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Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Chi-Cheemaun
By George Wharton
Designed specifically for handling vehicular and passenger traffic
between Tobermory, ON and South Baymouth, ON on Manitoulin Island; the
ferry Chi-Cheemaun was launched Jan. 12, 1974 for the
Marine Services (Owen Sound Transportation Co., Ltd., Owen Sound, ON -
managers). She was built at a cost of $10 million by Collingwood
Shipyards, Collingwood, ON. Her power is derived from 2 Ruston V-16
cylinder 3,500 horsepower diesel engines driving 2 propellers giving her
a rated service speed of 16.25 knots. The Chi-Cheemaun is equipped with
motion stabilizers, a tilting bow entry, a stern ramp door, and a 236
seat cafeteria. Built for day crossings only, the Chi-Cheemaun is not
equipped with over-night accommodations. She can handle a maximum of
140 standard North American sized cars and 638 passengers at her maximum
draft of 13 feet. During the busy summer season, the Chi-Cheemaun
usually makes four round trips daily using approximately 1,600 litres
(422.7 US gallons) of fuel per sailing. During the winter, she lays up
at Owen Sound, ON.
The Chi-Cheemaun was built to replace the Norisle (launched July 15,
1946; now a museum/restaurant moored at Manitowaning, ON) and the
Norgoma (launched Dec. 22, 1949; now a museum ship at Sault Ste. Marie,
ON). Her name Chi-Cheemaun is the Ojibway Indian word for "Big Canoe".
She was originally to have been named Itche-Cheemaun but was changed to
Chi-Cheemaun when she was christened on June 15, 1974.
The Chi-Cheemaun opened Owen Sound's 1999 navigation season on May 3rd
when she sailed for Collingwood for rededication services of the ship
upon the 25th anniversary of her original christening.
||6991 gross tons - 638 passengers