 2007, 12:18
They are highly functional in design with little to no aesthetics in the design. Let's be honest they are no masters of form. The round vertical bows look very odd - to my eyes anyway. It wouldn't take little imagination to get a few looking quite sleek and pleasing to the eye.

They are designed to operate in placid lakes, yet these lakes can produce ocean like 20 foot waves. They should be designed to withstand these waves for long periods. I believe the idea is that they can always get to a safe haven quickly before the storm gets that big. If so, that is not sound logic to me. The 1000 foot Edmund Fitzgerald went under in 20 foot plus waves. Those waves would break over the low bows and sides. Ocean going vessels are designed to keep large waves away, would one of those gone down in the same circumstances?

As for the the bridge position. The older freigters had the bridge and the engines centre for balance. The cargo can be evenly distributed between fore and aft holds - in the days of mixed cargos. Also, less ballast may be needed when empty. When all the weight is aft the ship has to be long to counter the weight to give an even keel. In the olden days longer hulls would preclude many ships from many docks and berths.

Like I said before: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
You seem to find these ships ugly and unseaworthy, almost as a deliberate insult by Americans to your sensitive eyes, sorry can't help you there...
While there is a Lake Placid in New York State this is the first time I have heard the Great Lakes called "Placid Lakes" by anyone !
The design does NOT depend on running for the nearest harbor in a storm.
The only time that would apply is during a freeze when ice would build up much faster than in the open sea and the ship was in danger of becoming unstable, and many a trawler was lost off Greenland in those conditions.

As far as general safety and seaworthyness? Checking the premiums charged by the Insurance companies settles that faster than any theorethical discussion....

As far as seaworthy design: Your comments on bridge and engine location do not make much sense and it seems that the only "seaworthy" ship meeting your approval are ships with a midships bridge and engine?
Thousand of ships have been built with engine aft and bridge forward of midships, Tankers and Colliers come to mind.
Thousands more have been built with bridge and engine aft, from small coasters to huge container vessels, I am not aware of having to use more ballast for those.
As far as length? as the Germans say: Länge läuft! (length runs) i e length makes for speed...
Actually the Lakers look much longer then they are on account of their clean wide open decks.
Freeboard: I doubt that Lakers have less freeboard than comparably sized single decker bulkers anyplace.
Hatches: For years the UK maritime unions have fought a bitter battle with governments over ill designed hatches on large sea going bulkers that sank in minutes, quite a few of those British built. The Union seems more interested in getting the problem fixed than under what flag they run or who built them.
IMO lakers compare favorably on that score.
Edmund Fitzgerald: newer evidence strongly suggests a grounding during the storm, in either case she at the bottom broken in 2.

Bow height and bridge up front: on Almost all Lakers the bow (foc'sle) is one deck up from the main deck with a 2 story bridge on top of that, quite visible in the picture you supplied at the beginning.
To get large waves on to hatch number 1 the captain would have to order the helmsman to open the bridge windows and open the back door himself to let the waves pass tru to get to hatch # 1, that is a highly unlikely scenario!
in that sense Lakers are much safer than ocean going shelterdeckers without a raised foc'sle. many container ships had to add a "Berlin Wall" just aft of the foc'sle so as to not have their container washed away...
Current designs: Again thousands of Offshore vessels as well as fishing vessels, tugs and river sea ships have a bridge forward design and even a extreme bridge forward design and very low decks in the case of tugs and offshore vessels, ditto for heavy lift ships.
Which gets me to the X-Bow, based on the Viking boat bow, its rather ugly (or not) but it works! alas I haven't found anyone interested in discussing it sofar. Nor have I been able to talk some of the coaster and fishing community members on SN into ordering one for their boat/ship.
I'd be willing to give it a shot, but my banker informed in no uncertain terms that there wasn't enough funds in my accountfor a bow, much less a ship behind it [=P]

And thats the way it goes :)

purserjuk
18th February 2007, 13:40
I know of two "Lakers" that went "deep-sea". They were as follows:
"OXFORD". Built 1923 by Swan Hunter, UK, as "Glenorvie" for Glen Line Ltd., Midland, Ontario. 1926 Sold to Canada Steamships, Montreal. Renamed "Oxford". Sold to Elder Dempster and employed on West African coal services. 1950 Stripped and scuttled off Lagos.
"KNOWLTON". Built 1992 by Frazer Bruce, Three Rivers, Canada, as "N H Botsford" for Black River Shipping Co., Montreal. 1923 sold to Geo.Hall Coal & Shipping Co., Montreal. 1926 Sold to Canada Steamships, Montreal. Renamed "Knowlton. 1926 Sold to Elder Dempster and employed on the Port Harcourt - Takoradi coal service. 1951 Towed to UK and scrapped.

lakercapt
18th February 2007, 17:11
Laker with for'd pilothouse or aft pilothouse are VERY efficient vessels moving cargo or sailing through the system.
On a transit through the Welland Canal we had some passengers in the wheelhouse which I did not mimd as long as they kept in the background.
On smart guy asked how many crew members were involved in the transit.
I explained to him eight.
Master and wheelsman in the pilothouse
Mate and deckhand for'd
mate and deckhand aft
Engineer and oiler in engineroom.
Why do you have a crew of 22 them was his next question.
Cause I don't have time to do the cooking as well was my response.
Others though it funny but no more stupid questions!!!!

GEORDIE LAD
19th February 2007, 00:11
Living at Sault Ste.Marie ,ON ,I have been enjoying the back and forth on these quite formidable ships.Question...Why is this subject in the Ferries Forum ?.....Doug

Bearsie
20th February 2007, 22:42
Living at Sault Ste.Marie ,ON ,I have been enjoying the back and forth on these quite formidable ships.Question...Why is this subject in the Ferries Forum ?.....Doug

Not a clue, a mistake perhaps? I'd think they belong in the cargo section.
Although there are (or were) ferries on the Great Lakes.

bobby388
11th March 2007, 15:20
waterways you have started a thread as if you were reading my mind(honestly)i am fascinated by those Lakers never having been there(north America anyway)plenty on "you tube"type in ships horns its great anyway my question to the experts it looks like mail boats on the ships horns videosthat the big boats return a salute as they depart?? "superb" but what are the mail boats for surely must be quicker by road??(is it mail boats)theres also a sad one of a laker gettig towed to the breakers great music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBM7QNUMzH0
and magogman thanks for the boatnerd site i know ill get an answer soon thanks guys Bobby(Glasgow)

lakercapt
11th March 2007, 17:23
Bobby
There is only one mail boat in operation during the navigation season (Will be starting soon as some crews have been called back for fitout on March 17th which is very early)
That mail boat is J.W.Westcott II and is based in Detroit. It delivers mail to ships passing Detroit. They also use it for pilot change for "Salties".
Another place that lake boats can get their mail is in the Soo locks as there is a marine post office there.
The whistle salute is one long and two short blasts or a really big one can be one long and three short.
When in the rivers we used to indicate our intentions when approaching another vessel on the whistle by one blast pass port to port or two whistles starboard to starboard.
That is now of these things that is becoming rare as the traffic centre informs you of all vessels in the vacinity and in tight spots the person in charge in the pilothouse calls the other vessel and arranges passing place.
THe radio conversation might be Canadian Leader to Joe Blough one whistle pass.
The reply if they agree would be roger one whistle.
Hope this explains some of the things that go on up there.

Bruce Carson
11th March 2007, 17:54
Bobby, a couple of pictures of the Wescott appeared on a previous posting:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=2143&highlight=mail+pail

Bruce C

bobby388
11th March 2007, 19:40
thanks for that Capt.& Bruce so are you saying it was mail for the passing ships or??on some you tube videos the laker was discharging mail surely road would be quicker if it was consumer mail?? Bobby

Bruce Carson
11th March 2007, 21:18
Bobby, the boat delivers mail addressed to the crew that has been sent through the US mail with the Wescott's address on it. The boat acts like a postman delivering the mail.
It also picks up any personal mail from the crew and delivers it to the regular US Post Office for onward delivery through the normal Post Office delivery service.
If I mailed a letter in the UK with a crew member's name and ship on it and the Wescott company's address on it, it would be processed by the UK Postal authorities, then the US Postal authorities and it would be delivered to the mail boat by the US Post Office. The mail boat would take the mail out to meet the ship on its next trip on the Detroit River and deliver that mail.
It's probably lost some of its importance now as there are electronic methods of keeping in touch, but for years it was about the only sure way to receive mail on the Lakes. Every ship, upbound, downbound, American, Canadian or foreign was assured of their mail being delivered if it was addressed to the Wescott company and the ship was scheduled to pass along the Detroit River.

Bruce C

bobby388
11th March 2007, 22:36
Bobby, the boat delivers mail addressed to the crew that has been sent through the US mail with the Wescott's address on it. The boat acts like a postman delivering the mail.
It also picks up any personal mail from the crew and delivers it to the regular US Post Office for onward delivery through the normal Post Office delivery service.
If I mailed a letter in the UK with a crew member's name and ship on it and the Wescott company's address on it, it would be processed by the UK Postal authorities, then the US Postal authorities and it would be delivered to the mail boat by the US Post Office. The mail boat would take the mail out to meet the ship on its next trip on the Detroit River and deliver that mail.
It's probably lost some of its importance now as there are electronic methods of keeping in touch, but for years it was about the only sure way to receive mail on the Lakes. Every ship, upbound, downbound, American, Canadian or foreign was assured of their mail being delivered if it was addressed to the Wescott company and the ship was scheduled to pass along the Detroit River.

Bruce C

Thanks Bruce crystal clear mate Regards Bobby

deerwaring
16th March 2007, 12:14
Hi there Lakers,
I was really interested in this thread as I sailed on a Norwegian general Cargo vessel the TAUTRA chartered by the Cunard Lakes Service back in 1964, We sailed from London to Montreal, up the St Lawrence through the Welland to Rochester NY, Hamilton Ont. Windsor/Detroit, Milwaukee and Chicago. I have a series of pics approaching the Catherine locks; if anyone wants I can Email them. We lay in Thorold for some days once and could hear Niagara not far away. Main thing I remember about that place was the sheriff picking us up for drinking in public.
Definately a different area to sail in and very pretty through Lake St Clair in summer. We were always out before the ice. We once had a steering telemotor failure inthe St Lawrence upstream from Montreal and ran aground at about eight knots despite letting go both anchors. By heaving away on the windlass, aided by a tug, we got off the soft mud with no damage. Iv'e also found postcard pics of the laker "Scott Misener" and an aerial view of Port Colbourne. Can Email them on too. We used to lay at University Pier in Chicago part of the campus was located. Can recall friendly, leggy,and tanned co-eds. Ah... the memories.

Keith Adams
19th March 2007, 09:14
I was working Navy Pier in Chicago and Inner Harbour in Milwaukee 1963-1965
during your time... the University had the North side and all stevedoring was
on the South side. We had a public walkway/promenade along the shed roof
which could be distracting at times! The entire pier is now a holiday entertainment centre and amusement park and all shipping went to the Calumet
River area (95th Street etc).Snowy

lakercapt
19th March 2007, 16:02
Deerwaring.
You mentioned that when you were in Thorold you heard Niagara Falls.
A couple of years ago I had an ex shipmate over from Scotland on vacation.
He told me the same story.
I took him to Thorold and we heard the "Falls"
Alas I hate to disillusion you as what you heard was the water going over the spillway in the canal.
Having done many canal transits (in the hundreds) I know that its not our famous falls.
We the drove to the "Falls' and he was then aware there was no way you can hear them from that distance.
Sorry to have given you the news but you are not the only person that has told that story.
Like the "tooth Fairy and easter bunny" alas a myth. Now Santa, thats another story.
Bill

janbonde
19th March 2007, 22:52
The mail boat was sunk while servicing the Sidsel Knutsen in October 2001 with the loss of the Captain who was a young female about 40yrs and a deckhand, the two exchange pilots on board were not seriously injured.The boat was recovered and back in sevice the next year.