By George Wharton
Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- TADOUSSAC
Launched May 29, 1969 as the Tadoussac(2) for Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal; this traditional styled self-unloading bulk carrier was built by Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, ON; her keel being laid June 25,1968. On the day of her launch, she slid down her ways 15 minutes prematurely killing 2 workers and injuring 35 others. The accident was blamed on rotting support timbers. The Tadoussac was the last CSL vessel built with the forward pilothouse and the first to be built with stern-mounted self-unloading gear. She is powered by a single 6-cylinder 9,600 bhp Sulzer diesel engine giving her a rated service speed of 14.75 knots and is also equipped with a controllable pitch bow thruster. Her 23 hatches feed into 5 compartments where she can carry 24,900 tons at maximum Seaway draft of 26-feet and is capable of carrying 29,700 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 29-feet 5 1/2 inches. She is equipped with a gravity flow self-unloading system feeding a stern-mounted 250-foot discharge boom that can be swung 110 degrees to port or starboard and unload at a rate of up to 6,000 tonnes per hour.
In 1972, the Tadoussac was the first downbound vessel through the Welland Canal opening the port of Hamilton, ON for the season on April 4,1972. She then turned around and the next day became the first vessel to go upbound through the Welland Canal thus opening both ends of the Canal that season. On April 25, 1973; the Tadoussac's self-unloading boom collapsed in Sandusky, OH with no resulting injuries. The Tadoussac found herself in an ironic situation on Nov.10, 1990. On the evening of the fifteenth annivsary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Tadoussac lost power in a major storm on Lake Superior above Whitefish Bay, the general area of the Fitzgerald wreck. This incident, though, came to a much happier conclusion.
The Tadoussac remains an active carrier in CSL's fleet carrying cargoes such as coal, ore grain, stone/aggregate, and cement clinker. She has been an active participant in an ongoing project whereby CSL vesssels travel to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to load or top up large ocean going coal carriers. Due to the oat bran craze of the late 1980's, the Tadoussac carried several cargoes of oats for General Mills from Thunder Bay, ON to Duluth-Superior in 1989.
The Tadoussac's future on the lakes is secure due, in part, to an announcement made by CSL on March 29, 2000. During the winter of 2000/2001, the Tadoussac's center section is to be rebuilt to a beam of 78 feet with the existing bow and stern sections being joined to the new center by transition pieces. This project is to be completed by Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catherines, ON at an approximate cost of $20 million.
Overall dimensions Length 730'00" Beam 75'03" Depth 42'00" Capacity (tons) 29,700 Diesel engine horsepower 9,600