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Sykes again

Samuel Hankinson/Ships Log • Nov 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM

One ship visited Grand Haven in the past week, and it was the same one that stopped in the week before.

Tuesday afternoon, Central Marine Logistics’ steam-powered Wilfred Sykes arrived with a cargo of slag for Meekoff’s D&M on Harbor Island.

As touched on last week, the Sykes is Grand Haven’s most frequent visitor. It has made 19 trips into our port so far this year. Last season it had 26.

In other news around the Great Lakes, Algoma Central Corp.’s new self-unloading vessel Algoma Niagara arrived in Canada this past week. The ship was built overseas at the Yangzijiang Shipyard in China and is one of Algoma’s new Equinox-class ships.

It’s the fifth ship in this class to enter service for Algoma. The other four are the Algoma Equinox, Algoma Harvester, G3 Marquis and Algoma Strongfield. Those four ships are all bulk carriers, which means that they do not have any self-unloading equipment onboard and must be unloaded via shoreside machinery. The Algoma Niagara is the first ship in the Equinox class that is a self-unloader.

All these new ships entering service are part of Algoma’s fleet renewal program. Since 2009, Algoma has introduced six new ships into their fleet. In that same time frame, they have also sold 17 ships for scrap, with several more expected to follow in the next few years. New ships are nice, but that means that older ships will be sent to scrap.

Canadian ships tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to American ships, because Canadian ships frequently pass through the locks of the Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway as part of their trade routes. Additionally, Canadian ships spend time on saltwater when they venture out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Traversing many locks and sailing in saltwater wears on a ship.

For American ships, the only lock they have to worry about is the Soo Locks, and American ships mainly stay in freshwater and don’t normally go past Lake Ontario.

Verplank’s has several ships on schedule, but it’s hard to predict when they will be arriving due to weather being unpredictable.

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