Back to Cleveland
Cleveland is a place that I’m close to, and I know my way around, so I try to get there once every few months to see if the tugboat scene there has changed at all. Yesterday was one of those days, and unlike previous times, there were actually freighters in port. However, they were both unloading in the Industrial Valley area and I had no way of seeing them. But here is what I was able to see:
The Great Lakes Shipyard is located up the Old Cuyahoga (which branches off of the main river). It is the headquarters of Great Lakes Towing, the largest tugboat company on the Lakes. Here they keep most of their inactive tugs, as well as the ones usually used for Lake Towing. And the barge pictured here is Milwaukee. This 172 foot barge was built in 1924 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and at that time had forward cabins.
She is tucked about as far back up the Old Cuyahoga as a boat can go.
Delaware, Montana and Tennessee remain out of service. I’m not sure when these veterans last operated, but they are only used for parts now.
All three are standard “state-class” tugs, and despite being built between 1910 and 1940, the state-class is still the primary workhorse of the fleet.
After a big mistake made a few decades ago, Great Lakes Towing no longer sells tugs to competitors. Therefore, they end up scrapping all of their retired vessels and eventually these three will see that fate.
South Carolina, who was fitted with a retractable wheelhouse for pushing barges, came here about two years ago, supposedly for engine repair, but has only remained boarded up and her operating time appears to be finished.
Despite her name, she is not a true state-class tug.
Maine is the next tug back. She is a state-class tug, one of four to retain the high cabin. The others were Maryland (now scrapped), Michigan (now Selvick’s Jacquelyn Nicole) and Oregon (now for sale as Sioux). Maine has been inactive for over five years now.
GLT’s beautiful lake tug, Ohio, is a former fireboat built in 1903. She is old, and only works a few months a year (often with the barge Milwaukee), and she appears to be out for a much-needed refit to keep the 109-year-old tug working for years to come.
GLT is reportedly beginning refits on their entire fleet of harbor tugs. Illinois was the first to receive one. When I was last here in March the work was underway. The 1914 tug looks very nice now.
The shipyard regularly does work on tugs and research vessels, among other things. The floating drydock Favorite is used for much of this work. The 1912 tug Superior is sitting behind.
In the outer harbor, Durocher Construction is doing some kind of work and although the tug Nancy Anne was nowhere to be found, the barges D-2002 (right) and D-2006 (left) were there to be seen. I hope they were anchored.
Moving further up the Cuyahoga, the 110 foot icebreaking tug Apalachee is sitting idle waiting for something to do.
At the G&W Welding Dock near Collision Bend, GLT’s two primary Cleveland workhorses are waiting for a ship to assist. Iowa is one…
While California is the other.
And behind them is a former GLT tug, Ashtabula. She is a city-class tug, which preceded the state-class. Many city-class tugs lasted many years with other owners and Ashtabula, now in private ownership, is one of a few still around.
I do enjoy this shot, which shows Iowa and California with former fleetmate Ashtabula behind.
The very odd former lead-recovery vessel Recovery is sitting at the dock, and I know little to nothing about her, besides what her intended purpose was (recovering lead shot into Lake Erie from a gun club).
Forest City, the former bumboat, still sails sometimes. I don’t think she delivers to ships anymore, but back in the day bumboats were used as floating stores for docked ships.
The houseboat is still there, where it has been for years. I’m 95% sure that somebody lives there but I know nothing more.
And once again Anthony J. Celebrezze, the fireboat, closes out the post.
I’m back in Detroit and hope to have more freighter pics coming this week.
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