CSL’s Birchglen and Mapleglen depart for Scrap

Canada Steamship Lines has continued its fleet modernization program by scrapping two more vessels. Birchglen departed the Port of Montreal under her own power on September 25, bound for Aliaga, Turkey, where she will be broken up for scrap. She posted an ETA of October 17.

Birchglen was built at Govan Shipyard in Govan, Scotland, and christened Canada Marquis in 1983 for Misener Transportation Co. The vessel’s main job was carrying grain from Great Lakes elevators to overseas destinations, and she made frequent trips through the Seaway.

She was renamed Federal Richelieu after a sale to FedNav in 1991, and continued Seaway service. After another sale to Maple Shipping later in the year, she remained on charter to FedNav and was renamed Federal Mackenzie. The name was changed once again to Mackenzie in 2001 when the ship was sold to N. & M. Shipping Corp.

Her final name came with the sale to Canada Steamship Lines in late 2002, and she was renamed to her current name in early 2003. She continued service into the Seaway and around the Americas until the end of the 2014 season, when she tied up at Montreal. No work could be found to keep Birchglen in service during 2015, and she remained idle until her departure for the scrapyard.

Two days later, on September 27, Mapleglen departed Montreal bound for the same fate. She is due to arrive in Aliaga on October 17, where she will be broken up.

Mapleglen was launched on January 19, 1981, at Hoboken, Belgium, and christened Federal Maas. Like the Birchglen, she was designed for traveling in between the Great Lakes and overseas ports. She served FedNav for the first part of her career, and was a regular Seaway visitor.

In 1994, she was sold to Lake Michigan Inc. and renamed Lake Michigan. The ship continued Seaway service, and visited the Great Lakes frequently between 1995 and 2008. Lake Michigan was then sold to Canada Steamship Lines and registered in Montreal on October 22, 2008. She continued service as Lake Michigan for the remainder of the season, and was renamed Mapleglen in 2009.

Mapleglen served CSL until December 24, 2014, where she tied up in Montreal for what would prove to be the final time. She remained idle throughout the 2015 season until her departure for Aliaga on September 27.

Birchglen and Mapleglen follow their former fleetmates Saguenay and Richelieu to the scrapyard at Aliaga. The latter two vessels departed the Lakes in late summer of 2013. Saguenay, Richelieu, and Mapleglen are three of four sister ships that were built for Lakes and ocean service, the fourth being CSL fleetmate Oakglen. She, too, is expected to be sent for scrap within the next few years, along with Birchglen‘s sister ships Spruceglen (owned by CSL) and Kaministiqua (owned by Lower Lakes Towing). The years on saltwater has brought the end for these vessels, which are now being replaced by CSL’s Trillium Class of six new ships.


Sturgeon Bay News: Palmer Johnson to close

If you haven’t heard the news already, mega yacht builder Palmer Johnson, based in Sturgeon Bay, announced last Wednesday that they would be closing. According to the release, Palmer Johnson says that the company’s operations and employment have been diminishing along with sales. Competition from other luxury yacht builders put pressure on the company, forcing them to make the difficult decision to close. The close will result in about 100 jobs being affected.

Palmer Johnson is currently working on one yacht that has been under construction for most of the year. It is expected to be launched soon, and after the completion of this yacht, Palmer Johnson will officially end operations.

I will try to get up to Sturgeon Bay before the yacht departs from the shipyard, so I can share some last-minute photos.

022I took this photo last summer, of the bright gold-painted yacht that Palmer Johnson built just before the current construction. I believe this one went to Russia upon it’s departure last fall.