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Two vessels visit to close out month

SAMUEL HANKINSON • Sep 6, 2017 at 2:00 PM

As expected, Port City’s articulated tug/barge Bradshaw McKee/St. Mary’s Conquest came in late on Tuesday night with a cargo of cement for the terminal in Ferrysburg.

They were tied up for nearly 24 hours. On Wednesday night, the pair backed out.

Interlake Steamship Company’s motor vessel Kaye E. Barker had arrived offshore around twilight and anchored, waiting for the McKee/Conquest to depart.

Once the tug/barge was clear, the Barker came in. The ship brought in a cargo of stone for the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg.

Since the St. Mary’s Cement dock and Verplank’s are both in Ferrysburg, both ships could not be in port at the same time, based on where the Barker had to unload.

The Barker unloaded and backed out before done. It was the fourth visit of the season for the ship. The McKee/Conquest have seven trips on the season, but haven’t visited since the end of June.

The Conquest was built in 1937 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, as the tanker Red Crown. The Red Crown was 465.25 feet long, with a beam of 55.25 feet and a depth of 25.5 feet. It was renamed the Amoco Indiana in 1962 and ceased operations for Amoco Oil Company in 1982. Bay Shipbuilding at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, converted it to a cement-carrying barge in 1987. It now measures 437 feet, 6 inches long, 55 feet wide and 28 feet deep with a capacity of 8,500 tons.

The tug Bradshaw McKee is the former Hannah Marine tug Susan W. Hannah which originally pushed the St. Mary’s Conquest. It was built in 1971 and rebuilt in 1994, and refitted for its present duty in 2010. It measures 121 feet, 6 inches by 34 feet, 6 inches, by 18 feet, 2 inches and is diesel powered. In its 41 years it has had five names. It was built as the Lady Elda by Toche Enterprises Inc. at Ocean Springs, Mississippi, named the Kings Challenger shortly thereafter, then became the ITM #1, and then Kings Challenger again, and then Susan W. Hannah in 1986.

Through the month of August, there have been 65 cargoes delivered to Grand Haven. This is a 12 percent increase when compared to last season and a 37 percent increase based on data from the last five years. Sixteen different ships, 12 American-flagged and four Canadian-flagged, have called on the port so far this season. The Wilfred Sykes leads all visitors with 13, and the Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 are next with 10.

The Kaye E. Barker is expected to return to Grand Haven within the next week.

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