The cement carrier Paul H. Townsend, owned by Inland Lakes Management, was towed out of Muskegon, MI today by the tug Barbara Andrie en route to Port Colborne, Ontario, where she will be scrapped. The vessel has not sailed since 2005, and has been used as a cement storage vessel in recent years.
The Townsend was built in 1945 as Coastal Delegate for service in World War II, and was originally built with her accommodations and pilothouse at the stern. She only operated on the ocean for a few years, and was sold and brought onto the lakes in 1951. She sat out most of the 1952 season while being converted to a self-unloading cement carrier, and was given her current name upon completion of the conversion in early 1953. During the winter of 1957/58, the Townsend was lengthened to 447 feet and rebuilt, which included the addition of a new forward-mounted pilothouse. She has operated on the lakes with a mostly uneventful career, and laid up for the final time on December 15, 2005. The vessel has been used as for cement storage on multiple occasions, however none of them recently.
Besides Paul H. Townsend, Inland Lakes Management owns three other vessels, two of which are in long-term layup. The classic steamer Alpena, a favorite among boatwatchers, is still in active service. J.A.W. Iglehart is laid up in Duluth, and is used as a storage and transfer vessel, and S.T. Crapo sits idle in Green Bay, Wisconsin, at a remote dock on the Fox River. Neither of these vessels are likely to see active service in the future, and will most likely be sent for the boneyard in the coming years.
This photo shows the Townsend‘s christening ceremony in 1953, just after her conversion to a cement carrier.
Here, the vessel loads in Detroit in 2005, in what would prove to be her last season of operation.
This has been the Townsend‘s layup dock in Muskegon since 2005 – the photo was taken in 2009. (All photos above courtesy of boatnerd.com).