Paul H. Townsend
IMO 5272050

Detroit River, Aug. 17, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)


This ship was built to meet the requirements of the U.S. Maritime Commission near the end of the Second World War for a smaller cargo vessel designed for short coastal runs on routes that did not call for fast ships. Designated as type "C1-M-AV1", this small cargo ship was built in 1945 at the Consolidated Steel Corp., Wilmington, CA as the yard's hull number 1328. Although launched in 1945 as the Hickory Coll, the vessel entered service in September of 1945 as the Coastal Delegate for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC under charter to and operated by the Southern Steamship Co. of Philadelphia. The Coastal Delegate's original overall dimensions were: 339' 04" (103.4m) loa x 50' 00" (15.24m) beam x 29' 00" (8.84m) depth; GRT 3,822, NRT 2,123, 6,020 ton capacity, displacing 8,375 tons . The vessel is powered by a single Nordberg TSM-216 slow turning, direct drive, 6 cylinder diesel engine originally rated at 1,750 b.h.p., later rated at 2,150 b.h.p., built by Nordberg Manufacturing Co., St. Louis. Burning marine diesel oil, the engine's power is fed to a single fixed pitch propeller.

On November 7, 1951; the Coastal Delegate was acquired by the Huron Transportation Co., Detroit (a subsidiary of the Huron Portland Cement Co.). During 1952, the vessel was converted to a self unloading cement carrier; the conversion being started at the Bethlehem Steel Co., Shipbuilding Division, Hoboken, NJ before being brought to the Great Lakes by the Mississippi River system where the conversion was completed in early 1953 by the Calumet Shipyard, Chicago. This self unloading system moves the cement by screw conveyors and can discharge at a rate of 536 tons per hour. Upon completion, the vessel's new tonnage figures became GRT 3,581, NRT 1,870, and 5,200 ton capacity.

The new cement carrier was christened Paul H. Townsend on April 30, 1953 at Detroit. The vessel's namesake, Mr. Paul Henson Townsend, was born December 19, 1889 and served as President and Chairman of Huron Portland Cement Co. He also served as director of Huron Cement, the Lake Carriers' Association, the Detroit Board of Commerce, and other esteemed organizations. Mr. Townsend died November 22, 1981.

During the 1957/58 winter lay up, the Paul H. Townsend was lengthened and rebuilt to her current dimensions by Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ashtabula. The rebuilding included the moving of the wheelhouse to its now familiar forward location. The new tonnage figures became GRT 4,302 and NRT 2,825. The Paul H. Townsend can carry 7,850 tons at her mid summer draft of 22' 2" (6.74m) in 6 holds. The original Nordberg diesel can move the vessel at a rated speed of 13.5 m.p.h. and the cement carrier is equipped with a bow thruster.

On May 15, 1959; the Townsend and her fleet mates came under the umbrella ownership of National Gypsum Co. sailing for Huron Cement Division, National Gypsum Co., Alpena following the acquisition of Huron Portland Cement by National Gypsum. About a year later, on May 20, 1960; the Paul H. Townsend was in collision with the British motor vessel Tynemouth 2 miles north of Port Huron in Lake Huron while in heavy fog. The Townsend was attempting to avoid an earlier collision between the August Ziesing and the Standard Portland Cement when the collision occurred.

In recent years, there have been only a couple of noted incidents. In January of 1999, the Paul H. Townsend received ice damage in the Strait of Mackinac after leaving Milwaukee bound for Alpena. On May 11, 2000; the vessel grounded in the Saginaw River while attempting to turn around. Strong currents resulting from heavy rains contributed to the Townsend ending up crosswise in the river blocking the channel. The cement carrier was freed with the assistance of tug Kurt Luedtke with no resulting damage.

The Paul H. Townsend is currently operated and managed by Inland Lakes Management, Inc., Alpena (affiliated with Andrie, Inc., Muskegon) being bareboat chartered from owners and sailing under a contract of affreightment with Lafarge Corp., Reston, VA to carry bulk cement and flyash between various loading ports to distribution terminals on the Great Lakes. Inland Lakes Management was formed in March of 1987 to operate and manage the Huron Cement (National Gypsum) fleet following the purchase of National Gypsum by Lafarge Corp. on January 1, 1987.

The Paul H. Townsend has often laid up for varying periods of time during the navigation seasons due to the fluctuating demands of the construction industry for which she serves. On December 15, 2005 however, the small cement carrier went into long-term lay up at Muskegon. Having received a fresh coat of paint in 2006 though, the Paul H. Townsend remained laid up at Muskegon serving at times as a cement storage barge. The only operating member of the Inland Lakes fleet now is the classic steamer Alpena. The cement cargoes are now being carried by Lafarge's new, efficient integrated tug/barge units.

After many years of inactivity, Paul H. Townsend was towed out of Muskegon, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 by the tug Barbara Andrie enroute to Port Colborne for scrapping. She arrived early on the morning of Sept. 11 at International Marine Salvage. The Townsend had been laid up at Muskegon since December 15, 2005..


Written by George Wharton.



Ship Particulars
Length 447' 00" (207.27m)
Beam 50' 00" (23.77m)
Depth 29' 00" (12.8m)
Midsummer Draft 27' 11" (8.51m)
Capacity 7,850 tons tons
Engine Power 2,150 bhp diesel
Previous Names
Paul H. Townsend 1953 - 2018
Coastal Delegate 1945 - 1953
Hickory Coll 1945 - 1945

 


On the east coast after being sold but before conversion, 1951.
(Peter Worden collection)

Undergoing conversion to a cement carrier at Hoboken, NJ in 1952. Notice wheelhouse resting on the foredeck before being refitted aft.
(Brian Wroblewski)

Christening day in Detroit, April 30, 1953.
(Marc Vander Meulen)

Fully loaded.
(Peter Worden collection)

 

Backing out of the Cuyahoga River with the tug California.
(Peter Worden collection)

Upbound in the Welland Canal approaching Lock 8.
(Peter Worden collection)

Upbound at Port Huron.
(Peter Worden collection)

Battling ice on the St. Clair River, Apr. 18, 1996.
(John Knecht)

St. Marys River, Aug. 1996.
(Mark Peabody)

Along side J. B. Ford in Chicago 1997.
(Gary Clark)

Detroit River, Aug. 17, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Saginaw River, Oct. 5, 2000.
(Todd Shorkey)

Heading for Bayship, Apr. 19, 2001.
(Orrin Royce)

Saginaw River, May 23, 2001.
(Todd Shorkey)

Saginaw River, May 23, 2001.
(Todd Shorkey)

Unloading in Detroit, June 16, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Milwaukee Lay-up, Jan. 2002.
(David French)

Muskegon, March 5, 2002.
(Scott Golin)

Bow view, March 5, 2002.
(Scott Golin)

Along side St. Crapo Green Bay, June 30, 2002.
(Scott Best)

Green Bay, June 30, 2002.
(Scott Best)

Green Bay, June 30, 2002.
(Scott Best)

Saginaw River, Dec. 5, 2002.
(Todd Shorkey)

Detroit River, May 28, 2003.
(Mike Nicholls)

Saginaw River, June 15, 2003.
(Todd Shorkey)

Saginaw River, Oct. 5, 2003.
(Todd Shorkey)

Saginaw River, Oct. 5, 2003.
(Todd Shorkey)

Saginaw River, June 11, 2004.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view.
(Todd Shorkey)

Saginaw River, July 29, 2004.
(Stephen Hause)

Unloading at Muskegon, Aug. 1, 2004.
(Rod Burdick)

Muskegon, MI, Oct. 2004.
(Peter Zagorac)

Muskegon, Mar. 16, 2005.
(Dale Rosema)

Another view.
(Dale Rosema)

Inbound the Saginaw River, May 18, 2005.
(Todd Shorkey)

Bow profile.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view, Lafarge, Detroit, June 26, 2005.
(Mike Nicholls)

Detroit River, July 22, 2005.
(Mike Nicholls)

Preparing to unload at Lafarge, Detroit, July 22, 2005.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Saginaw River, Aug. 9, 2005.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view.
(Todd Shorkey)

With cement storage barge E. M. Ford at Carrollton Lafarge Terminal on the Saginaw River, Sept. 11, 2005.
(Gordy Garris)

Saginaw River, Oct. 1, 2005.
(Gordy Garris)

Bow profile.
(Gordy Garris)

At Lafarge, Detroit, June 26, 2005.
(Mike Nicholls)

Laid up at Muskegon sporting a new paint job, Sept. 25, 2006.
(Mike Nicholls)

Muskegon, another view, Sept. 25, 2006.
(Mike Nicholls)

Dock view at Muskegon, May 26, 2007.
(Joe Barr)

Stack.
(Joe Barr)

Laid up at Muskegon in 2008 prior to painting.
(Herm Phillips)

Another view, Sept. 13, 2008.
(Danny Hecko)

After painting, March 2009.
(Herm Phillips)

Bow view at Muskegon, May 24, 2009.
(Roger LeLievre)

Barbara Andrie in the lead, Sept. 7, 2017.
(Janet Moody)

Leaving Muskegon for the last time.
(Janet Moody)

Close up of bow.
(Janet Moody)

Close up of stern.
(Janet Moody)

Stern view going through the piers.
(Janet Moody)

Aerial view.
(Todd Artman)

Aerial view passing through Port Huron, Sept. 9, 2017.
(P. Murray)

Aerial view of the Townsend.
(P. Murray)

Stern view.
(P. Murray)

Stern view of the tow with the Manitou helping with steering.
(P. Murray)

The tow arriving off Port Colborne piers, Sept. 11, 2017.
(Jeff Cameron)

Close up of the Townsend.
(Jeff Cameron)

Tug Ecosse providing steering.
(Jeff Cameron)

Tied up at the scrapyard.
(Jeff Cameron)

       

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