Friday, February 29, 2008

Erie Shipbuilding Completing Hull 108

Erie Shipbuilding Hull 108, another new deck barge of the same dimensions as the previous one, should be complete within the next few weeks. The barge is the first of two more the shipyard is building along the same lines.

Erie Shipbuilding remains busy this winter; I hope to have a full report sometime next week.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

2008 Erie Cruise Schedule

After seeing only one cruise ship visit the port in 2007, Erie will do marginally better this season, as the GRANDE MARINER of American Canadian Caribbean Cruises visits the port of Erie twice. The GRANDE MARINER, which visited Erie only once during 2007 when it visited on August 27, will arrive in Erie on June 26, 2008, and visit again on August 24.

The MARINER, however, will not be using the Cruise Boat Terminal at the foot of Holland Street. The terminal, built in 2002, has yet to see a cruise ship dock there and likely won't until at least 2010. Currently the building houses the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol offices.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Historical: BUCKEYE Conversion, Part 3 of 3

Today's entry in the BUCKEYE conversion gallery takes us from July through September 2006, when the barge LEWIS J. KUBER and tug OLIVE L. MOORE departed Erie Shipbuilding on their first trip.

LEWIS J. KUBER retains the Oglebay Norton name and colors on August 2, 2006.

On August 8, the name is painted on the port side of the barge for the christening ceremony that took place the next day.

The starboard side, however, did not receive the markings for some time.

Workers perform some welding on the stern on August 9.

By the morning of August 15, the name LEWIS J. KUBER had been applied to the bow; however, the Oglebay Norton fleet logo remained.

That afternoon, the markings were painted out.

Done working, a shipyard employee is hoisted back over the barge.

Mated with tug OLIVE L. MOORE on September 9. Four days later the vessel would sail in the middle of the night.

OLIVE L. MOORE in Erie harbor on August 24.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Historical Layups: 1970-71

The following is a list of ships that spent the winter of 1970-71 in Erie harbor:


Of these, the GLOSSBRENNER today sails as the ALGOSTEEL, the SPARROWS POINT as barge LEWIS J. KUBER, and the J.S.ST. JOHN.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Erie Historical: BUCKEYE Conversion, Part 2

Part 2 of the BUCKEYE Conversion gallery takes us through the beginning of July, 2006, with the BUCKEYE being moved out of drydock.

BUCKEYE in drydock, February 26, 2006.

Another view.

Another view as the vessel is in drydocked with the pilothouse removed.

By April 8, 2006 a forward lookout house has been fabricated and added to the bow of the barge.

The newly reregistered LEWIS J. KUBER is assisted out of drydock by LOW BIDDGER, FLATTOP and DON HENRY on July 3, 2006.

An overhead view on a hot (85 degree) July morning.

Being turned.


The barge's bow thruster is used to turn the KUBER.

In the West Slip.

Winched forward.

KUBER is winched forward.

July 5 finds the KUBER sitting at the pier with tg JOSEPH H. THOMPSON JR. behind her.

Stern view on July 6.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

EMS Called to Erie Shipbuilding

At around 5:00 this afternoon, fire and ambulance services were called to Erie Shipbuilding, where an employee reportedly fell from a ladder. No word on the extent of the employee's injuries, but they are not believed to be overly serious.

A fire engine from the fire station on East Avenue at Erie Shipbuilding on Sunday afternoon.

CASON J. CALLAWAY at dock on Saturday afternoon.

VICTORIAN PRINCESS in the East Canal Basin.

Lakeshore Towing's dock.

MICHIPICOTEN in the West Slip.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Flagship Niagara; Erie Maritime Museum Celebrating Anniversaries this year

Celebrating its 20th anniversary of sailing the Great Lakes this season is the Erie-based U.S. Brig NIAGARA. As such, the Flagship Niagara League on Friday announced that on March 12, the vessel will have its mast replaced with a new one. Erie Shipping News will be on hand to cover this event.

The Erie Maritime Museum, where the NIAGARA is based, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this May. The museum offers a great family experience on the history of the maritime culture in the port of Erie. Among the exhibits in the museum are models from the now-defunct Erie Sand fleet, a former steam-powered electricity generating station, many different exhibits on the War of 1812, and a ton of others. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone by revealing everything. I've toured the museum several times now and it's always enjoyable, and highly recommended.

Watch for Part 2 of the BUCKEYE conversion series coming tomorrow.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Historical: Erie Shipbuilding's BUCKEYE Conversion, Part 1

On December 4, 2005, Erie Shipbuilding's first project arrived in Erie. The former Oglebay Norton steamer BUCKEYE arrived under tow of the OLIVE L. MOORE. The steamer, over the next nine months, would be converted to a barge at the shipyard. This photo essay will take a look at the first months of her stay in Erie.

OLIVE L. MOORE tows the BUCKEYE into the channel toward Presque Isle Bay, December 4, 2005.

Another view.

Close up of the tug OLIVE L. MOORE.

Close up of BUCKEYE. In a few months, the cabins will be completely removed and the barge will be unrecognizable as the same vessel it is on this day.

Great Lakes Towing tug NEW YORK, out of Ashtabula, Ohio, assisted the tow.

Stern view of the tow.

Close up of the BUCKEYE.

A few minutes later, on this cold December morning, the tow is in the West Slip.

NEW YORK holds the BUCKEYE alongside as Erie Shipbuilding employees moor the vessel.

Conversion on the BUCKEYE is well underway by the time of this January 12, 2006 photograph. The stack has been removed and crews are cutting into the stern of the ship.

BUCKEYE is shown in this photo on January 19, 2006.

Stern view on January 19.

Stern of the BUCKEYE on January 28, 2006.

Conversion progresses on February 15.

On the morning of February 20, Lakeshore Towing's FLATTOP and DON HENRY break ice in preparation for the BUCKEYE's move into drydock late that day.

Watch for Part 2 tomorrow.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Erie Historical: Moving the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON JR. Into Drydock

On February 20, 2006, the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON JR. was moved into drydock by Lakeshore Towing tugs FLATTOP and DON HENRY. Below are photos of the move, as the THOMPSON JR. became the first vessel in nine years to enter the drydock.

OLIVE L. MOORE moves the THOMPSON JR. around as FLATTOP and DON HENRY take up the tow.

FLATTOP takes the stern and pulls the tug into drydock.

Another view.

Overhead view as shipyard crews take over and winch the tug backwards.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Historical: Erie Shipbuilding's First Drydocking

On February 20, 2006, Lakeshore Towing's FLATTOP and DON HENRY moved the BUCKEYE and JOSEPH H. THOMPSON JR. into drydock at Erie Shipbuilding. Not only do BUCKEYE, which went in for conversion to barge LEWIS J. KUBER, and tug JOSEPH H. THOMPSON JR., in for engine replacement, become Erie Shipbuilding's first drydockings, but also become the first vessels to use the drydock in nine years, since the LOUIS R. DESMARAIS was drydocked by Metro Machine in 1997.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

English requests Army Corp of Engineers Funding for Dredging

U.S. Rep. Phil English of Erie reportedly has written to the Director of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Office of Management and Budget requesting that they release funds for dredging of Erie Harbor in 2009. Erie will know later this spring if that request is granted.

President George W. Bush has continually cut the Army Corps budget, leaving dredging to suffer. Low water is currently a problem throughout the Great Lakes; Presque Isle Bay, except for a few trouble spots, such as the Old Ore Dock that Lakeshore Towing recently dredged, seems to not have as many problems. The water depth in the channel is sufficient for vessels bound for the Mountfort Terminal to load to between 25 and 26 feet.

The last time the channel was dredged was in 1998, when Luedtke Engineering spent several weeks working in the harbor.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Erie Historical: The P&E Ore and Coal Docks

Consistently in this blog I make reference to the Old Ore Dock. The dock at one time did receive iron ore. This website shows more on how the Ore Dock was.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Historical Winter Layup: 1961-62

Below is a listing of the vessels that spent the winter of 1961-62 in the port of Erie:


None of these vessels existed after the 1970s.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Layup Photos

Below are more photos of the vessels in winter layup at Erie.

The ice on Presque Isle Bay is currently several inches thick, and dozens of people took advantage of the beautiful, if not warm, weather on Saturday to ice fish, or just walk on the ice. With temperatures expected in the high 40s tomorrow, there may not be many more days for ice recreation this winter.

MICHIPICOTEN at Erie Shipbuilding.

Stern view.

Port side view of the MICHIPICOTEN.

Another view.

Close up of the ice-encased rudder and propeller on the MICHIPICOTEN.

WITTE 1402 at Erie Shipbuilding.

Stern view.

CASON J. CALLAWAY at the Old Ore Dock.

Another view.

Stern view.

With the J.S. St. JOHN.

PRESQUE ISLE at the Mountfort Terminal.

105' wide.

Wide view.


Ice on the rocks on the west side of the Mountfort Terminal.