I made a quick late-season trip up to Sturgeon Bay this weekend, and although the weather wasn’t the best for photographing, I was able to get some decent shots of the activity at the shipyard.
In the graving dock was the barge Presque Isle, here for her 5-year survey and a paint job.
The steel beam seen here being lifted by the crane was lowered around the barge’s stern, however I have no idea what it could possibly be for.
There were two new barges tied up at the shipyard, and this one is, believe it or not, the almost entirely rebuilt Cleveland Rocks. Now called Commander, she has been at the shipyard for the last year and a half being converted into a self-unloading powdered cement carrier, and the project is finally nearing completion.
Just for comparison, here’s a shot I took of the 1957-built Cleveland Rocks when she first arrived at the shipyard in May of 2017.
Here’s another view of the newly completed barge, which underwent lengthening, the addition of an entirely new bow, as well as rebuilding the cargo hold and outfitting a self-unloading system to prepare her to haul cement. I’m not sure which tug will push Commander now that she is ready for service, however…
Tied up across the slip was the other new barge, Kirby 155-03. She and her tug Ronnie Murph (tied up behind the barge) have been conducting sea trials over the last few weeks, and will likely depart for the Gulf of Mexico soon.
The barge is the third in a series of tug/barge combinations Bay Shipbuilding has constructed for Kirby. The first ATB, Kirby 155-01/Heath Wood, was delivered in late 2016, and the second, Kirby 155-02/Paul McLearnan, was delivered last summer.
While her barge was being worked on in drydock, the tug Presque Isle was tied up on the other side of the shipyard.
Here’s a stern view of the tug, and this close-up provides a better view of her unique hull design that connects her with her barge.
The one usual vessel at BayShip was American Courage, which I seem to photograph every time I’m here even though she hasn’t moved in a good four years.
Rumor has it, though, that this will be the Courage‘s last winter laid up here, as she may see service next season.
This was the closest I could get to a bow shot of the tug Ronnie Murph.
From Bullhead Point, I was able to get stern shots of the Commander (on the right) and Ronnie Murph. The only part of the barge that isn’t made of new steel is her lower hull; her notch, upper hull, and deck are all brand new.
Here you can see Ronnie Murph moored just astern of her barge, as well as the Commander‘s unique self-unloading tower (just to the right of the tug’s superstructure) that is designed specifically to unload powdered cement.
And here’s one last shot of the new ATB.
The black tarps you see around Presque Isle‘s stern are protecting her hull from the elements while she is repainted in drydock.
Here’s one last close-up of the barge’s stern and self-unloading boom. Once her survey and work is completed, Presque Isle will continue to operate for the remainder of the shipping season.
I likely won’t be back to Sturgeon Bay until this winter, however I hope to be able to make it up to catch some of the layup fleet arriving for the winter.