Yankcanuck (2)
IMO 5409811

Upbound the St. Clair River, Aug. 25, 2008.
(Mark Shumaker)

Built by Collingwood Shipyards, division Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd., Collingwood, ON as hull # 178, the keel for this versatile smaller vessel was laid on September 20, 1962. Launched January 8, 1963 as the Yankcanuck (2) for the Yankcanuck Steamships Ltd. of Sault Ste. Marie, ON, the ship was commissioned and christened on April 27, 1963 by sponsor Miss Barbara Ann Monadli, a niece of Capt. Feliciano (Skipper) Manzzutti who was owner and president of Yankcanuck Steamships Ltd. Classified as a self-loading and self-unloading general cargo crane ship, she was designed and built for hauling steel products on a trade route from Algoma Steel, Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Detroit, MI. The vessel was built with an ice-strengthened hull with capabilities for coastal trading and was originally equipped with an electric traveling, level-luffing, heavy duty crane built by Dominion Bridge Co. Ltd., Montreal, QC.

The Yankcanuck is powered by a single Cooper-Bessemer 8-cylinder, single acting, 4 stroke cycle, turbo charged, direct reversing diesel engine rated at 1,860 b.h.p. (1,368 KW) at 300 r.p.m. burning marine diesel oil. The engine, built by Cooper-Bessemer of Canada of Stratford, ON, can be pneumatically controlled from the bridge and was the largest engine of its kind built in Canada at that time. The power is fed to a single 8' (2.44m) diameter cast aluminum, bronze and nickel fixed-pitch propeller built by William Kennedy & Sons of Owen Sound, ON. She is equipped with a 3' (91.44 cm) diameter bow thruster. Three hatches service 3 holds where the vessel is capable of carrying 4,685 tons of iron ore at a mid-summer draft of 21' 05.75" (6.55m). The holds have the cubic capacity to contain 5,050 net tons (equivalent to 4,509 tons / 4,581 mt) of coal, 4,510 tons (4,582 mt) of wheat, 4,250 tons (4,328 mt) of corn or rye, 3,730 tons (3,790 mt) of barley or 3,265 tons (3,317 mt) of oats. The crane ship has the capacity to carry up to 125 tons (127 mt) of fuel oil giving the vessel a range of approximately 5,000 miles (8,047 k). The vessel has comfortable accommodations for 27 officers and crew.

The Yankcanuck (2) was named in honor of the faithful service given by her predecessor. The first Yankcanuck was built of composite construction (iron frames and keel with wooden planking) in 1889 by Detroit Dry Dock Co., Wyandotte, MI as the bulk freighter Manchester for the Inter-Ocean Steamship Co. After a conversion to a crane ship in 1928 and several names later (name history: Manchester 1921, Joseph W. Simpson 1938, c. Mindemoya 1946, Yankcanuck); the vessel was bought by Captain Frank Manzzutti in 1945 as the first steamer for the newly formed Yankcanuck Steamship Co. She was renamed Yankcanuck in 1946. Her final dimensions were 256' 09" (78.26m) x 41' 00" (12.50m) x 22' 06" (6.86m); 1,813 GRT and powered by a 1,200 i.h.p. (883 KW) triple expansion steam engine iwht 2 coal-fired scotch boilers. Laid up in 1957 and scrapped in 1960, the Yankcanuck (1) was the last vessel of composite construction sailing on the Great Lakes. The 'Yankcanuck' name was derived from the fact that Captain Frank Manzzutti was a Canadian and his wife, an American.

For Yankcanuck Steamship Co., the new Yankcanuck's primary trade route was between Algoma Steel Corp., Sault Ste. Marie, ON and Detroit, MI with steel products. On December 31, 1970, the Yankcanuck was sold to Algoma Steel Corp. Ltd. resulting in the formation of the Algoma Steel Corp. - Marine Division. Her chief trade route continued to be focused on the delivering of finished steel products from Algoma Steel to markets in Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI. In 1976, the Yankcanuck was sold to Chemco Equipment Finance Canada Ltd. to help finance a new blast furnace for the steel mill but continued to be operated by Algoma Steel under charter. She has also carried and utilized her crane to load steel into ocean-going ships. Some of her other duties have included lightering grounded vessels and hauling salt, ore, and coal. In 1981, she picked up a load of coal in Thunder Bay, ON in 37 minutes! Taking advantage of a buy-back option, the crane ship was sold back to Algoma Steel in 1983.

In 1991, the Yankcanuck was sold to Purvis Marine Ltd., also of Sault Ste. Marie, ON. The vessel was used as a crane barge towed by Purvis' large tug Anglian Lady on her old steel runs in 1991 and did not operate in 1992. In 1993, she resumed trading as a powered carrier having been inspected and certified as a home trade vessel and was chartered to Transport Igloolik of Montreal, QC to carry supplies north to the Arctic. After returning to the Soo, she was used in the spring of 1994 to lighter cargo from the grounded Canadian Ranger. In 1996, the crane ship was again delivering supplies to communities in the far north. Her original crane was replaced during the winter of 1997/98 with a Koehring model 1466 hydraulic traveling (tracked) extendable boom 30-ton crane equipped with a 8 cubic yard (6.12 c. meter) clam and an 83" (2.11m) magnet. Unlike the original crane, the new crane did not depend on the Yankcanuck's engineroom for power, decreased loading / unloading times and was much easier to operate and maintain.

As she had throughout her career, the Yankcanuck continued to serve Algoma Steel supplying the mill with raw material and delivering finished product in the form of steel coils as needed. Other cargoes have included cement clinker from Clarkson, ON to Essexville, MI as well as gravel and sand to Mackinac Island. On April 5, 1998, the Yankcanuck was towed by Purvis tugs Avenger IV and William M. Cohen to lighter some of the cargo of the Algontario which had grounded in the St. Marys River but was not needed. On June 7, 1999, the vessel grounded by the bow while attempting to dock at one of Purvis Marine's docks at Sault Ste. Marie, ON. She backed off the strand under her own power and proceeded to another dock receiving no apparent damage.

In 2000, the Yankcanuck delivered granulated slag to Prescott, ON for road construction. She continued to be engaged in 2002 with a contract to move synthetic gypsum from Conneaut, OH to Nanticoke and Port Colborne, ON, 2002 being the final year of a 5-year contract with Purvis to move this product across Lake Erie. Early in 2003, she carried steel coils from Algoma Steel to the McLouth Steel dock in Trenton, MI and was busy in 2004 hauling supplies between Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada's east coast. While engaged in this service, on July 6, 2004, crane ship was struck by the falling boom of a shore crane at Quebec City, QC. Following the removal of damaged cargo and the shore boom, the vessel completed loading and sailed July 7. There was little damage done to the vessel. Returning from the coast in late January, 2005, the Yankcanuck laid up and saw no further service through the remainder of 2005 and all of 2006.

Yankcanuck returned to service in 2007, completing sea trials on May 1 then proceeding to Algoma Steel to load steel coils. The vessel departed Sault Ste. Marie on May 3, passing downbound through the Welland Canal on May 6 bound for the east coast and another term of coastal trading. Returning to Sault Ste. Marie late in 2007 for winter lay up, the Yankcanuck sailed in early April of 2008 for another active season of Great Lakes trading. It would turn out to be her last.

After several years during which she was laid up and unsuccessfully offered for sale, Yankcanuck made her final voyage up through the Soo Locks Nov. 18, 2016 at around 8 a.m. She was towed from her lay-up berth at the Purvis Dock in the lower harbor on the Canadian side to scrapping facilities above the locks by the Purvis Marine tugs W.I. Scott Purvis and Adanac III. Fuel consumption and crew size likely contributed to her demise.

Written by George Wharton.

Ship Particulars
Length 324' 03" (98.83m)
Beam 49' 00" (14.94m)
Depth 26' 00" (7.92m)
Midsummer Draft 21' 06" (6.55m)
Capacity 4,760 tons
Engine Power 1,860 bhp diesel


Yankcanuck 1963 - 1970
(Yankcanuck Steamships Ltd.)

Parker Evans blows smoke in front of the Yankcanuck at Mission Point.
(Tom Manse collection courtesy of Roger LeLievre)

Yankcanuck 1970 - 1998
(Algoma Steel Corp.)

Downbound the Detroit River, 1983.
(Rudi Rabe)

St. Clair River.
(John Meyland)

Passing the Fairport breakwall.
(The River Collection)

Yankcanuck 1998 - 2019
(Purvis Marine Ltd.)

Upbound the Detroit River, Oct. 21, 2000.
(Pat Pavlat)

St. Lawrence Seaway at Brockville, Nov. 20, 2000.
(Peter Carter)

Rare visit to Buffalo, May 9, 2001.
(Brian Wroblewski)

Stern view.
(Brian Wroblewski)

Detroit River, July 22, 2001.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Detroit River, Apr. 26, 2002.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Soo Locks, May 12, 2002.
(Lee Rowe)

Loading synthetic gypsum at Conneaut, May 25, 2002.
(Jeff Thoreson)

Close up of loading rig.
(Jeff Thoreson)

Arriving at Port Colborne from Conneaut, May 27, 2002.
(Dave Wobser)

Detroit River, July 16, 2002.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Arriving at Erie, Aug. 2002.
(Jeff Thoreson)

Winter lay-up at the Purvis docks at Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Jan. 24, 2003.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view with barge PML Salvager.
(Mike Nicholls)

Unloading synthetic gypsum at Port Colborne as seen from the bridge of the downbound Rixta Oldendorff, June 20, 2003.
(Capt. Alain Gindroz)

Close up of the unloading.
(Capt. Alain Gindroz)

Bow view.
(Capt. Alain Gindroz)

Loading steel coils at Algoma Steel, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, July 2003.
(Capt. John Chomniak)

Unloading at Morterm, Windsor, Aug. 14, 2003.
(Mike Nicholls)

Another view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Detroit River, Sept. 3, 2003.
(Mike Nicholls)

St. Marys River, Apr. 10, 2004.
(Ken Hamilton)

Downbound the St. Lawrence Seaway approaching Lock 3, Beauharnois, June 15, 2004.
(Kent Malo)

Bound for Algoma Steel on the St. Marys River, Dec. 28, 2004.
(Lee Rowe)

Laid up at the Purvis dock, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Jan. 28, 2005.
(Lee Rowe)

Fueling, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, May 1, 2007.
(Bonnee Srigley)

Lake Huron, Buoys 1 & 2, May 4, 2007.
(Marc Dease)

Downbound the St. Clair River, May 4, 2007.
(Frank Frisk)

Close up.
(Frank Frisk)

Coming off Lake St. Clair at Windmill Pointe, May 4, 2007.
(Alex & Max Mager)

Downbound the Welland Canal below Lock 4, May 6, 2007.
(Randy Martens)

Stern view.
(Randy Martens)

Below Lock 1, May 6, 2007.
(David Bull)

Stern view.
(David Bull)

Upbound the St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands, Nov. 11, 2007.
(Fritz Hager)

Upbound the St. Marys River at Mission Point, Dec. 9, 2007.
(Herm Klein)

At the Purvis Marine dock at Soo, ON, Apr. 2, 2008.
(Ted Fewchuck)

Downbound the St. Clair River, Port Huron, June 27, 2008.
(Ed Schulyer)

Upbound at the Soo, June 29, 2008.
(Dave Wobser)

Unloading steel slabs at Nicholson's Terminal, Detroit, July 26, 2008.
(Mike Nicholls)

St. Marys River at Mission Point, Aug. 3, 2008.
(Stephen Hause)

Upbound the Welland Canal above Lock 1 from the deck of the Edward L. Ryerson, Aug. 8, 2008.
(Dave Wobser)

Laid up at the Purvis Dock, June 24, 2011.
(Matt Miner)

Laid up at the Purvis Dock, June 27, 2015.
(Matt Miner)

Laid up at the Purvis Dock, June 24, 2016.
(Matt Miner)

A size comparison to the barge Ironmaster, June 24, 2016.
(Matt Miner)

Scott Purvis and Adanac III towing Yankcanuck to the scrapyard above the locks, Nov. 19, 2016.
(Carmen Paris)

Bow on view at the scrapyard, June 29, 2018.
(Matt Miner)

The stern and half the hull is cut away.
(Matt Miner)



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