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 Approaching Lock 7, Thorold, ON, Apr. 16, 2005.

Roger LeLievre 

Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- CSL Tadoussac

by George Wharton

Her keel being laid June 25, 1968, this traditional styled self-unloading bulk carrier was built as hull # 192 by Collingwood Shipyards division, Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd., Collingwood, ON and launched May 29, 1969 as the Tadoussac for Canada Steamship Lines Inc., Montreal, PQ. On the day of her launch, she slid down the ways 15 minutes prematurely killing 2 workers and injuring 35 others. The accident was blamed on rotting support timbers. The Tadoussac was the last Canada Steamship Lines vessel built with the forward pilothouse and the first to be built with stern mounted self-unloading gear.

The laker is powered by a single 6-cylinder 9,600 b.h.p. (7,061 kW) Sulzer model 6RND76 diesel engine built in 1969 by Sulzer Bros. Ltd., Winterthur, Switzerland.  Burning intermediate grade 180 fuel, power is fed to a single fixed pitch propeller giving the vessel a rated service speed of 17 mph.  She is equipped with a controllable pitch bow thruster. As originally built with the 75' 00" (22.86m) beam, the vessel could carry 29,700 tons (30,177 mt) at a mid-summer draft of 29' 06" (8.99m) in 5 holds serviced by 23 hatches. The holds had the cubic capacity to carry 28,800 net tons (equivalent to 25,714 tons or 26,127 mt) of coal.  Her original self unloading system included hopper styled holds gravity feeding through hydraulically operated gates to 3 tunnel belts to a single stern transfer belt onto a loop belt elevator system to a stern mounted 249' 06" (76.05m) discharge boom that could unload the vessel at a rate of 5,413 tons (5,500 mt) of iron ore or 3,937 tons (4,000 mt) of coal per hour.

The Tadoussac departed Collingwood, ON on her maiden voyage October 2, 1969 light for Fort William (now Thunder Bay), ON to load iron ore. In 1972, she was the first downbound vessel through the Welland Canal opening the Port of Hamilton, ON for the season on April 4, 1972. She then turned around and the next day became the first vessel to be upbound through the Welland Canal thus opening both ends of the Canal that season. On April 25, 1973; the Tadoussac's self-unloading boom collapsed in Sandusky, OH with no resulting injuries. The Tadoussac found herself in an ironic situation on November 10, 1990. On the evening of the fifteenth anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Tadoussac lost power in a major storm on Lake Superior above Whitefish Bay, the general area of the Fitzgerald wreck. On July 8, 1998; the Tadoussac ran aground 2 miles east of Peche Island near Windsor, ON while loaded with coal. The vessel's rudder went hard to starboard causing her to ground outside the shipping channel. The cause was reported to be low voltage being produced by an electrical steering breaker.

The Tadoussac was an active carrier in Canada Steamship Line's fleet transporting cargoes such as coal, iron ore, grain, stone/aggregates, and cement clinker. She has been an active participant in an ongoing project whereby fleet vessels travelled to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to load or top up large ocean-going coal carriers. Due to the oat craze of the late 1980's; she also carried several cargoes of oats for General Mills from Thunder Bay to Duluth-Superior. 

On December 15, 2000, the Tadoussac laid up for the winter at Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, ON where her center section was rebuilt and widened to 77' 11" (23.76m) and her self-unloading equipment was updated. The $20 million widening and conversion project was based on contractual agreements with customers in the cement clinker and iron ore trades. Only with these contracts in place could the green light be given to "customize" the self-unloader to serve the specific needs of these customers. Included in the rebuilding and hull widening was an extensively rebuilt and modernized self unloading system with covered single tunnel belt, remotely operated gates, and a comprehensive dust suppression system.  The vessel also received new, wider side tanks with cladded tank tops and closed loading and discharging arrangements similar to her fleet mates Frontenac and Halifax.  The self-unloaders discharge rates remained the same.  As a result of the rebuilding,  the laker's cargo capacity increased to 30,051 tons (30,543 mt) at a mid-summer draft of 28' 03" (8.61m) and 27,530 tons (27,970 mt) at the Seaway draft of 26' 06" (8.08m).  Her holds' cubic capacity for the carrying of coal was reduced however to 21,300 net tons (equivalent to 19,018 tons or 19,323 mt).

On March 3, 2001; the vessel was rechristened CSL Tadoussac in a historic dual christening ceremony at the ship yard with the CSL Laurentien. The christening ceremony was dedicated to the employees of Canada Steamship Lines with the sponsor of the CSL Tadoussac being Barbara Gowthorpe, wife of one of the fleet's Chief Engineers, Tony Gowthorpe.  The typical red colored hull used by the Canada Steamship Lines self-unloader fleet was replaced with gray, symbolizing the CSL Tadoussac's long-term commitment to the cement clinker trade.

The CSL Tadoussac is named in honor of the oldest settlement in Canada; Tadoussac, Quebec. Located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River about 100 miles (160 k) north east of Quebec City; Tadoussac dates back to the explorer Jacques Cartier, September 1, 1535. The "CSL" prefix honors the vessel's owner Canada Steamship Lines Inc. This vessel is the second vessel in Canada Steamship Lines fleet history to carry the Tadoussac name. The first Tadoussac was a 370' (112.78m) passenger steamer built at Davie Shipbuilding, Lauzon, PQ in October, 1927. The 7,013 gross ton vessel was powered by 2 triple expansion steam engines rated at 7,016 h.p. (5,016 kw) with 6 Scotch boilers. She was retired in 1965, sold, renamed Passenger No.2, and towed to Belgium. Last report indicated that the hull was being used as a hotel, restaurant, and shopping arcade in Sharjah.

The CSL Tadoussac was eased from her dry dock berth on June 13, 2001 with the assistance of Port Weller Dry Docks tug James E. McGrath and McKeil Marine tugs Lac Vancouver and Miseford. After completing sea trials on Lake Ontario, the CSL Tadoussac departed on her maiden voyage June 20, 2001 light to Bowmanville, ON for a load of cement clinker bound for Detroit, MI.  On September 5, 2005, the vessel's discharge boom collapsed at the Essroc dock at Essexville, MI on the Saginaw River.  The incident was reportedly caused by a brake failure in the deployment of the boom to unload.

On March 20, 2007, the CSL Tadoussac was the featured vessel at the official opening of the Welland Canal for the 2007 season marking the 75th anniversary of the opening of the 4th canal in 1932 by the Canada Steamship Lines steamer Lemoyne and the earliest opening date in the history of the canal.  Unusual for an official opening, the CSL Tadoussac was downbound in the canal and was followed shortly after by her fleet mate Frontenac.  (Usually, the opening features an upbound vessel but there were no vessels available.  The first upbound of the 2007 season was the Canadian Enterprise on March 22.)  As with her fleet mates, the CSL Tadoussac sails under the management of V.Ships Canada Inc. of Montreal, QC.


Overall Dimensions (metric)
Length  730' 00" (222.504m)
Beam  77' 11" (23.76m)
Depth  42' 00" (12.78m)
Capacity (mid-summer)  30,051 tons (30,543 mt)
at a draft of 28' 03" (8.61m)
Power (diesel)  9,600 b.h.p. (7,061 kW)


CSL Tadoussac
- written by and read at the Rechristening Ceremony by Rev. David Mulholland
of the Mission to Seamen in Toronto on March 3, 2001
(from the Canada Steamships Lines newsletter "CSL World", spring 2001 issue)

M/V Tadoussac, a fine Indian name
Reflecting courage, cunning, and history
On our great fresh water main,
After 32 years she becomes a bit thicker in beam
A natural progression in Life--it would seem.

Yet, for good Tadoussac
'Tis no matter of an aging subversion
But a matter of a rejuvenating and useful conversion:
To a refinement of skill and ability since her keel was first laid
To be the most sophisticated and accomplished in the
cement/clinker trade.

And so Blessings be on You on Captain and Crew
And to God be the Glory in all that You do!


Flags flying, Welland Canal, Mar. 20, 2007.
Phil Nash

Emerging from Lock 1, Welland Canal,
Mar. 20, 2007. Phil Nash

Saginaw River, Mar. 25, 2007.
Todd Shorkey

In Welland Canal's Lock 3 during the Canal's opening ceremonies on Mar. 20, 2007. Dan Sweeley

Downbound after leaving Lock 3, Mar. 20, 2007.
Dan Sweeley

Stern view. Dan Sweeley

Downbound the Welland Canal approaching Lock 7 with assistance of tug Seahound, Mar. 19, 2007.
Dave Scali

Close up, spot light on. Dave Scali

Another view. Dave Scali

Welland Canal, June 24, 2006. Eric Holmes

Winter lay-up at Port Colborne, ON, Jan. 28, 2007.
Alex Howard

Stern view. Alex Howard

Welland Canal, below Lock 8, Port Colborne, ON,
Mar. 23, 2006. Phil Nash

Saginaw River, Mar. 28, 2006.
Todd Shorkey

Lowering crew to the Essroc dock on the Saginaw River, Mar. 28, 2006. Todd Shorkey

Unloading at Essroc on the Saginaw River,
Nov. 25, 2005. Todd Shorkey

Winter lay-up at Port Colborne, ON, Jan. 21, 2006.
Alex Howard

Stern view. Alex Howard

Boom collapse at Essexville, MI, Sept. 5, 2005.
Todd Shorkey

Another view. Todd Shorkey

Boom close up. Todd Shorkey

Inbound Duluth / Superior, Jan. 13, 2007.
Franz VonRiedel

Unloading at Essroc, Saginaw River, early
May 22, 2005. Todd Shorkey

Another view. Todd Shorkey

Marquette, MI on a very cold Jan. 15, 2005.
Lee Rowe

Detroit River, May 4, 2005. Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Welland Canal, Oct. 2004. Ian Baker

Stern view. Ian Baker

Unloading along the Saginaw River, July 23, 2005.
Gordy Garris

Being raised in Welland Canal's Lock 7 at Thorold, ON, Aug. 9, 2004. Alex Howard

Emerging from the lock meeting fleetmate Cedarglen "on the level". Alex Howard

Close up. Alex Howard

Winter lay-up February, 2003. Capt. Alain Gindroz

Detroit River, Sept. 20, 2004.
Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Tadoussac at Port Weller for conversion.
Jeff Thoreson

View from across the canal. Jason Junge

Christening in March 2001. Jamie Kerwin

G. Kingsford collection.

As the Tadoussac in Thunder Bay, 2000.
Rob Farrow

At Marquette. Rod Burdick

Unloading at Stelco, Hamilton, ON,
Apr. 24, 2007. John McCreery

Into Lake Ontario, Apr. 24, 2007.
John McCreery

Outbound Toledo, OH, Apr. 11, 2002.
Jim Hoffman

Stern view, Apr. 11, 2002. Jim Hoffman

Unloading in Saginaw, July 3, 2002.
Todd Shorkey

Wide sections of her hull have led boatwatchers to affectionately refer to the appearance as
"a pregnant guppie". Todd Shorkey

Push from the bow thruster on the Saginaw River, July 7, 2001. Todd Shorkey

Detroit River, Apr. 16, 2002. Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Passing Port Huron, Sept. 12, 2001.
Andy Severson

Approaching Lock 7 in the Welland Canal.
Alex Howard

Outbound Toledo. Small boat in fore ground is photographer Jim Hoffman taking the image that appears at the top of this page. TZ

Toledo, July 2001. Jim Hoffman

Pelee passage, Lake Erie, Nov. 9, 2001.
Mike Nicholls

Winter lay-up at port Colborne, Jan 15, 2002. Alex Howard

Bow profile, Saginaw River, July 23, 2005.
Gordy Garris

Rudder repairs at Toledo Shiprepair,
Apr. 1, 2002. Mike Nicholls

Rudder secured in place at Port Colborne before tow to Toledo for repairs, Mar. 20, 2002.
Alex Howard.

Unloading at Essroc, Essexville, MI,
July 12, 2006. Gordy Garris

Downbound Lock 7, Welland Canal,
Oct. 17, 2002. Neil Schultheiss

Windmill Point, Lake St. Clair, Oct. 26, 2006.
Alex & Max Mager

Champagne bottle christens the CSL Tadoussac,
Mar. 3, 2001. Jason Junge

Cover is lowered revealing the new name.
Jason Junge

New hull sections. Jason Junge

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