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Soo Locks

Rod Burdick

Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Algolake

By George Wharton


The Great Lakes self-unloading bulk carrier Algolake was built by Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, ON and was launched for Algoma Central Corp., Sault Ste. Marie, ON on Oct. 29, 1976. The Algolake was the first Seaway sized vessel of this type (all cabins aft) built for this fleet. She is powered by two Crossley Pielstick 10PC 2V V-10 cylinder 4,500 horsepower diesel engines burning IF40 grade fuel driving a single controllable pitch propeller in a Kort nozzle giving her a rated service speed of 12 knots. She is equipped with a 1,000 horsepower bow thruster. Her capacities include 464 tonnes of fuel oil, 71 tonnes of diesel oil, 78 tonnes of potable water, and 16,740 tonnes of water ballast. The Algolake's 23 hatches feed into 5 holds where she can carry 26,900 tons at maximum Seaway draft of 26 feet and is capable of carrying 32,150 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 30 feet 1/2 inch. Her self-unloading system consists of a three-belt gravity system and a loop belt elevator feeding a stern-mounted 252 foot unloading boom that can be swung 90 degrees to port or starboard and discharge at a rate of up to 5,440 tonnes per hour. The system includes bulk flow gates and a variable speed belt.

The Algolake sailed on her maiden voyage on April 17, 1977 light from Owen Sound, ON to Stoneport, MI to load limestone for Sarnia, ON. She had sailed from Collingwood, ON the previous day on sea trials and had moored at Owen Sound for minor adjustments. The 'Algolake' name was derived from 'ALGO' honoring the owning Company's name and 'LAKE" for the Great Lakes on which she sails.

She has taken her turn at setting cargo records. On July 30, 1977; she set a record by carrying 27,210 tons of iron ore from Sept Isles, PQ to Ashtabula, OH. On July 13, 1986; by taking advantage of higher water levels, the Algolake carried 30,902 metric tons of coal from Thunder Bay, ON to Nanticoke, ON.

During the winter lay-up of 1999/2000 in Sarnia, ON; a start was made on a program to replace the bulk flow gates. The Algolake had the center belt completed with new doors. The other two belts are to completed later. Also completed at this time was a major replacement of main engine controls and the exchange/replacement of the pistons on her Pielstick engines.

On Aug, 19, 2000; the Algolake aided in the rescue of two men whose pleasure craft had become disabled on lower Lake Huron. The Algolake's third mate had spotted a flare southeast of Lexington Piers and had the vessel's course altered to proceed to that point. The Algolake came alongside of the 18 foot disabled craft and took the two men aboard and waited for USCG 41496 dispatched from Port Huron, MI to arrive on the scene. The two men, both from Lexington, MI, had been adrift for 6 hours before being spotted by the Algolake.

The Algolake currently sails under the management of Seaway Marine Transport, St. Catherines, ON (partnership of Algoma Central and Upper Lakes Group). The 2000 navigation season has seen this versatile vessel visit such ports as Bruce Mines, Courtright, Drummond Island, Goderich, Hamilton, Meldrum Bay, Nanticoke, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, and Windsor, ON; Ashtabula, Conneaut, Fairport, Sandusky, and Toledo, OH; Marysville, MI; Superior, WI; and Chicago, IL. Her principle cargo has been coal this season but other cargoes could include aggregates, slag, iron ore/oxides, salt, fertilizers, grain products, gypsum, quartzite, or sand


Overall dimensions
Length 730'00"
Beam 75'00"
Depth 46'06"
Capacity (tons) 32,150


Thunder Bay. Rob Farrow

Unloading. 
Mike Nicholls

Unloading Menominee. Scott Best.

Winter operations. Paul Beesley

Loading in Windsor.
Mike Nicholls

Detroit River. 
Mike Nicholls

Winter 2000. Don Coles

Under the boom. Jeff Thorsen

Entering the Rouge River. 
Mike Nicholls

Looking down the boom. N. Schultheiss

Stacks.

Wheel stand in pilothouse.

Galley.

Builders plate.

Engine control room.

Engine rebuild.

Piston pulled for rebuild.

Detroit River. 
Mike Nicholls

Docking in Marquette. Lee Rowe

Kort Nozzle.

Unloading. Scott Best.


Aerial view. Don Coles

Loading in Windsor. 
Mike Nicholls

Algolake, winter Lay-up 2003 in Sarnia's North Slip. N. Schultheiss

Stern view.

View from the dock.

On deck.

Detroit River. 
Mike Nicholls

Rouge River. 
Mike Nicholls

Short Cut Coal Dock. Rouge River.  Don Coles

Loading in Conneaut. Jeff Thoreson

Downbound Port Huron. Clayton Charrad

Stern view.  
Mike Nicholls

Aerial view. Don Coles

Detroit River. 
Mike Nicholls

Outbound Menominee. Dick Lund

Sarnia Lay-up.
Mike Nicholls

Rouge River. Mike Nicholls

Close up. Clayton Charrad

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