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 Thunder Bay 1987

Gene Onchulenko 

Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Vandoc

By George Wharton

This medium sized traditional styled straight deck bulk carrier was built by Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, ON and was launched Nov.27, 1963 as Sir Denys Lowson for Algoma Central Corp., Sault Ste. Marie, ON. The laker is diesel powered and is equipped with a bow thruster. Her 18 hatches feed into 5 holds where she is capable of carrying 16,000 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 24 feet 7 inches.

The Sir Denys Lowson was the victim of a fire in her forward cabin on Jan.13, 1964 resulting in $250,000.00 damage. The vessel still sailed on time! Her activities for Algoma were concentrated on the iron ore trade from Little Current, ON (Manitoulin Island) to Cleveland, OH and Detroit, MI. She also carried ore from Depot Harbour and Michipicoten, ON as well as Sept Isles and Pointe Noire, PQ.

N.M Paterson & Sons Ltd., Thunder Bay, ON bought the vessel on July 24, 1979 renaming her Vandoc(2). For Paterson, the Vandoc's activity was focused on the grain trade. Nov 29, 1989 saw the Vandoc as the feature vessel for the Merritt Day celebrations at Lock 3 of the Welland Canal celebrating the 160th anniversary of the Welland Canal and the 30th anniversary of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The Vandoc entered lay-up at Thunder Bay, ON on Dec. 21, 1991. After remaining idle for more than 10 years the vessel was sold for scrapping. The Purvis Marine tug Reliant towed the Vandoc to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. in early June 2002. The vessel was scrapped near Algoma Steel with the pieces going directly to the furnaces at Algoma.

Her end comes in the blast furnaces of the steel mill she was built to serve.

Overall dimensions
Length 605'00"
Beam 62'00"
Depth 33'10"
Capacity (tons) 16,000


Ready for scrapping at the Soo. June 29, 2002 N. Schultheiss

Deck view awaiting scrapping June, 2002

Scrapping at the Soo.

Sir Denys Lowson downbound after unloading at Algoma Steel.  Roger LeLievre

Waiting to load in Toledo. Jim Hoffman

Downbound at Port Huron. Rod Burdick

Thunder Bay lay-up. Rob Farrow

In the Welland. Ron & Jason LaDue

Scrap tow departing Thunder Bay. Rob Farrow

On Lake Superior heading for the Soo. Rob. Farrow

Close up. Rob Farrow

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