Port City Marine’s articulated tug/barge Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest arrived in port last Wednesday with a load of cement for the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg. The pair left town shortly before sunset Thursday.
On Friday morning, Pere Marquette Shipping’s articulated tug/barge Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 arrived with a load of stone for the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg. The stone cargo was loaded at Cedarville, which is in the Upper Peninsula between St. Ignace and Drummond Island. The pair was one of the first ships to use this dock for the season. Other quarries around the Great Lakes are starting to load out vessels, as well.
The duo was backing out to Lake Michigan by late evening.
Since this is their first time in port for the season, I will run down the histories of the Bradshaw McKee and St. Mary’s Conquest.
The Conquest is managed by Port City Marine Services of Muskegon, while the tug is owned and operated by Port City Tug Inc., also of Muskegon. The Conquest was built in 1937 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, as the tanker Red Crown. The Red Crown was 465.25 feet long, with a beam of 55.25 feet, and a depth of 25.5 feet. It was renamed the Amoco Indiana in 1962, and ceased operations for the Amoco Oil Co. in 1982.
In 1987, the vessel was converted to a cement-carrying barge at Bay Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. After the conversion, its new dimensions were 437 feet, 6 inches long; 55 feet wide; and 28 feet deep; with a capacity of 8,500 tons.
The tug Bradshaw McKee is the former Hannah Marine tug Susan W. Hannah. It was built in 1971 and rebuilt in 1994, and refitted for its present duty in 2010. It measures 121 feet, 6 inches by 34 feet, 6 inches by 18 feet, 2 inches; and is diesel powered. In its 41 years it has had five names. It was built as the Lady Elda by Toche Enterprises Inc. at Ocean Springs, Mississippi; named the Kings Challenger shortly thereafter; then became the ITM No. 1; then Kings Challenger again; and the Susan W. Hannah in 1986.
In 2014, the Bradshaw McKee was modified in Muskegon, where Port City added a raised pilothouse to the tug.
I’d like to share the status of two past Grand Haven visitors: the Algowood and Capt. Henry Jackman of Algoma Central Corp. Both vessels recently had their names shortened at the Port of Montreal to Gowo and Enry, respectively. This action is something that happens to vessels right before a scrap tow. In the coming weeks, a tugboat will come to take these ships overseas for dismantling.
Both of these vessels last visited Grand Haven during the 2015-16 season. They were regular visitors in the 1990s and early 2000s.
We should be seeing the Undaunted/Pere Marquette again soon, as they are scheduled back at the Verplank dock two more times in the next week or so.