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.

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