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Lake Huron

Don Coles

Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- St. Clair

The St. Clair was launched July 24, 1975 at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI. When hull # 714 slid down the ways, she was the largest vessel ever to be side launched, built at a cost of $24.3 million.

Power for the vessel comes from three V-20 cylinder, two stroke cycle, single acting diesel engines, 230mm (9.1”) bore x 254mm (10.0”) stroke, built by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors Corp., La Grange, IL driving through a Falk single reduction gear box to a controllable pitch propeller. Total engine output: 10,800 bhp. Rated service speed: 14.5 knots (16.7 mph). she is equipped with bow and stern thrusters.

The vessel was built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. This program allowed U.S. shipping companies to construct new vessels or to modernize their existing fleet by government guaranteed financing and tax deferred benefits. The ST. CLAIR was the fifth of ten ships launched for American Steamship under this program. The total cost of the ten ships was more than $250 million. The ten ships were the: Roger Kyes (1973), Charles E. Wilson (1973), H. Lee White (1974), Sam Laud (1975), St. Clair (1976), Belle River (1977), Buffalo (1978), Indiana Harbor (1979), American Mariner (1980) and the American Republic (1981).

The St. Clair was christened April 22, 1976 at Bayship. On her maiden voyage May 4, 1976, the St. Clair departed Sturgeon Bay for Escanaba, MI to load 39,803 gross tons of iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor, IN arriving there on May 5th.

The St. Clair was built primarily to deliver western low sulfur coal from Superior, WI to Detroit Edison’s Belle River Power Plant near St. Clair, MI.

In the years that followed, American Steamship Co. launched the fleet's two thousand foot vessels. The Walter J. McCarthy in 1977 and the Indiana Harbor in 1979. These vessels could carry more cargo per trip and the McCarthy took over as the primary vessel delivering coal to the power station. Today the St. Clair can be found delivering a range of cargos to various docks around the lakes.

Overall dimensions
Length 770'00"
Beam 92'00"
Depth 52'00"
Capacity (tons) 44,000 tons
Diesel engines horsepower 10,800
Self-unloading boom 250'

Off Fawn Island, St. Clair River. N.S.

Stern view. N.S.

Duluth. David French

Pat Pavlat & Frank Bachnak

Close up at the Soo. Pat & Jan Pavlat

Toledo lay-up. N.S.

Close up of prop. N.S.

St. Clair and Indiana Harbor at Duluth transferring coal into Indiana Harbor before heading for repairs. Al Miller.

Another view. Al Miller

Soo Locks. Rod Burdick

Detroit River. Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Cold passage. Todd Davidson

Arriving Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. Wendell Wilke

Marquette, MI. 8\93 Rod Burdick

St. Clair River, Port Huron. Ken Osborne

Aerial view. Don Coles

Inbound Lorain. TZ

Lorain Pellet Terminal. TZ

Bow passing the Lorain Light. TZ

Another view. TZ

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