American Century
IMO 7923196

Upbound in the St. Marys River, May 2014.
(Roger LeLievre)


The self-unloading bulk carrier American Century was built by Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, WI, and was launched as Columbia Star on November 8, 1980 for Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton Co., Cleveland, OH. She is powered by four V-20 cylinder 3,560 horsepower G.M. diesel engines driving through a gear reduction box to two controllable pitch propellers giving her a rated service speed of 15 knots. She is equipped with both bow and stern thrusters. The American Century has 37 hatches feeding into seven holds where she is capable of carrying 78,850 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 34 feet. Her stern-mounted 260-foot self-unloading boom can be swung 92 degrees to port or starboard and can discharge at a rate of up to 10,000 tons per hour.

The Columbia Transportation Co. corporate name was phased out in 1994 resulting in the Columbia Star's stack paint scheme changing to that of Oglebay Norton, with the Oglebay Norton logo placed on her bow beneath her name. The vesselís activity has generally been focused on the coal trade from the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal dock in Superior, WI, to the DTE power plants in St. Clair and Monroe, MI. She has also taken coal from Superior, WI, to Muskegon, MI, and taconite from Taconite Harbor, MN to Lorain, OH. The Columbia Star broke a Soo Locks record for western coal of 70,903 net tons set in 1997.

On June 6, 2006, in a joint announcement made with American Steamship Co. of Williamsville, NY, Oglebay Norton Co. announced the sale of the Columbia Star and five of her fleetmates to American Steamship Co. (ASC) for $120 million. With the sale came the new name of American Century, under which she continues to sail for ASC.


Written by George Wharton.



Ship Particulars
Length 1000' 00" (304.8m)
Beam 105' 00" (32.0m)
Depth 56' 00" (17.07m)
Midsummer Draft 34' 00" (10.36m)
Unloading Boom Length 250' (76.2m)
Capacity 80,900 tons
Engine Power 14,400 bhp diesel
Previous Names
Columbia Star 1980 - 2006
American Century 2006 - Today

 


Columbia Star 1980 - 1994
(Columbia Transportation Division)

Under sea trials, 1980.
(Peter Worden collection)

Downbound in the St. Marys River.
(Peter Worden collection)

Downbound at Mission Pt., April 1985.
(Matt Miner collection)

Downbound under the Blue Water Bridge, Sept. 16, 1986.
(Marc Dease)

Loading ore in Taconite Harbor, Sept. 8, 1990.
(Mike Cleary)

Columbia Star 1994 - 2006
(Oglebay Norton Marine)

Wheelhouse, July 1994.
(Jason LaDue)

Cadet's stateroom.
(Jason LaDue)

Passing Amherstburg, April 13, 2001.
(Don Coles)

Another angle.
(Don Coles)

Turning for the Recor Edison Power Plant, May 5, 2001.
(Don Coles)

Duluth Harbor, Aug. 20, 2001.
(Al Miller)

Another view, May 13, 2001.
(Al Miller)

Departing Duluth, June 5, 2001.
(Rob Farrow)

Stern view in Duluth, Oct. 1, 2001.
(Gordon A. Williams)

Loading ore in Escanaba, Oct. 16, 2001.
(Dick Lund)

Bow view.
(Dick Lund)

View from the ore dock.
(Dick Lund)

Upbound in the St. Clair River, May 9, 2002.
(Andy Severson)

Unloading at Zug Island, May 22, 2002.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Inbound Duluth, June 8, 2002.
(Al Miller)

Coming across Muskegon Lake.
(Steve Vanden Bosch)

Nicolet Ranges on the St. Marys River, 2002.
(Paul Beesley)

Above the Soo Locks, Dec. 27, 2002.
(Roger LeLievre)

Upbound at Grassy Island in the Detroit River, Aug. 25, 2004.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

       
American Century 2006 - Today
(American Steamship Co.)

In the Rock Cut, June 2006.
(Jake & Stephanie Weaver)

St. Clair River, June 14, 2006.
(Wade P. Streeter)

Stern view.
(Wade P. Streeter)

Downbound at Marysville, May 18, 2008.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Clear of the Soo Locks with the tour boat Bide-a-Wee passing, July 26, 2008.
(Blake Kishler)

Stern view.
(Blake Kishler)

Downbound in Port Huron, Aug. 5, 2008.
(Bruce Hurd)

Tied up near the Buffalo in Sturgeon Bay, March 2, 2009.
(Danny Hecko)

Out of the drydock with a fresh coat of blakc paint, March 27, 2009.
(Dick Lund)

St. Marys Challenger tied along side, April 9, 2009.
(Dick Lund)

Backing into the Cobb Power Plant in Muskegon, June 21, 2009.
(Greg Barber)

Loading the first cargo of the season at SMET in Superior, April 1, 2010.
(Travis Chadwick)

Laid up in Sturgeon Bay, Aug. 8, 2011.
(Dick Lund)

Walter J. McCarthy Jr., American Integrity and American Century.
(Dick Lund)

Close up of the bows.
(Dick Lund)

Coming off Lake Huron at Port Huron, June 9, 2012.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Another view.
(Matt Miner)

Coming off Lake Huron at Buoys 1 & 2 with the Herbert C. Jackson in the distance, Aug. 8, 2012.
(Marc Dease)

Loading ore in Duluth, Oct. 14, 2012.
(Nick Stenstrup)

Departing Duluth, Oct. 14, 2012.
(Nick Stenstrup)

Stern view.
(Nick Stenstrup)

Inbound at the Saginaw River Front Range, Nov. 19, 2013.
(Todd Shorkey)

Clear of the Soo Locks upbound, April 12, 2015.
(David Kaye)

Upbound below the Blue Water Bridge, Nov. 17, 2015.
(Matt Miner)

Turning for the bridge.
(Matt Miner)

Bow on view in Port Huron, June 8, 2013.
(Matt Miner)

Finished with the turn.
(Matt Miner)

Heading into Lake Huron.
(Matt Miner)

Upbound in the St. Marys River, May 2014.
(Roger LeLievre)

Stern view.
(Roger LeLievre)

Fueling at Mistersky's at dusk, July 15, 2015.
(Matt Miner)

Rounding Whitefish Point downbound, June 28, 2016.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

First trip throught the Soo for the season, March 25, 2017.
(Matt Miner)

Close up of the stern.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

   

 


More pictures from our archives

  Click here for
Columbia Star
  Click here for
American Century
 

 


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