Algoma Central purchases Four Vessels from American Steamship

Algoma Central, the operator of the largest Canadian fleet of Great Lakes vessels, has announced that it has acquired four ships from the American Steamship Company. Three of those vessels – American Valor, American Victory, and Adam E. Cornelius – are currently in long-term layup, while the fourth, Buffalo, has been in active service for the company. Late last week, Buffalo arrived in Sarnia, Ontario, and is currently moored at the Government Dock with her ballast water pumped out. It is unclear whether Algoma will continue to sail her for the remainder of the 2017 shipping season or lay her up in Sarnia. Adam E. Cornelius is currently tied up in Huron, Ohio, and has sat out the last three seasons. American Victory is laid up at Elevator M in Superior, Wisconsin, and the Valor is docked in Toledo, Ohio. Neither of those vessels have seen service since 2008.

According to the company’s announcement: “The availability of these vessels presented an opportunity to expand Algoma’s vessel fleet and capacity at extremely attractive values. Both the Buffalo and Adam E. Cornelius will provide efficient capacity to serve customers in the river-class segment of Algoma’s Domestic Dry Bulk market. Both ships will complement the Company’s existing fleet to ship salt, aggregates, and other commodities. These additions enhance Algoma’s versatility in offering its customers different cargo sizes and vessel configurations to meet their specific needs.” In regard to the Victory and Valor, Algoma is keeping its options open and has not yet made a definitive plan for either ship. Because both vessels are still steamers, there is the possibility that they may be re-powered as motor vessels, or converted into articulated tug-barge units.

Algoma has not yet announced potential names for any of the vessels, and it is presumed that the three currently in layup will be towed and/or sailed to Canadian ports in the spring. I will be heading to Duluth this coming weekend, as it has been well over a year since my last visit, and I hope to be able to photograph the Victory laid up for potentially the last time. Stay tuned for updates on this sale!

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Winter Updates!

First off, I apologize for not posting much as of late – there hasn’t been a whole lot to report on until just recently! But here is the latest on the shipping front.

In Sturgeon Bay, Roger Blough arrived last Thursday, December 14, becoming the second vessel to lay up there for the coming winter. Wilfred Sykes was the first, however she laid up before Thanksgiving. The Blough entered the graving dock to receive her 5-year Coast Guard inspection. Also laid up is American Courage, however she has not seen service in either of the past two seasons. So as of now, there are three vessels laid up for the winter of 2017-18, with plenty more expected in the coming weeks as the shipping season winds down.

On Monday in Duluth, Wagenborg’s Beatrix arrived to load wheat at CHS 2, becoming the last saltie to arrive for the 2017 season. With the closing of the St. Lawrence Seaway looming on New Year’s Eve, she will be quickly making her way for Montreal after she completes loading. Her fleetmate Finnborg is also in Duluth loading, and should depart by Tuesday for Montreal.

At the Uljanik d.d. shipyard over in Croatia, Algoma Central has announced that it has taken delivery of it’s newest Equinox vessel, Algoma Innovator. She is one of two vessels being built as a variation of the original Equinox design, with an overall length of 650 feet and a forward-mounted self-unloading boom. Although the Innovator is complete, she won’t depart for the Lakes until February, when conditions on the Atlantic Ocean are more favorable for the transit of a lake vessel. She is expected to arrive in time for the start of the 2018 shipping season in March. Her sister ship, Algoma Endurance, is nearing completion at the shipyard, and should be ready for service in mid-2018.

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Algoma Innovator, with her name not yet painted on the hull, is shown here underway in Croatia. (Courtesy of ShipSpotting)

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Another photo of Algoma Innovator. (Courtesy of VesselFinder)

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This photo shows her sister ship, Algoma Endurance, under construction at the shipyard. (Courtesy of ShipSpotting)

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Shown here at her builder’s yard in China is Algoma Niagara, which arrived on the Lakes earlier this fall and promptly entered service as the newest member of Algoma’s Equinox class. (Courtesy of World Maritime News)

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Algoma Niagara is the fifth vessel in the Equinox class, and is the first to have a self-unloading boom. The other four vessels in the class thus far, Algoma Equinox, Algoma Harvester, G3 Marquis, and Algoma Strongfield, are all straight deck bulk carriers. Aside from the two 650-foot vessels being built in Croatia, at least one more sister to the Niagara is confirmed to be under construction, with the possibility of more in the future. (Photo courtesy of ShipSpotting)