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GH's port keeps busy

By Sam Hankinson/Ships Log • Sep 27, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Three ships visited Grand Haven in the past week.

As expected, Pere Marquette Shipping’s articulated tug/barge Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 came in shortly after midnight Wednesday with a load of stone for Verplank’s dock in Ferrysburg.

Over the weekend, Port City Marine’s articulated tug/barge Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest brought in a full load of cement for the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg.

The Kaye E. Barker should be in port today (Wednesday, Sept. 27). It has a cargo of stone for Verplank’s.

The Barker left the dock at Port Inland on Tuesday, and the Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 took its place at the dock. They are loading for Grand Haven, as well, so keep watch for them.

In addition, the St. Marys Conquest is due to return to the cement terminal this weekend.

The name of Port Inland confused me for the longest time. The dock is not inland at all, so the name doesn’t make sense. I learned this summer that the name comes from Inland Steel, the former owner of the Wilfred Sykes. The Sykes is probably Port Inland’s most frequent visitor, so it makes sense.

The Kaye E. Barker made three visits to Grand Haven last year. So far this season it has twice that amount, with today’s visit being the sixth of the season. It’s the largest ship to call on the port at 767 feet long, 70 feet wide and 36 feet deep.

The Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 is the second-most frequent visitor to Grand Haven, with 11 visits so far, not counting the pair’s expected trip later this week.

The Pere Marquette 41 was built in 1941 as the car ferry City of Midland 41. It sailed between Michigan and Wisconsin with passengers and freight cars for the Pere Marquette and C&O railroads. In those days, it looked very similar to the SS Badger, which currently sails between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The PM41 was idled in Ludington from 1988-97 as the need for ferries on the lakes declined. It was towed to Muskegon, where its deck cabins and steam engines were removed. It was then taken to Sturgeon Bay where a notch for a tug was installed.

The 41 was retained, but it was renamed Pere Marquette for its original owner, the Pere Marquette Railroad. It currently measures 403 feet long; 58 feet wide; and 23 feet, 6 inches deep. It is equipped with a bow thruster.

The tug Undaunted was built in 1944. It is diesel powered and 142 feet long, 33 feet wide and 18 feet deep. With the tug in the notch, these two vessels measure 493 feet, 6 inches in length.

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