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Barker delivers week's lone cargo

By Sam Hankinson/Ships Log • Nov 22, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Grand Haven only received one cargo last week.

On Nov. 16, Interlake Steamship’s self-unloading motor vessel Kaye E. Barker arrived with a cargo of stone for Verplank’s dock in Ferrysburg. The Barker unloaded and backed out later in the day.

The Barker has visited Grand Haven nine times this year. This was its last trip into our port for the season.

It was built in 1952 as the steamship Edward B. Greene by the American Shipbuilding Co. for the Cleveland Cliffs Steamship Co. It was lengthened 120 feet in 1976 at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin. In 1985, it was sold to the Ford Motor Co. and renamed the Benson Ford. Ford’s ships were sold to Interlake Steamship in 1989 and, in 1990, the Benson Ford was renamed the Kaye E. Barker. It is named for Kaye Elizabeth Barker, the wife of Interlake Steamship’s current chairman, James Rex Barker.

The Barker was repowered to a diesel engine in 2012. Currently, it is powered by two Rolls-Royce Bergen diesel engines rated at 8,160 shaft horsepower. It also has a bow thruster.

It is 767 feet long, 70 feet wide and 36 feet deep. It is the largest ship to visit Grand Haven this season.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd.’s self-unloading motor vessel Michipicoten was anchored off Milwaukee, seeking shelter from poor weather conditions on Lake Michigan. The Michipicoten is scheduled for Verplank’s dock in Ferrysburg as early as today.

Also to report, Central Marine Logistics’ steamship Wilfred Sykes has entered layup early in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, due to nagging boiler issues.

The Sykes’ fleetmate, Joseph L. Block, is tentatively scheduled to take the place of the Sykes on slag cargoes into Grand Haven. The Block is larger than the Sykes and has not visited Grand Haven since the early 2000s.

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