Friday, October 03, 2014

SS Calumet

So I really couldn't come up with anything interesting to write about, but then I remembered these pics that I took of a lake freighter taking on cargo in Sandusky, Ohio back in August.
It's the SS Calumet, presently owned and operated by the Grand River Navigation Company. First launched in 1973, she's 630 feet long and has a cargo capacity of just under 20,000 tons.
That self-unloading boom that she's raised to get it out of the way of the loading gear in 260 feet long and can unload 5,000 tons of ore an hour.
I just happened to by flying by, and the camera was handy, so I made an orbit or two to snap a few shots.
For power, she has two V-16 Deisels putting out 2,800 horsepoer each, in addition to a 1,000 horsepower bow thruster that moves the bow laterally, allowing it to maneuver without the need for a tug.
The paint could use a touch-up, but the's still a good-looking boat.
Not much else I can say, so just enjoy the pics. Every year, there are fewer lake freighters than the year before, and most of the old classics are gone or on the way out.


  1. Looks like the crew is 'trying' to keep her up. But that is a ton of work for a short crewed freighter.

    1. Sadly, most of the Great Lakes fleet looks like that today due to downsized crews and shortages of money. Pity, because I can remember when every Laker out there was squared away and looking sharp because pride and prestige mattered more back then and shipping companies kept their boats up just for the bragging rights if nothing else. Now they all look like hell and no one cares. Sad.

  2. Anonymous8:06 PM

    Is it just me, or does she look to be lower in the water at her stern?


    1. She does. Probably loaded stern holds first. The rear hatch covers are already secured, so those holds are probably full already.

  3. The two ships I used to work on were always neat as a pin when Boeing ran the place.

    After the Rooskies took over, regular maintenance dropped way off, and we began to see rust bubbles on the decks and bulkheads, and even small things like a burned out bulb would take a couple of days to get fixed, rather than being done the same day.

    The last day I was there I was saying goodbye to the Captain, and he told me they'd cut his onboard staff from 47 people to 20.

    It's all about the Benjamins, no matter where you sail!

  4. Hey, this is unrelated to this post (well, maybe metal fatigue?) but there is a video that is a couple clicks forward from Tam's anchor re-fit post on cnn (lower-case on purpose) it is a video about a guy who had his prop disintegrate at 13,000ft above Saratoga, CA. You might have to google it. Thought it might be of interest especially for a fellow pilot.

  5. One of the reasons that the growing number of boats being turned into Articulated Tug and Barge's is that there are less crew required.
    I think it is two or three less crewman than a boat or ships crew.