Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Edwin
By Rod Burdick
Edwin H. Gott is one of thirteen 1000 foot vessels sailing the Great Lakes.
She was the eighth super carrier to enter service during a ten year
building program from 1971 to 1981. Gott is a product of Bay Shipbuilding
and was launched on July 19, 1978. From 1979 to 1995, Edwin
exclusively carried taconite loaded in Duluth, Silver Bay, and Two Harbors.
Two Harbors was her main loading port, and Gary became her principal
unloading port because of her original self-unloader design. She was built
with a short "shuttle" boom different from a traditional, long tubular
boom. Her shuttle boom could move only 52 feet laterally over her side to
discharge taconite into a hopper positioned close to dockside. Gary is one
port with this feature along with Conneaut, Ohio, which became her
At the end of the 1995 shipping season, Gott returned to her builders yard
for lay-up and to receive a new self-unloading boom. Her shuttle boom was
replaced with a traditional, long tubular boom. Her conversion is
significant not only because she is now a more versatile and efficient
carrier, but her new self-unloading boom is the longest in lakes history.
At 280 feet, her boom is 15 to 30 feet longer than other laker's booms.
Since her conversion, Edwin H. Gott has remained in taconite trades but has
visited a few new ports including Taconite Harbor, Indiana Harbor, and
The commissioning of the Gott and her 1000 foot near-sister,
Edgar B. Speer, built in 1980 at Lorain, changed the USS Great Lakes Fleet. Before
the Gott and Speer, USS Great Lakes Fleet had a large fleet of smaller,
traditional straight-deck lakers supplying their steel mills. Together,
the Gott and Speer represent over 120,000 tons of capacity. This added
capacity meant the retirement of the fleet's smaller lakers. During the
1980's, these older lakers were moved one-by-one to scrap
Great Lakes fleets followed the same trend. Edwin H. Gott, on the other
hand, should ply the lakes well into the century.
|| 74,100 ton
|Horsepower diesel engine
|| 19,500 (largest on the lakes)