Edgar B. Speer

Meet the Edgar B. Speer. She is another beauty of the Great Lakes. She was built in Ohio and launched in 1980. She is another one of the Great Lakes' 1,000 footers. She belongs to United States Steel Co. out of Duluth, MN. She can carry 73,700 tons of cargo during her mid-summer draft. She is equipped with a unique self-unloading system and can only be serviced in Gary, IN and Conneaut, OH. These are the only two ports that can accommodate her unloading system. 

-Picture and information gathered from http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/speer.htm on November 20, 2013. 
 
Stewart J. Cort

Stewart J. Cort is a Great Lake Freighter and was constructed in 1970. She was the first 1,000 footer freighter built. An interesting fact is she was built in Mississippi. She was cut apart and then brought to Pennsylvania where her two sides were reconnected. She was named after Stewart J. Cort, who was a vice-president of Bethlehem Steel. 

Cort is the only freighter who has her pilot house in the front of the ship. She is a self-unloading ship, but uses a unique unloading system. This, however, means she can only visit certain ports that can accommodate her unique unloading system. 

-Info and picture taken from http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/cort.htm on November 21, 2013. 
 
MV Paul R. Tregurtha

Meet the MV Paul R. Tregurtha. She is another one of the Great Lake bulk freighters. She was designed by the American Ship Building Company to carry iron ore from the many Lake Superior ports to Republic Steel Mill at Indiana Harbor. She was also designed to carry passengers. So not only was she was equipped to carry cargo, but she was also one of the first freighters to carry passengers which meant elevators, air conditioning, and fancy decor. 


Paul R. Tregurtha was launched in February 4, 1981 as the William J. De Lancey and took her first voyage in May 1981. Her name was changed to the Paul R. Tregurtha in May 1990 after the Republic Steel contract was terminated. She is still sailing the Great Lakes today and is known as the "Queen of the Lakes" because she is the largest operating ship on the Great Lakes currently. She was last of the 1,000 footers (13 ships total) created by the American Ship Building Company as well as was their last and final ship ever built. 


Today she carries iron ore and coal throughout the Great Lakes region. She currently holds the record for the most cargo tonnage to pass through the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, MI with 3,004,957 net tons set back in 2001. The Soo Locks are channels that help ships change depths in order to sail from the St. Mary's River to Lake Superior or from Lake Superior to the St. Mary's River. 



If she looks familiar, it's because she was showcased on the Discovery Channel's series "Mighty Ships". 

Information and Picture taken from wikipedia.org on November 16, 2013. 
 
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Picture courtesy of.... http://www.flickr.com/photos/jterry618/4790421240/
SS Arthur M. Anderson

Meet the SS Arthur M. Anderson. She is probably the second most famous of the Great Lake Freighters. What makes her famous you ask? Well, if you have ever heard the tales of the most famous Great Lake Freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald, then you probably have heard about the Arthur M. Anderson. 

This beautiful ship was sailing near the Edmund Fitzgerald on November 10, 1975 when the Edmund sank in Lake Superior. They were the last ship to have radio contact with the Edmund crew. The captain and crew sailed this very ship back out into danger to look for the Edmund and to look for any sailors who may have survived. Sadly, they didn't find any survivors. 

Today, the Arthur M. Anderson is still sailing the Great Lakes. She is an American ship owned and operated by Great Lakes Fleet, Inc. She was built by the American Ship Building Company and was launched into the Great Lakes in 1952. She is a Laker Cargo ship and can hold 25,300 tons. She is 767 ft. in length and weighs 26,525 gross tonnage. Her Beam is 70 ft and her draft is 36 ft. When she was built, she was the second of eight other AAA class of Lake Freighter. 

SS Arthur M. Anderson is a true Great Lake beauty. Next time you are around one the upper great lakes, keep an eye out for her. 

Information taken from wikipedia.org on November 16, 2013. 
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Picture taken from.... http://duluthshippingnews.com/2013/04/18/as-i-saw-the-port-on-april-13-2013/
 
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Freighters or ships of the Great Lakes are called "Lakers". This is a picture of the iconic ship "Edmund Fitzgerald" that sank back in 1975 on Lake Superior.
Lakers
Ships of the Great Lakes are also known as "Lakers". One of my favorite things to do when visiting the Great Lakes is to watch for freighters sailing the open water. Lakers are such a large part of our history and our culture here in Michigan. They help our economy keep moving and transport our natural resources to other places along the Great Lakes. After living in the U.P. in a mining community, it's hard not to develop a true understanding of what those freighters mean for the people of this Great State. 
  

Here is some more information on those marvelous freighters that we simply call "Lakers." 


Great Lake vessels carry bulk cargoes. These cargoes often include one of our many natural resources. This includes coal, limestone, iron ore, grain, or salt. They transport many of these goods from the mine to a mill where the goods are transformed into something useful for us. 


Lakers can vary in size. The largest of the fleets are 1,000 footers. Because of their size, they are confined to only traveling the upper Great Lakes; Superior, Erie, Michigan and Huron. They are too massive to fit through the St. Lawrence Sea Way. However, smaller freighters are able to make the voyage from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic along the St. Lawrence Seaway. 

The Great Lakes shipping season begins in March and ends in January. Ships are taken in for repairs while the crewman join land life once again. This is the time when the mariners get to spend time with their families and friends. 


Since Lakers are confined to only the Great Lakes and her fresh water, ships are able to remain in service much longer than Ocean ships. The salt water reeks havoc on the ships metals which in turn creates shorter life spans. 

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This is a picture of "Salties" or Ocean Vessels. If you look at this picture and the picture above, you can see dramatic differences between the "Salties" and the "Lakers". Both pictures were taken from Wikipedia.
Just a little info on the Ocean Vessels.... 


Salties 

Ocean vessels are known as "Salties" around the Great Lakes region. They earned this nickname because they come visiting the Great Lakes from the salt filled oceans. Only certain ships can make the travel from the Atlantic Ocean, along the St. Lawrence Seaway, and into the Great Lakes. Salties have different dimensions than many of the Great Lakes freighters. Larger Ocean vessels do not travel to the Great Lakes because of their additional beam, much like the larger Lakers do not travel to the Atlantic. A ships size determines whether or not they can make the voyage because of the size restrictions of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Salties often visit to pick up loads from Great Lakes ports to take out to Atlantic Ocean ports. However, they are only able to take a partial load while sailing through the Great Lakes because of their deeper draft and lower buoyancy in the Great Lakes fresh water. They will then fill up the rest of their load after departing the St. Lawrence Seaway


Information taken from Wikipedia.org on November 15th, 2013.
Picture
Taken from Great-lakes.net.