CABOT - St. John's Newfoundland, Canada       Call sign - VYKF     IMO number - 6514869     Official number - 323003
Owner - Clarke Transport Canada Inc., Canada

Location - Photographed while she was sailing eastbound in the St. Lawrence River near Contrecoeur, Quebec, Canada
Photograph Date - 8 February 1980     Photographer - Marc Piche     Added to archive - 25 Sep 2003     Last updated - 25 Sep 2003


  Ordered - unknown
  Construction begun - unknown
  Keel laid - 1964
  Launched - May 1965
  Delivered - June 1965
  Newbuild price - $8 million (CAD)

  (a) Cabot - Canada (83)
  (b) Canadian Explorer - Canada (98) - stern only
  (c) Canadian Transfer - Canada - stern only

  Her original bow and cargo hold were scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1984. Canadian Transfer remains in service


  Ship type - General cargo vessel
  4 cargo doors on each side for lateral loading
  Gross tonnage - 6,017
  Net tonnage - 3,893
  Displacement tonnage - 7,795
  L.O.A. - 145.54 meters (470'11")
  L.B.P. - 134.50 meters (441'3")
  Width overall - 17.20 meters (56'5")
  Width moulded - 17.02 meters (56'0")
  Draught - 7.208 meters (23'8")
  Depth - 9.76 meters (32'0")
  Number of cargo holds - 3
  Number of hatch covers - 4
  Unloading cranes - 2 of 15 tonnes capacity
  Number of decks - 2
  Tween deck elevators 2 (20' x 10")
  Water ballast capacity - 2,259 tonnes
  Container capacity - 76, 20' units


  Builder - Davie Shipbuilding Ltd.
  Country - Lauzon, Quebec, Canada
  Hull number - 649
  Engine builder - Sulzer Brothers Ltd.
  Country - Winterthur, Switzerland
  Number of engines - 1
  Engine type - Sulzer 5RDG8 5-cylinder diesel
  (bore - 680 mm, stroke 1250 mm) - 2 stroke
  Fuel - Diesel oil and heavy fuel oil
  Diesel fuel capacity - 103 tonnes
  Heavy bunker fuel capacity - 531.5 tonnes
  Main engine horsepower - 6,100 bhp or 4,551 kW
  AC Generator - 3 (300 kW, 550 VAC, 50 Hz)
  Speed - 16.0 knots
  Propeller - 1 variable pitch propeller
  Steering gear - Standard rudder
  Bow thuster - none

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION - This section is open for all viewers to contribute any information about this ship that is known such as former owners, managers, charterers, accidents, conversions, drydockings, cargoes, voyages, sightings or ports of call etc..

** Built for the Clarke Transportation Company for service between St. Lawrence River ports and Canada's maritime provinces along with a sistership Chimo. Her primary run was between Montreal, Quebec and St John's, Newfoundland.
** She left Montreal on July 2nd, 1965 on her maiden voyage and she arrived at St. John's, Newfoundland on July 5th
** On December 16th, 1966 as she was finishing loading operations in Montreal, Quebec, Canada the ship rolled over at around 03:00 on her starboard side and sank at the dock. The lives of two crew members were lost that day while 4 others were injured.
** Sidenote : The Canada Steamship Lines package freighter Fort William which was very similar in design to Cabot (built in 1965 by Davie Shipbuilding) also rolled over when arriving at her at dock in Montreal, Quebec on September 14, 1965. In that accident 5 lives lost. She was refloated November 22, 1965, by Foundation Maritime Ltd., and taken to Davie Shipbuilding & Repair, Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec for repairs.
** On January 10th, 1967 Marine Industries and Foundation Maritime started the work of refloating Cabot and by January 18th she was righted. On the 22nd she was finally refloated.
** On February 11th, she departed Sorel, Quebec likely under tow for the Marine Industries drydock where she was fully repaired.
** Cabot was returned to service on June 8th, 1967 following the completion of extensive repairs
** During the winter of 1968 she sailed from Montreal to Anvers (Belgium) under charter to the Federal Commerce and Navigation Company Limited (Fednav), Quebec
** During the summers of 1972, 1973 and 1974 Cabot sailled from Montreal to Rae Point on Melville Island in the Canadian Arctic under charter to Panarctic Oil Limited along with her fleetmate Chimo. They were used to carrying oil exploration equipment and material to the remonte northern port. During the trip in 1974, on her way to Rea Point, she made a stop at Pond Inlet to unload supplies for the local communities in the region.
** In 1977 it was noted that one of her two travelling deck cranes had been removed. Crane #1 had been damaged and it was replaced with another travelling crane which also had a lifting capacity of 20 tonnes like the original
** During the summer of 1981, to increase the container carrying capacity, her #4 hold was converted to accommodate 20 foot containers. At the same time Cabot's travelling cranes were removed so that the deck space qould be used entirely for the storage of containers
** During the summer of 1982 Cabot laid up in Sorel, Quebec due to a lack of demand for her service. Although she was able to carry containers she was not able to compete against ships that were specifically designed to haul containers in much greater numbers. She had been built in a time when package freight was moved almost literally by hand. Cargo was packaged on wooden pallets then lifted aboard and placed in the cargo holds using towmotors or forklifts. This was a very time consuming operation which let to the advent of containerization. The evolution of the very trade she was built to serve brought about her demise since she was not specifically designed to carry containers
** Early in 1983 she and her sistership Chimo were purchased by Upper Lakes Shipping for $2.4 million dollars
** Cabot was towed to Hamilton then to Port Weller where she arrived on April 27th, 1983
** There her cargo bow and cargo hold mid ship section were cut away from her stern right at the base of her accommodations structure
** The no longer needed cargo section of Cabot was towed up the Welland Canal and on to Port Maitland on Lake Erie where it was scrapped while the stern remained at the drydocks
** Cabot's stern was then welded to the larger cargo and bow section from another ship once called Northern Venture
** Under the name Canadian Explorer the new ship entered service November 2nd, 1983. Her first cargo of 851,000 bushels of corn was loaded at Duluth, Minnesota and later delivered to Port Cartier, Quebec.
** Canadian Explorer served her owners through into the mid 1990s however her activity was becoming less and less each year in response to steadily decreasing grain exports through the Great Lakes.
** In May of 1998 the stern of Canadian Explorer - originally the stern of Cabot was once again cut away from her cargo section and bow. It was towed away for conversion to a barge and the stern was welded to the cargo hold and bow sections of yet another ship formerly known as Crispen Oglebay. The resulting ship was renamed Canadian Transfer.
** The bow of Canadian Explorer was transformed in barge renamed Barge Laviolette and she laid up at Pier 11 at Three Rivers, Quebec and she is used for grain strorage


Information sources
Lloyds Registers
Ships of Port Weller Drydocks
Ships of Upper Lakes Shipping
Canadian Shipping and Marine Engineering magazines
Jean-Francois Chouinard - Quebec, Canada


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