Walter J. McCarthy Jr.
IMO 7514684

Downbound at Detroit, June 6, 2015.
(Matt Miner)


Built in two sections by Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, WI, this twin-screw self-unloading bulk carrier was christened as Belle River on July 12,1977, for the American Steamship Co. She was the first 1,000-footer built at Bay Shipbuilding and is one of 13 such vessels plying the Great Lakes. This design was also used in the construction of the 1,000-footers Burns Harbor, Columbia Star, Indiana Harbor and Oglebay Norton.

Belle River was the sixth of 10 vessels built for American Steamship Co. under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. This program allowed fleets to build new or modernize existing vessels by government-guaranteed financing and tax-deferred benefits.

Belle River was renamed Walter J. McCarthy Jr. after the retired chairman of the board of Detroit Edison on May 25,1990. This vessel has been used almost exclusively to carry low-sulfur western coal from the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, WI, to the Detroit Edison Belle River Power Plant at St. Clair, MI (Recor Point). She occasionally coal to Detroit Edison in Monroe, MI, and also carries the odd spot load of taconite pellets.

The McCarthy is powered by four V-20 3600 horsepower GM diesel engines. These engines are arranged in pairs, with each pair connected to a gear reduction box driving a four-blade 17.22-foot diameter controllable pitch propeller. This arrangement permits one engine of each pair to drive each propeller shaft for more economical cruising. She is equipped with 1,500 horsepower bow and stern thrusters. Her 37 hatches feed into seven holds, where she is capable of carrying 78,850 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 34 feet. Her self-unloading equipment consists of a loop belt conveyor feeding a stern-mounted 250-foot-long unloading boom that can be swung 92 degrees to port or starboard and can discharge at a rate of up to 6,000 short tons of coal per hour.


Written by George Wharton.



Ship Particulars
Length 1000' 00" (304.8m)
Beam 105' 00" (32.0m)
Depth 56' 00" (17.07m)
Midsummer Draft 34' 01" (10.39m)
Unloading Boom Length 250' (76.2m)
Capacity 89,900 tons
Engine Power 14,000 bhp diesel
Previous Names
Belle River 1977 - 1990
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. 1990 - Today

 


Belle River 1977 - 1990
(American Steamship Co.)

Upbound in the St. Marys River.
(Peter Worden collection)

Unloading coal at the Recor Edison Plant in 1980.
(Matt Miner collection)

Downbound in the St. Marys River.
(Roger LeLievre)

Upbound from the Bluewater Bridge followed by the E. M. Ford, Sept. 16, 1986.
(Marc Dease)

 
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. 1990 - Today
(American Steamship Co.)

Renaming cerimony at Recor Edison, May 25, 1990.
(Peter Worden collection)

Wide view of the McCarthy.
(Peter Worden collection)

Unloading St. Clair Edison.
(John Meyland)

Arriving off Duluth, Nov. 4, 2000.
(Al Miller)

Approaching Duluth Piers, June 5, 2001.
(Rob Farrow)

Unloaded on the Detroit River, Aug. 5, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Loading coal at SMET, Oct. 2, 2001.
(Gordon A. Williams)

Close up of the loading operation.
(Gordon A. Williams)

Aerial view in the St. Clair River, Oct. 2001.
(Don Coles)

Stern view.
(Don Coles)

Aerial view in Lake Erie, Oct. 28, 2002.
(Don Coles)

Downbound St. Clair River near Marysville.
(Ken Hamilton)

Taking on fuel from the William L. Warner in Indiana Harbor, July 30, 2006.
(Roger LeLievre)

Downbound at Buoys 1 & 2 of the Lake Huron Cut, July 12, 2007.
(Marc Dease)

Upbound in the Detroit River, Oct. 11, 2008.
(Roger LeLievre)

Stern view.
(Roger LeLievre)

Late evening on the St. Marys River, Aug. 9, 2008.
(Roger LeLievre)

Stern view.
(Roger LeLievre)

Passing under the Duluth Aerial Bridge, Aug. 18, 2009.
(Travis Chadwick)

Entering Duluth Piers outbound, Sept. 6, 2010.
(Tom Caine)

NE wind at 32 mph, gusting to 40 mph.
(Tom Caine)

Plowing through the waves.
(Tom Caine)

Into Lake Superior.
(Tom Caine)

Walter J. McCarthy Jr., American Integrity and American Century laid up in Sturgeon Bay, Aug. 8, 2011.
(Dick Lund)

Close up of the bows.
(Dick Lund)

Downbound at Detroit, June 6, 2015.
(Matt Miner)

Close up of the stern.
(Matt Miner)

Another view.
(Matt Miner)

Downbound above the Blue Water Bridge, May 23, 2016.
(Marc Dease)

Upbound in the upper St. Marys River, July 3, 2017.
(Matt Miner)

Passing Gros Cap Reef Light into Lake Superior.
(Matt Miner)

Passing through Detroit downbound, July 15, 2017.
(Matt Miner)

J. W. Westcott delivering mail and supplies at the engineroom door.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Entering the Poe Lock with the bow incased in ice, Jan. 4, 2018.
(Michelle Briggs)

 


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Belle River
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Walter J. McCarthy Jr.
 

 


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