Algosoo - Sault Ste. Marie, Canada

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Algosoo is seen in this photograph transiting downbound in the Welland Canal during the morning of July 5th, 1997. At the time this picture was taken Algosoo was nearing the approach wall above lock 7 in Thorold, Ontario, Canada.

Welland Canal Classics - Algosoo
By contributing Editor George Wharton

Built by Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, Ontario at a reported cost of $15 million; this Great Lakes self-unloading bulk carier was launched July 24, 1974 as the Algosoo (2) for Algoma Central Corp., Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She sailed on her maiden voyage December 4, 1974 leaving Collingwood, Ontario light for Badgley Island, ON where she loaded 25,935 gross tons of quartzite destine for Midland, ON. The Algosoo was the last traditional styled laker (straight-decker or self-unloader) built on the Great Lakes.

The Algosoo is powered by 2 Crossley Pielstick 10PC2V 10-cylinder 4,500 b.h.p. diesel engines driving a 5.18m (17-foot) diameter controllable pitch propeller in a Kort nozzle giving her a rated service speed of 15 m.p.h.. She is fitted with a 1,000 horsepower bow thruster. Her dimensions are as follows: 222.50m (730'00")loa x 22.86m (75'00") beam x 13.56m (44'06") depth. She has 23 hatches feeding into 5 holds where she can carry 26,830 tons at maximum Seaway draft of 7.92m (26 feet) and is capable of carrying 31,300 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 8.85m (29 feet). The Algosoo's self-unloding equipment consists of a 3-belt gravity system with a stern-mounted loop belt elevator feeding a 76.81m (252 foot) discharge boom that can be swung 95 degrees to port or starboard. The designed discharge rate is 5,440 tonnes per hour. Her other capacities include 452 tonnes of fuel oil, 86 tonnes of diesel oil, 90 tonnes of potable water, and 17,914 tonnes of water ballast. Her wheelhouse equipment includes 2 Differential Global Positioning Systems (DGPS), 1 Decca radar, 1 Sperry radar, 1 ECDIS (electronic charts), 1 Sperry gyro compass, 1 magnetic compass, 2 VHF marine radios, and last but not least, a coffee maker. Safety equipment includes 1 Shepherd boat, 2 - 25 person life rafts, 50 life jackets, 35 survival suits, 36 fire extinguishers, 36 fire fighting stations with hoses and hydrants, 6 fireman's suits, 10 life rings, 12 parachute flares, and 4 rocket line-throwing apparatus.

The name "ALGOSOO" has been associated with the Algoma Central Corp. since 1936. The Algosoo (2)'s predecessor was built by the American shipbuilding Co., Lorain, Ohio launched in 1901 as the steel bulk carrier Saturn for the Gilchrist Transportation Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Algoma Central Railway, Sault Ste, Marie, ON acquired the vessel in 1913 renaming her J. Frater Taylor. She was renamed Algosoo(1) in 1936 and remained an active member of the Algoma fleet until November of 1965 after travelling almost 3.22 million kilometers (2 million miles) and carrying in excess of 14 million net tons of cargo. The Algosoo (1) was 105.46m (346') length x 14.63m (48') beam x 8.53m (28'), 3,373 GRT, and was powered by a triple expansion coal-fired steam engine. The "Algosoo" name is derived from the parent Company's name Algoma (Algo) and the "slang" term for the Company's headquarters city Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (soo).

In 1975, the Algosoo (2) carried a record cargo of 23,500 tons of salt from Goderich, ON to Toronto, ON and a record 32,600 tons of stone from Stoneport, Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario. She carried a total of 2.25 million tons of cargo during that 1975 season. December 9, 1977 saw the Algosoo carry the 60 millionth ton of cargo through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

A serious fire occurred on the Algosoo on March 7, 1986 while the vessel was at her winter lay-up berth at Port Colborne, ON. The conveyor belt fire was possibly started by a welder's torch and spread to the stern gutting the aft accommodations. Repairs were completed by October 6, 1986 when the Algosoo returned to service.

The Algosoo currently is an active carrier sailing under the management of Seaway Marine Transport, St. Catherines, ON (partnership of Algoma Central and Upper Lakes Group). As a member of this fleet, her cargoes could include coal/coke, aggregates, slag, iron ore/oxides/pellets, salt, fertilizers, grain products, gypsum, quartzite, or sand. Not having any set trade routes, the Algosoo has visited most ports along the St. Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes system in Canada and the United States that are accessible to a vessel her size.

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Posted: July 8, 1998       Last Revised: May 4, 2001
Photo by: - Jeff Cameron - Copyright © - 1997, 2001

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