Algowood
IMO 7910216

Downbound at the Ambassador Bridge, May 22, 2016.
(Neil Schultheiss)


The Great Lakes self-unloading bulk carrier Algowood was built by Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, ON, and was launched Oct. 7, 1980 for Algoma Central Corp., Sault Ste. Marie, ON. The Algowood was named in honor or her builder's community - the fifth and final vessel built there having that distinction. She was powered by two M.A.K. model 6M552 6-cylinder 5,100 horsepower diesel engines driving a single controllable pitch propeller that gave her a rated service speed of 13 knots. She was equipped with a 1,000 horsepower bow thruster. Her 22 hatches fed into 5 holds where she could carry 27,100 tons at maximum Seaway draft of 26 feet and was capable of carrying 32,253 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 30 feet 0 inches. The Algowood's self-unloading equipment consisted of a two-belt gravity system with a loop belt elevator feeding a stern-mounted 261-foot unloading boom that could be swung 90 degrees to port or starboard and discharge at a rate of up to 5,440 tons/hour. Built with a bulbous bow for operating in ice, the Algowood could sail early or late into the navigation season and was at home on coastal waters as well as the Great Lakes.

Operating under the management of Seaway Marine Transport (partnership of Algoma Central and Upper Lakes Group), the Algowood's cargoes included coal/coke, aggregate, slag, iron ore/oxides, salt, fertilizers, grain products, gypsum, quartzite, or sand. Algowood opened the 1999 navigation season for Thunder Bay Terminals on April 9 by loading 26,401 metric tons of coal for Dofasco Inc., Hamilton, ON.

On June 1, 2000 at 11:30 p.m., Algowood encountered serious structural problems while loading stone at Bruce Mines, ON. The hull buckled and split just forward of midship due to improper loading. Since she was moored at the time, she settled on the harbor bottom with 15 feet of her hull remaining above water. The vesselís master immediately activated the Algoma Ship Management Emergency Response Plan. There were no injuries to the crew and no risk of pollution (though all precautions were taken including the deploying of a containment boom). With the assistance of Purvis Marine, the Algowood was lightered and temporary repairs were made. Algowood departed Bruce Mines on July 10, 2000 with the assistance of McKeil Marine tugs Carrol C 1 (lead tug) and Bonnie B. III (trail tug). They took the Algowood through to Thorold, ON where the smaller tugs Progress, Seahound, and Vac took over, taking the disabled vessel through the Welland Canal locks to Port Weller Dry Docks where the permanent repairs were completed. The repair costs were estimated at $5 million. These repairs included replacing 30 feet of damaged hull with a new 40-foot section, that increased her length to the new St. Lawrence Seaway maximum vessel length of 740 feet.

On April 15, 2002, Algowood again ran into trouble when she grounded in the St. Marys River in heavy fog. She was downbound below the Soo Locks traveling from Duluth with coal for Nanticoke, ON. The vessel grounded on the edge of the shipping channel off Mission Point, in an area lined by piles of heavy rocks. The stern of the Algowood blocked the shipping channel and the St. Marys River was closed to commercial traffic. The follow morning flooding had been brought under control and the Algowood was moved by tugs to the Carbide Dock in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Fleetmate Algosoo arrived on April 18 and the Algowood offloaded the cargo of coal into the Algosoo. That evening the Algowood departed the dock, turned in the river and headed for the Soo Locks. She crossed Lake Superior to Thunder Bay where repairs were made at Pascol Engineering's dry dock. Work consisted of replacing a 70 foot by 8 foot section of hull. The Algowood was holed in the number 1 port side tank. The vessel also received large dents at the port side number 5 tank. On May 10 the Algowood was pulled from the dry dock, almost a month after the grounding took place.

She continued to serve the fleet until the end of the 2019 season, when she laid up for the last time at Montreal, QC. Under the shortened scrap name GOWO, she was towed from that port by the saltwater tug Diavlos Force to a scrapyard in Aliaga, Turkey, the following summer, where she arrived on June 11.


Written by George Wharton.



Ship Particulars
Length 740' 00" (225.55m)
Beam 75' 11" (23.14m)
Depth 46' 06" (14.17m)
Midsummer Draft 30' 0" (9.14m)
Unloading Boom Conveyor Length 261' (79.55m)
Capacity 32,253 tons
Engine Power 10,200 bhp diesel
Previous Names
Algowood 1980 - 2019
Gowo scrap tow

 


Algowood 1980 - Today
(Algoma Central Corp.)

Propeller and rudder.
(Alex Howard)

Bruce Mines loading accident. June 1, 2000.
(PB)

Damage to hull.
(PB)

Another view.
(PB)

Flooded cargo hold.
(PB)

Temporary repairs for the tow to Port Weller.
(PB)

Loading at Zug Island, June 24, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Loading salt in Windsor, July 5, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view
(Mike Nicholls)

On the Detroit River, Aug. 31, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Loading in Thunder Bay, Sept. 3, 2001.
(Rob Farrow)

Aground near Mission Pt., April 15, 2002.
(KH)

Arriving in Thunder Bay with tug assistance, April 20, 2002.
(Rob Farrow)

Heading for the dry dock in Thunder Bay.
(Rob Farrow)

Thunder Bay tug assist, May 9, 2002.
(Rob Farrow)

Mail delivery, April 10, 2003.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Mail by the pail.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Entering Lock 3 on the Welland Canal, April 25, 2003.
(Jeff Thoreson)

Half way in.
(Jeff Thoreson)

Stern view May 26, 2003.
(Mike Nicholls)

Heading towards Lock 2, Sept. 9, 2007.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Departing Lock 2, Sept. 9, 2007.
(Dave Wobser)

Backing into the Menominee River, Jan. 12, 2009.
(Scott Best)

Erika Kobasic clearing ice from the dock.
(Scott Best)

Unloading salt.
(Scott Best)

Departing the Menominee River past the North Pier Lighthouse.
(Scott Best)

Tied up for the winter in Sarnia along side the Peter R. Cresswell, Feb. 28, 2009.
(Matt Miner)

Close up of the bow.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view of the two.
(Matt Miner)

Close up of the sterns.
(Matt Miner)

Entering Hamilton Harbor, April 23, 2010.
(Eric Holmes)

Stern view.
(Eric Holmes)

Unloading iron ore at CSX Torco Dock from Seven Islands, June 19, 2010.
(Bob Vincent)

Another view.
(Bob Vincent)

Boom and pile of IOC ore.
(Bob Vincent)

Stern view.
(Bob Vincent)

G-Tug Kansas pulling Algowood through 5 bridges, April 17, 2011.
(Lou Gerard)

Kansas pulling Algowood through 92nd St. bend.
(Lou Gerard)

Downbound the Welland Canal below Lock 3, June 19, 2011.
(John McCreery)

Entering Hamilton Harbor, Sept. 6, 2013.
(John McCreery)

Downbound above the Soo Locks, May 21, 2015.
(David Kaye)

Downbound at Buoys 1 & 2 above Sarnia, May 22, 2016.
(Bill Bird)

Stern view.
(Bill Bird)

Downbound at the Ambassador Bridge, May 22, 2016.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Loading at the Cargill dock in Sarnia, Sept. 13, 2016.
(Kevin Majewski)

     
Gowo - scrap tow
(Turkish Breakers)

Diavlos Force passing Varennes with the former Algowood under tow, May 8, 2019.
(Rene Beauchamp)

Close up of the Gowo with the Ocean Echo II on the stern.
(Rene Beauchamp)

Close up of the bow.
(Rene Beauchamp)

Stern view of the scrap tow.
(Rene Beauchamp)

 

 


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