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 St. Marys River

Roger LeLievre

Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Reserve

By Brian Ferguson

Oglebay Norton's Steamer Reserve was built in 1953, at Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge Michigan. She was designed along the classic lines of the AAA class vessel. All AAA's were built in the early 1950's. The first being the Philip R Clarke for Pittsburgh Steamship Co. (U.S. Steel) in 1952. The AAA's were 647' long at there launch. All but one, the J.L. Mauthe (now self-unloading barge Pathfinder) were lengthened 120' in the 1970's making them 767'long with a beam of 70'. Seven out of the Eight AAA's are still active today. This makes the AAA one of the most successful designs on the Lakes. The only boat of this class to be scrapped was the William Clay Ford (I). Almost a cruel joke she was the youngest AAA on the lakes.

The Reserve is 767' feet in length with a beam of 70'and a mid summer draft of 26' 11.75". Her 7000hp oil fired steam turbine can make 15.5 mph under a full load of 25,500 tons of ore, or 17,900 tons of coal. Stone is also a common cargo for the Reserve. She carries a 260' self unloading boom with a unloading rate of 6000 tons per hour. Maneuverability of the vessel is aided by a bow thruster.

Common trips for the Reserve include Silver Bay to Toledo, or Taconite Harbor for Lorain.

Overall dimensions
Length  767' 00"
Beam  70' 00"
Depth  36' 00"
Capacity (tons)  25, 500
Steam Turbine Horse Power  7,000

Reserve Conversion 2007: Special photo gallery of the conversion of the Reserve to a self-unloading barge.  Photos courtesy of Dick Lund.

(Click here)
St. Marys River  Dave Marcoux

Chief Shingwauk poses for a picture as the Reserve ties up.

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Toledo lay-up. Jim Hoffman

Passing Detroit. John Belliveau

Winter lay-up. David French

Detroit River. Todd Davidson

Under tow. David French

Unloading. Kent Rengo

Marquette (image edited to show both sides of dock) Lee Rowe

Boom extended for loading. Lee Rowe

Close up. John Belliveau

Keweenaw Water Way in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Stack above the crowd at Engineers Day. N. Schultheiss

Unloading Lorain, Oh. Dave Edwards

Stern view. TZ

Out bound Lorain. TZ

Detroit River. N. Schultheiss

St. Marys River. Roger LeLievre

As a straight decker. Jim Hoffman

Aerial view. Don Coles

Detroit River. Mike Nicholls

Close up. Mike Nicholls

Stern view Mike Nicholls

Another view. Mike Nicholls

Foggy St. Marys River. Jim Hoffman

Upbound at the Soo. Roger LeLievre

Aerial view. Don Coles

Loading in Marquette. Lee Rowe

Close up. Lee Rowe

Inbound Lorain. Dave Edwards

Winter lay-up with the Fitz. Capt. Metz

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