Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sad days for the John Sherwin

Flying down the ship channel from Sault Ste. Marie a couple of weeks back, I overflew this old steamer tied up in an out-of-the-way mooring just outside of De Tour, Mi.
I orbited her a couple of times and took some pictures, but other than peg her as an Interlakes boat by her color scheme and the marking on her stack, I couldn't conclusively identify her until I got home and used the computer to clean up the pictures.
She's the John Sherwin.
Built in 1958 as a 710ft. long coal-fired straight-decker, she was lengthened to 806 feet during the 1972/73 layup when she was also converted to an oil-burner.
Poor gal's been laid up in storage in various ports since 1981 other than a short stint as a grain storage barge on Lake Michigan. Interlakes keeps talking about converting her to a self-unloader and re-powering her with new diesels but it hasn't happened yet and by the looks of it, it won't be happening any time soon.
A close-up of her stern shows that her screw's been removed.
This former "Queen of the Lakes" deserves a better fate than a scrapper's torch or rotting away in this backwater. Hell, I'll take her if they don't want her. Just need about 810 feet of dock space somewhere.


  1. Hmmm, at $10 a foot/mo, you're gonna need a SIGNIFICANT jump in income too!

    but you're right, it's sad to see...

  2. Anonymous10:17 PM

    No one cares about the history of anything.
    It is sad to see her rotting away of cut up for scrap.

  3. Houseboat! :)

    Or, condos. Really big condos, with their own internal boat docks, and car garages. And a variable zip code, perhaps...

  4. Tough to choose between an 810ft lake boat, or a Cessna-02.

    Wait a minute...

    You could build a landing strip for the Cessna ON. THE. BOAT.

  5. I'm thinking there might be some conflict with the condo people if it has a flight deck added. Or, maybe not. Hmmm, wonder what an old carrier would cost? Might be easier to start with that. Any old jeep type carriers still in mothballs? Probably all angle deck types at this point.