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| Port Huron, MI.
Great Lakes Fleet Page
Vessel Feature -- S.T. Crapo --
second bulk cement carrier built from the keel up, the
S.T. Crapo was built as hull # 256 in 1927 by the Great
Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI. The
vessel was launched and christened July 7, 1927 for the
Huron Transportation Co., division of Huron Portland
Cement Co., Detroit, MI, becoming the first carrier to
date to be launched with her boilers lit and the second
self-unloader of her type ever built. The first
bulk cement carrier to be constructed from the keel up
was the John W. Boardman (renamed Lewis G. Harriman in
1965) built for the same owners in 1923. The S.T.
Crapo was named in honor of Mr. Stanford Tappan Crapo,
co-founder with Mr. J.B. Ford of the Huron Portland
Cement Co. in 1907. Mr. Crapo served as the
company's secretary until his death on January 26, 1939.
The S.T. Crapo sailed as the fleet's flagship from her
launch date through until 1965 when the J.A.W. Iglehart
entered service assuming the title.
The S.T. Crapo was powered by a
yard-built, triple expansion 3 cylinder 1,800 i.h.p. (1,343 KW) steam engine
with 3 coal-fired Scotch boilers with a heating surface of 3,790 sq. ft. (352
sq. m.). Her boilers were converted from coal to oil during the 1994/95
winter lay-up at Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, WI. At the time of her
conversion, the venerable carrier was the last hand-fired coal burner on the
Great Lakes. The S.T. Crapo's unloading system is of an earlier design
with 4 tunnel conveyors but no airslides and can unload up to 500 tons (508 mt) per hour.
The vessel is capable of carrying up to 8,900 tons (9,043 mt) of bulk cement
products at a mid-summer draft of 21' 08 1/4" (6.61m), the cargo being contained
in 6 compartments. A bow thruster was added during the winter lay-up of
1963/64 at Cleveland, OH by G & W Welding Co.
For many years, the S.T. Crapo
was a perennial season opener for many Great Lakes ports with cargoes of cement
products from Alpena, MI. As an example, at the beginning of the 1970
season, the vessel left her lay-up berth at Ecorse, MI on March 15, opened
Alpena, MI on March 17, opened Detroit on March 19, then Cleveland on March 26
and finally opening the Straits of Mackinac on March 29. Of note, the
cement carrier lost the use of her rudder about 6 miles west of Gull Island on
March 30, 1974. Tugs John M. Selvick and Lauren Castle cam to the stricken
vessel's aid. Then, on June 29, 1980 while off Ludington, MI, a steam line
burst seriously burning a crewmember.
Throughout her tenure on the
Lakes, the S.T. Crapo has remained with the same fleet even though there had
been several parent company, fleet and vessel ownership changes. The year
1996 was perhaps the most traumatic in the venerable steamer's history.
With the entry into service of the new articulated tug/cement barge Jacklyn M
(now G.L. Ostrander)/Integrity that year with different owners and management,
the S.T. Crapo was removed from active service on September 4, 1996 and docked
at the Lafarge facilities at Green Bay, WI for use as a stationary cement
The S.T. Crapo remains at Green
Bay appearing as if she is ready to sail though her propeller has been removed.
The vessel was temporarily returned to "active" service in 2005 when, on October
13, the "G" tug Ohio towed the vessel to Alpena, MI to pick up a load of
cement for return to Green Bay. The loaded vessel was returned to her
berth at Green Bay on October 29. The trip was the result of the Inland
Lakes active steamer Alpena being temporarily removed from service for repairs.
Today, the old cement carrier is owned by Chrysler Capitol Corp., c/o and
bareboat chartered to Inland Lakes Management Inc., Alpena, MI under a contract
of affreightment with Lafarge North America Corp., Herndon, VA for continued use
as a cement storage barge and transfer vessel.
|| 402' 06"
|| 60' 03"
|| 29' 00"
tons (9,043 mt)
at a draft of 21' 08.25" (6.61 m)
i.h.p. (1,343 KW)
Arriving at Alpena, MI under tow of "G" tugs
Ohio (bow) & South Carolina, Oct. 22, 2005.
Ben & Chanda McClain
Side profile. Ben & Chanda McClain
Stern view. Ben & Chanda McClain
At Green Bay, Nov. 8, 2002. Dick Lund
Starboard side. Dick Lund
With the Alpena unloading at Green Bay,
Nov. 18, 2003. Jason Leino
Stern view, Nov. 8, 2002. Dick Lund
Port side showing dock location. Dick Lund
Close up of stern. Dick Lund
At Green Bay, July 18, 2001. Dick Lund
Port side view. Dick Lund
Nov. 25, 2001. Scott Best
Under way in ice.
Under way. Howard & Jean Miller