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Sykes, Calumet visit Grand Haven

Sam Hankinson/Ships Log • Aug 22, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Grand Haven received three cargoes in the past week.

First, the Wilfred Sykes came in early Thursday morning and delivered a cargo of slag to the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg. The Sykes departed mid-morning.

We saw two ships visit Monday. A few hours before daybreak, Grand River Navigation’s self-unloading motor vessel Calumet arrived in port to deliver a load of stone to the Verplank dock. The Calumet was finished unloading and backed out to Lake Michigan before 9 a.m.

Later in the day, the Sykes returned to Grand Haven with another load of slag, this time for Meekhof’s D&M. The Sykes was in and out under the cover of darkness, long gone by morning.

This was the Calumet’s second visit of the season, so I’ll go over its history in this article.

It was built as the William R. Roesch in 1973 by American Shipbuilding of Lorain, Ohio. Managed by Kinsman Marine Transit, it was named in honor of the president of Jones and Laughlin Steel Co. Mr. Roesch eventually became president of the U.S. Steel Corp. He died in 1983.

In 1995, the Roesch wound up in the Oglebay Norton fleet and was rechristened as the David Z. Norton.

In 2007, the Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Co. purchased the Norton and shortened its name to David Z. During this time, it was operated by Lower Lakes Transportation. 2008 saw Lower Lakes Transportation purchase the vessel and rename it the Calumet after the Calumet River in Chicago. The Calumet replaced an older vessel of the same name in the fleet. 

The Calumet is 630 feet long; 68 feet, 2 inches wide; and 36 feet, 11 inches deep. It has a capacity of 19,500 tons, with an unloading boom 260 feet long. The Calumet is powered by two 5,600-horsepower Alco 16V251E diesel engines that allow the vessel to operate at a speed of 16.1 knots. Additionally, it is equipped with a bow thruster.

We may see the Kaye E. Barker at Verplank’s in the next week or so.

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