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PM 41 delivers on New Year's Eve

Sam Hankinson/Ships Log • Jan 3, 2019 at 7:00 AM

While the calendar has switched from 2018 to 2019, the shipping season continues in the port of Grand Haven.

On New Year's Eve, Pere Marquette Shipping’s articulated tug/barge Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 arrived with a load of slag for the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg. The cargo was loaded in Burns Harbor, Indiana.

The pair spent the final hours of 2018 in our port. They backed out before midnight and began the new year just south of Grand Haven in Holland, where the barge would take on a load of scrap metal at the Padnos dock.

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 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.

It 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.

When the conversion was complete, the barge was renamed Pere Marquette 41 for its original owner, the Pere Marquette Railroad. The 41 portion of its name was retained.

The barge 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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