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Loading at Sarnia, ON, Aug. 3, 2008.

George Wharton

-- Canadian Ranger --
(Fore Section: Grande Ronde 1943 - 1948, Kate N.L. 1948 - 1961, Hilda Marjanne 1961 - 1984
Aft Section: Chimo 1967 - 1983)

by George Wharton

The Great Lakes bulk carrier conversion Canadian Ranger emerged from Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, ON on April 5, 1984 as hull their #72; a result of the joining of the stern section (pilothouse, engine room, and machinery) of the former coastal package freighter Chimo with the bow and midbody of the “T2” tanker converted lake bulk carrier Hilda Marjanne less her forward wheelhouse, stern accommodations, and machinery. In order for the stern of the Chimo to adapt to the bow section of the Hilda Marjanne, a special 25 foot (7.62m) transition hull had to be constructed to accommodate the 19 foot (5.79m) difference in beam. The rear pilothouse was raised the equivalent of one deck level to increase visibility. At her launch, the Canadian Ranger was registered as being owned by Ranex Shipping who chartered the vessel to ULS. International Inc.; both wholly owned subsidiaries of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., Toronto, ON. After completing sea trials April 26, 1984 on Lake Ontario; the Canadian Ranger sailed on her maiden voyage May 6 to Toledo, OH to load coal for Hamilton, passing downbound through the Welland Canal on May 9, 1984.

The Canadian Ranger is powered by a Sulzer model 5RND68 two stroke cycle, single acting 6,100 b.h.p. (4,487 kW) 5 cylinder diesel engine built in 1967 by Sulzer Brothers Ltd., Winterthur, Switzerland and burns intermediate grade 180 fuel. She is equipped with a single variable speed propeller and has a rated speed of 19.6 m.p.h. The vessel is equipped with a 1,000 h.p. (736 kW) bow thruster.

The Canadian Ranger sailed as a “straight decker” primarily in the grain and iron ore trades until her conversion to a self unloader during her 1987/88 winter lay up. The unique self unloading system consists of an on-board unloading leg complete with a deck belt, forward transfer belt, and a bucket type elevator feeding a bow mounted 157’06” (48m) discharge boom that can be swung 72 degrees to port or starboard and unload at a rate of up to 500 tons (508 mt) per hour. This one-of-a-kind unloading system is the only one of its type on the Great Lakes and is designed specifically for the unloading of grain or other light commodities. The installation was completed by Hamilton Marine Div., Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd., Hamilton, ON. This installation was a result of a long term floating contract with Cargill for the delivery of grain products to their Quebec City, QC facility.

The Canadian Ranger had 20 hatches servicing 6 holds where the vessel cou carry 24,703 tons (25,100 mt) at the new Seaway draft of 26’ 06” (8.08m) implemented in 2004 and is capable of carrying 25,491 tons (25,900 mt) at a mid-summer draft of 27’ 06” (8.36m). Other capacities include 614 tons (624 mt) of fuel oil, 120 tons (122 mt) of diesel oil, 84 tons (85 mt) of potable water, and 11,190 tons (11,370 mt) of water ballast. The vessel displaces 7,475 tons (7,595 mt) lightship.

Being the ship of record, the coastal package freighter Chimo (#323030) was built by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., Lauzon, QC as hull #662; being launched June 27, 1967 for owners Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, QC. The Chimo was managed by Clarke Transportation Canada Ltd. and operated by Newfoundland Steamship Co., Montreal QC in the St. Lawrence River package freight business specifically between Montreal and Newfoundland. Her dimensions were 471’ 02” (143.56m) loa x 56’ 00” (17.07m) beam x 32’ 00” (9.75) deep; 7,800 tons (7,925.3 mt) dwt. The only noted incident for the Chimo occurred April 1, 1978 when the Chimo was in collision with the saltie Federal Thames in the St. Lawrence near Grondines while enroute from Montreal to St. John’s. The Chimo received only minor damage. There were a series of ownership changes but Newfoundland Steamships continued to operate the vessel until they assumed ownership of the vessel in 1981. On August 9, 1982 the Chimo departed Montreal with supplies for Arctic communities under charter to C.A. Crosbie Shipping Ltd. Upon her return from this trip, the Chimo was laid up in Montreal due to lack of cargo, and then later towed to Sorel, QC.

The Chimo and her sister ship Cabot were sold to 12883 Canada Inc., Toronto, ON (Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., managers) on January 26, 1983. The Chimo was then towed by tugs R. & L. No.1 and James E. McGrath to Port Weller Dry Docks arriving September 17, 1983 where her bow and midbody were cut away just forward of the stern pilothouse and accommodations. The forebody was scrapped in Port Maitland, ON leaving the stern section to await her new forebody from the Hilda Marjanne. (Of note, the stern of the Cabot also remains in active service as the Canadian Transfer.)

The Hilda Marjanne was launched December 9, 1943 as the type “T2-SE-A1” ocean tanker Grande Ronde for the U.S. Maritime Commission, being chartered to Los Angeles Tanker Operations, Inc., Los Angeles, CA for wartime service. Her dimensions at launch were 523’ 06” (159.56m) loa x 68’ 00” (20.73m) beam x 39’ 03” (11.96m) deep; 16,600 tons (16,866.66 mt) dwt; powered by a 7,240 s.h.p. GE steam turbine. She had 9 cargo tanks with a capacity of 141,200 barrels (16,836.76 cubic meters). This tanker served primarily in the Pacific Theater. Typical WWII defensive armament for this type of tanker included 1 - 5” (127mm), 4 - 3” (76.2mm), and 8 - 40mm anti-aircraft guns. The Grande Ronde was sold to Cephalonian Maritime Co., Athens, Greece in 1948 being renamed Kate N.L. The tanker was then engaged in carrying petroleum products on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Kate N.L. was sold to Leitch Transport Ltd., Toronto, ON (Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., managers) in 1960 being renamed Hilda Marjanne. She was towed to Hamburg, West Germany where she was converted to a straight deck bulk carrier and lengthened by Schlieker-Werft Shipyards with a new mid-body and bow. The keel was laid for this conversion on February 21, 1961. The new bulk carrier’s dimensions were 730’ 05” (222.63m) loa x 75’ 00” (22.86m) beam x 39’ 03” (11.963m) deep; 25,600 tons (26,011.24 mt) dwt. The Hilda Marjanne crossed the Atlantic under her own power arriving at Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, ON August 10, 1961 where she was refitted for Great Lakes service. She began this service November 2, 1961; her activities being focused in the grain and iron ore trades. The Hilda Marjanne’s tenure on the Great Lakes was only marred by 2 groundings. The first near Sarnia on April 10, 1977 and the second on the St. Lawrence near Port Neuf on July 17, 1979. The bulk carrier laid up at Hamilton, ON for a final time on June 13, 1983 after completing her final laden voyage carrying cement from Clarkson, ON to Duluth, MN. After removing her forward cabins and cutting off her hull just forward of her engine room, the bow and midbody were towed from Hamilton to Port Weller Dry Docks to match with the stern of the Chimo. The stern of the Hilda Marjanne was scrapped at Port Maitland in late 1983.

The Canadian Ranger saw continued service after returning to the Upper Lakes fleet as a specialized self unloader. From 1993 until January 1, 2000, the vessel sailed under the management of Seaway Bulk Carriers, Winnipeg, MB.  As with all Upper Lakes vessels, the Canadian Ranger then came under the management of the newly formed Seaway Marine Transport, St. Catharines, ON (a continued partnership of Upper Lakes Group and Algoma Central Corp.).  She laid up in Montreal on December 31, 2000.  The vessel remained in lay up statues until she was towed by the tugs Jerry Newbury and Bonnie B. III from Montreal arriving at Trois-Rivieres, QC November 2, 2002 to be used as a storage hull with her fleet mate Canadian Trader. The Canadian Ranger returned to active service November 24, 2003 when she sailed from Trois-Rivieres to Toronto with a winter load of sugar.

On July 10, 2004 the Canadian Ranger departed Toronto under her own power proceeding to Port Weller Dry Docks at St. Catharines, ON for a $2 million refurbishment and a 5-year survey.  With the assistance of McKeil tugs Progress and Glenevis, the unique bulker emerged from the dry dock on October 6, 2004 then proceeded upbound in the Welland Canal bound for Anderson's dock in Toledo, OH to load.

Being one of the only vessels of the Canadian fleet to remain in lay-up after the start of the 2006 navigation season, the Canadian Ranger became jointly owned by Upper Lakes Group, Inc. of Toronto, ON (her previous owners) and Algoma Central Corp. of St. Catharines, ON in late April of 2006.  On September 1, 2007, the Canadian Ranger returned to service departing her lay-up berth in Toronto bound for Toledo, OH with a stop at the Seaway Marine & Industrial Inc. drydock (former Port Weller Dry Docks) to have her movable elevator removed.  Upon her returning to service, the only difference in the vessel's outward appearance was that of a normal type of hatch crane on her deck replacing the movable elevator.  She arrived in Toledo on September 3 to load.  The Canadian Ranger was operated and managed by Seaway Marine Transport, St. Catharines, ON and continued to be actively engaged primarily in the grain and iron ore trades until entering long-term lay-up at Toronto, ON on December 25, 2008. 

Then, after having her name and stack colors removed, the Canadian Ranger departed Toronto late May 30, 2011 on the first leg of her scrap tow with the McKeil Marine tug Tony MacKay towing and Nadro Marine tugs Vigilant I and Seahound controlling her stern bound for Montreal, QC.  On June 1, as the tow was approaching the St. Lawrence Seaway's upper approach wall to the Iroquois Lock, a strong gust of wind caught the Canadian Ranger swinging the stern around away from the wall.  The tugs controlling the stern could not hold the vessel.  The bow then struck the wall spinning the old bulker 180 degrees, one of the tow lines becoming fouled in the Seahound's propeller.  Later that day, the tow got under way with the Vigilant I towing the Canadian Ranger backwards into the lock followed by the Tony MacKay also stern first and the Seahound controlling the big tug.  The tow then secured on the lock's southeast emergency tie wall waiting for other Seaway traffic to clear and for the winds to subside before proceeding to turn the Canadian Ranger back around to resume their voyage to Montreal.  After turning the vessel around below the Iroquois Lock on June 3, the tow resumed its journey to Montreal.

After a few days of final preparations, the Canadian Ranger departed under tow of the 4,786 b.h.p. (3,520 kw) ocean tug Pantodynamos bound for Aliaga, Turkey on June 10, 2011.  The 859 gross ton Pantodynamos is Panamanian flagged and is owned, operated and managed by Davios Maritime Co., Piraeus, Greece.  The McKeil Marine tug Molly M controlled the Canadian Ranger's stern for the St. Lawrence River transit.  The Pantodynamos with the Canadian Ranger in tow arrived off Aliaga on July 13, 2011.


Overall Dimensions (metric)
 Length  729' 10" (222.453m)
 Beam  75' 00" (22.86m)
 Depth  39' 03" (11.963m)
 Capacity - mid-summer  25,491 tons (25,900 mt)
 at draft of 27'06" (8.36m)
               - Seaway  24,703 tons (25,100 mt)
 at draft of 26'06" (8.08m)
               - wheat  24,399 tons (24,790 mt)
               - corn or rye  22,939 tons (23,207 mt)
               - barley  21,153 tons (21,493 mt)
               - oats  18,522 tons (18,820 mt)
 Displacement (lightweight)  7,475 tons (7,595 mt)
 Power (diesel)  6,100 b.h.p. (4,487 kW)


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Anchored at Aliaga, July 13, 2011.
Selim San courtesy of Kent Malo
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Beached with the Saunière, July 20, 2011.
Selim San courtesy of Kent Malo
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Close up, July 20, 2011.
Selim San courtesy of Kent Malo
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Turning around below the Iroquois Lock,
June 3, 2011. Ron Beaupre
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The tow resumed, downbound the St. Lawrence River,
June 3, 2011. Dave Bessant
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Stern view, onward to Montreal,
Dave Bessant
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Another view, June 1, 2011. Dave Bessant
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Close up. Dave Bessant
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Stern first. Murray Blancher
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Lead tug Tony MacKay, June 1, 2011.
Murray Blancher
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Close up, June 1. Murray Blancher
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Trouble entering the Iroquois Lock approach canal,
June 1, 2011. Dave Bessant
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Downbound Lake St. Clair, Aug. 4, 2008.
Alex & Max Mager

Approaching Lake Huron cut buoys 1 & 2,
Aug. 18, 2008. Marc Dease

Entering the St. Clair River at Point Edward, ON,
Aug. 18, 2008. Marc Dease

Downbound the Welland Canal, July 14, 2008.
Bill Bird

Loading at Sarnia, ON, Aug. 3, 2008.
George Wharton

Loading close-up. George Wharton

Entering the MacArthur Lock at the Soo,
July 12, 2008. Alex & Max Mager
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St. Marys River at Nine Mile Point,
July 12, 2008. Jeff Barber

Downbound Lake Huron at buoys 1 & 2,
July 13, 2008. Marc Dease

Downbound Lake St. Clair for the Detroit River,
June 16, 2008. Alex & Max Mager

Sun setting over Lake St. Clair, June 16, 2008.
Alex & Max Mager
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St. Marys River below Mission Point,
July 9, 2008. Jeff Barber

Passing the Edward L. Ryerson on the St. Clair River
near Corunna, ON, June 9, 2008. John McCreery

Under the Bluewater Bridges, June 9, 2008.
John McCreery

Upbound into Lake Huron, June 9, 2008.
John McCreery

Upbound the St. Marys River, May 27, 2008.
Herm Klein

Bow close-up. Herm Klein

Stern view. Herm Klein

St. Lawrence River by Wellesley Island in the
1000 Islands, May 24, 2008. Fritz Hager

Welland Canal, May 25, 2008.
Eric Holmes

Stern view. Eric Holmes

Upbound Lake St. Clair, Oct. 21, 2007.
Alex & Max Mager

Stern view. Alex & Max Mager

Winter lay-up at Toronto, Jan.23, 2008.
Gerry Ouderkirk

Downbound below Lock 1, Oct. 14, 2007.
BoatNerd Staff

Bow view. BoatNerd Staff

Stern perspective.
BoatNerd Staff

Into Lake Huron at Point Edward, ON,
Sept. 18, 2007. Marc Dease

Downbound Lake St. Clair, Sept. 28, 2007.
Alex & Max Mager

Stern view. Alex & Max Mager

Leaving Lock 1, Welland Canal, Sept. 16, 2007.
Richard Jenkins

Stern view. Richard Jenkins

Approaching Lock 2, Sept. 16, 2007.
BoatNerd Staff

Hilda Marjanne loading coal at the C&O #3 coal dock in Toledo. Jim Hoffman

1968 at the Soo Locks with her Island Shipping stack markings. Roger LeLievre

St. Marys River passage with Upper Lakes stack markings. Roger LeLievre

Hilda Marjanne in 1978.
Marc Vander Meulen

Detroit Rivers' Ojibway Anchorage in the
mid 1980's. Rudi Rabe

Soo Locks.  Rod Burdick

Soo Locks. John Meyland

St. Marys River 1998. Roger LeLievre

Stern view. Roger LeLievre

St. Clair River, 1998. John Meyland

Stern view 1998. John Meyland

St. Clair River, 2000. George Wharton

Passing Marine City, 2000. John Meyland

Passing Montreal in November, 2003.
Kent Malo

On her first commercial trip in 2 years, upbound off Verchères  to Toronto with a load of salt, Nov. 25, 2003. Marc Piché

Leaving Port Weller Dry Dock, Oct. 6, 2004.
Alex Howard

Another view, Oct. 6, 2004.
Alex Howard

Welland Canal below Lock 2, Oct. 6, 2004.
Alex Howard

Tied up below Lock 2.  Alex Howard.

Downbound at Port Colborne, ON,
Aug. 1, 2005. Dan Syrcher

Stern view. Dan Syrcher

St. Lawrence Seaway near Montreal,
Aug. 2005. Kent Malo

St. Lawrence River, Nov. 4, 2005.
Fritz Hager

Laid up at Toronto, ON, Feb. 24, 2007.
Mark Leitch

Tied up above Lock 1, Sept 1, 2007.
Al Howard

Below Welland Canal's Lock 1, Sept. 1, 2007.
Al Howard

Bow view. Al Howard

Upbound the Welland Canal, Sept. 2, 2007.
Al Howard

Passing under the Welland Canal's "Bridge 11,
Allanburg, ON, Sept. 2, 2007. Al Howard

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