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Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- H.M. Griffith

By Skip Gillham

H.M. GRIFFITH is expected to undergo reconstruction at the end of the 1999 season. The work is part of Canada Steamship Lines plan to upgrade their Great Lakes fleet of self-unloaders for work into the new century.

This ship was built at Collingwood, Ont., and launched on July 12, 1973. It left in late October to load iron ore at Thunder Bay for the Steel Company of Canada plant at Hamilton.

The 730 foot long by 75 foot wide freighter was registered at 22,722 gross tons. Although ore and coal have been the predominant cargoes over the years, the H.M. GRIFFITH set a record for corn of l,073,000 bushels from Chicago to Montreal in November 1973 and a corn record of 1,045,000 out of Toledo on December 4, l984.

There have been several "firsts" over the years including Welland Canal openings for each of 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980 and 1994. This was the first to refuel at the Champion Fuel Terminal (since closed) at Port Weller in 1980 and the first to unload into a hopper at the Robin Hood Elevator, Port Colborne, Ont., in August 1987.

When H.M. GRIFFITH receives a new bow and cargo section, it will be 740 feet long by 78 feet at the beam. Only the stern, with pilothouse, accommodations and engineroom, will be retained.

Overall dimensions
Length 730'00"
Beam 75'00"
Depth 46'06"
Capacity (tons)31,250 tons

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