Click on image for a full screen view
|Upbound the St. Clair River,
Aug. 25, 2008.
Great Lakes Fleet
Page Vessel Feature -- Yankcanuck
Built by Collingwood Shipyards, division Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering
Ltd., Collingwood, ON as hull # 178, the keel for this versatile smaller
vessel was laid on September 20, 1962. Launched January 8, 1963 as the
Yankcanuck (2) for the Yankcanuck Steamships Ltd. of Sault Ste. Marie, ON,
the ship was commissioned and christened on April 27, 1963 by sponsor Miss
Barbara Ann Monadli, a niece of Capt. Feliciano (Skipper) Manzzutti who was
owner and president of Yankcanuck Steamships Ltd. Classified as a
self-loading and self-unloading general cargo crane ship, she was designed
and built for hauling steel products on a trade route from Algoma Steel,
Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Detroit, MI. The vessel was built with an
ice-strengthened hull with capabilities for coastal trading and was
originally equipped with an electric traveling, level-luffing, heavy duty crane built
by Dominion Bridge Co. Ltd., Montreal, QC.
The Yankcanuck is powered by a single Cooper-Bessemer 8-cylinder, single
acting, 4 stroke cycle, turbo charged, direct reversing diesel engine rated
at 1,860 b.h.p. (1,368 KW) at 300 r.p.m. burning marine diesel oil.
The engine, built by Cooper-Bessemer of Canada of Stratford, ON, can be
pneumatically controlled from the bridge and was the largest engine of its
kind built in Canada at that time. The power is fed to a single 8'
(2.44m) diameter cast aluminum, bronze and nickel fixed-pitch propeller
built by William Kennedy & Sons of Owen Sound, ON. She is equipped
with a 3' (91.44 cm) diameter bow thruster. Three hatches service 3
holds where the vessel is capable of carrying 4,685 tons of iron ore at a
mid-summer draft of 21' 05.75" (6.55m). The holds have the cubic
capacity to contain 5,050 net tons (equivalent to 4,509 tons / 4,581 mt) of
coal, 4,510 tons (4,582 mt) of wheat, 4,250 tons (4,328 mt) of corn or rye,
3,730 tons (3,790 mt) of barley or 3,265 tons (3,317 mt) of oats. The
crane ship has the capacity to carry up to 125 tons (127 mt) of fuel oil
giving the vessel a range of approximately 5,000 miles (8,047 k). The
vessel has comfortable accommodations for 27 officers and crew.
The Yankcanuck (2) was named in honor of the
faithful service given by her predecessor. The first Yankcanuck was built of
composite construction (iron frames and keel with wooden planking) in 1889
by Detroit Dry Dock Co., Wyandotte, MI as the bulk freighter Manchester for
the Inter-Ocean Steamship Co. After a conversion to a crane ship in 1928 and
several names later (name history: Manchester 1921, Joseph W. Simpson 1938,
c. Mindemoya 1946, Yankcanuck); the vessel was bought by Captain Frank
Manzzutti in 1945 as the first steamer for the newly formed Yankcanuck
Steamship Co. She was renamed Yankcanuck in 1946. Her final dimensions were
256' 09" (78.26m) x 41' 00" (12.50m) x 22' 06" (6.86m); 1,813 GRT and
powered by a 1,200 i.h.p. (883 KW) triple expansion steam engine iwht 2
coal-fired scotch boilers. Laid up in 1957 and scrapped in 1960, the
Yankcanuck (1) was the last vessel of composite construction sailing on the
Great Lakes. The 'Yankcanuck' name was derived from the fact that Captain
Frank Manzzutti was a Canadian and his wife, an American.
For Yankcanuck Steamship Co., the new Yankcanuck's
primary trade route was between Algoma Steel Corp., Sault Ste. Marie, ON and
Detroit, MI with steel products. On December 31, 1970, the Yankcanuck was
sold to Algoma Steel Corp. Ltd. resulting in the formation of the Algoma
Steel Corp. - Marine Division. Her chief trade route continued to be focused
on the delivering of finished steel products from Algoma Steel to markets in
Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI. In 1976, the Yankcanuck was sold to Chemco
Equipment Finance Canada Ltd. to help finance a new blast furnace for the
steel mill but continued to be operated by Algoma Steel under charter.
She has also carried and utilized her crane to load steel into ocean-going
ships. Some of her other duties have included lightering grounded vessels
and hauling salt, ore, and coal. In 1981, she picked up a load of coal in
Thunder Bay, ON in 37 minutes! Taking advantage of a buy-back option,
the crane ship was sold back to Algoma Steel in 1983.
In 1991, the Yankcanuck was sold to Purvis Marine
Ltd., also of Sault Ste. Marie, ON. The vessel was used as a crane barge
towed by Purvis' large tug Anglian Lady on her old steel runs in 1991 and
did not operate in 1992. In 1993, she resumed trading as a
powered carrier having been inspected and certified as a home trade vessel and was chartered to Transport Igloolik of Montreal, QC to
carry supplies north to the Arctic. After returning to the Soo, she
was used in the spring of 1994 to lighter cargo from the grounded Canadian
Ranger. In 1996, the crane ship was again delivering supplies to
communities in the far north. Her original
crane was replaced during the winter of 1997/98 with a Koehring model 1466
hydraulic traveling (tracked) extendable boom 30-ton crane equipped with a 8
cubic yard (6.12 c. meter) clam and an 83" (2.11m) magnet. Unlike
the original crane, the new crane did not depend on the Yankcanuck's
engineroom for power, decreased loading / unloading times and was much
easier to operate and maintain.
As she had throughout her career, the Yankcanuck
continued to serve Algoma Steel supplying the mill with raw material and
delivering finished product in the form of steel coils as needed.
Other cargoes have included cement clinker from Clarkson, ON to Essexville,
MI as well as gravel and sand to Mackinac Island. On April 5, 1998,
the Yankcanuck was towed by Purvis tugs Avenger IV and William M. Cohen to
lighter some of the cargo of the Algontario which had grounded in the St.
Marys River but was not needed. On June 7, 1999, the vessel grounded
by the bow while attempting to dock at one of Purvis Marine's docks at Sault
Ste. Marie, ON. She backed off the strand under her own power and
proceeded to another dock receiving no apparent damage.
In 2000, the Yankcanuck delivered
granulated slag to Prescott, ON for road construction. She continued
to be engaged in
2002 with a contract to move synthetic gypsum from Conneaut, OH to Nanticoke
and Port Colborne, ON, 2002 being the final year of a 5-year contract with
Purvis to move this product across Lake Erie. Early in 2003, she carried steel coils from
Algoma Steel to the McLouth Steel dock in Trenton, MI and was busy in 2004
hauling supplies between Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada's east coast.
While engaged in this service, on July 6, 2004, crane ship was struck by the
falling boom of a shore crane at Quebec City, QC. Following the
removal of damaged cargo and the shore boom, the vessel completed loading
and sailed July 7. There was little damage done to the vessel. Returning from the coast in late January, 2005, the Yankcanuck laid up and
saw no further service through the remainder of 2005 and all of 2006.
The Yankcanuck returned to service in 2007
completing sea trials on May 1, proceeding to Algoma Steel to load steel
coils. The vessel departed Sault Ste. Marie on May 3, passing
downbound through the Welland Canal on May 6 bound for the east coast and
another term of coastal trading. Returning to Sault Ste. Marie, ON
late in 2007 for winter lay up, the Yankcanuck sailed in early April of 2008
for an active season of Great Lakes trading.
|| 324' 03"
|| 49' 00"
|| 26' 00"
tons (4,760 mt)
at a draft of 21' 05.75" (6.55m)
| Power (diesel)
b.h.p. (1,368 kW)
Unloading steel slabs at Nicholson's Terminal,
Detroit, MI, July 26, 2008. Mike Nicholls
St. Marys River at Mission Poinr, Aug. 3, 2008.
Upbound the Welland Canal above Lock 1 from the
deck of the Edward L. Ryerson, Aug. 8, 2008.
At the Purvis Marine dock at the Soo, ON,
Apr. 2, 2008. Ted Fewchuck
Downbound the St. Clair River, Port Huron, MI,
June 27, 2008. Ed Schulyer
Upbound at the Soo, June 29, 2008.
Below Lock 1, May 6, 2007.
Stern view. David Bull
Upbound the St. Marys River at Mission Point,
Dec. 9, 2007. Herm Klein
Lake St. Clair (Windmill Pointe), May 4, 2007.
Alex & Max Mager
Downbound the Welland Canal below Lock 4,
May 6, 2007. Randy Martens
Stern view. Randy Martens
Lake Huron, Buoys 1 & 2, May 4, 2007.
Downbound the St. Clair River, May 4, 2007.
Close up. Frank Frisk
Bound for Algoma Steel on the St. Marys
Dec. 28, 2004. Lee Rowe
Laid up at the Purvis dock, Sault Ste.
Jan. 28, 2005. Lee Rowe
Fueling, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, May 1, 2007.
Detroit River, Sept. 3, 2003. Mike Nicholls
St. Marys River, Apr. 10, 2004.
Downbound the St. Lawrence Seaway
approaching Lock 3, Beauharnois, June 15, 2004. Kent Malo
Loading steel coils at Algoma Steel, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, July 2003.
Capt. John Chomniak
(Lock Tours Canada)
Unloading at Morterm, Windsor, ON, Aug. 14, 2003.
Another view. Mike Nicholls
Unloading synthetic gypsum at Port Colborne, ON, June 20, 2003 as seen from the
bridge of the downbound
Capt. Alain M. Gindroz
Close up of the unloading.
Capt. Alain M Gindroz
Bow view. Capt. Alain M. Gindroz
Parker Evans blows smoke in front of the
Yankcanuck at Mission Point.
Tom Manse collection courtesy of