Golden Hind - Canada


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The Golden Hind is seen in this photograph transiting downbound in the Welland Canal during the evening hours of a day in April of 1983. At the time it was taken she was sailing northbound in the canal below lock 2 and was heading for lock 1 in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Welland Canal Classics - Golden Hind
By contributing Editor Skip Gillham

The GOLDEN HIND only saw brief service in the Desgagnes fleet. She joined the firm in 1984 but did not sail until November 8, 1985, to catch the end of season grain rush. When the vessel tied up at Toronto on December 19, her cargo carrying days were over.

The ship was the third of three sisterships built for Imperial Oil Ltd. to haul Western Canadian crude oil form Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario. The keel was laid at Collingwood on March 26, 1951, and she was side launched into Georgian Bay on December 6, 1951. Named IMPERIAL WOODBEND, she sailed April 12, 1952, for the first load of crude.

After travelling 89,303 Km (55,492 miles) in 1953, IMPERIAL WOODBEND delivered her last cargo to Sarnia on November 7, 1953, and then sailed to Port Colborne. With the pipeline completed to Sarnia, the ship was no longer needed and hence sold to Mohawk Navigation.

The hull was rebuilt over the winter along the Welland Canal at Humberstone below Lock 8. The 27 cargo tanks for oil were reconstructed as four holds for dry bulk cargo and she returned to work as GOLDEN HIND in July 1954 loading 541,000 bushels of wheat and 100,000 bushels of barley the Canadian Lakehead ports of Fort William/Port Arthur for delivery to Buffalo, New York.

The ship was 188.98 metres (620 feet) long by 20.73 metres (68 feet) at the beam. As a tanker she hauled close to 127,000 barrels of crude oil per trip but as a bulker the 12,304 gross ton freighter had a capacity of 16,700 tons deadweight or 775,000 bushels of grain.

GOLDEN HIND worked on the five Great Lakes before joining the Seaway trades in 1959. From 1969 to 1972 she was operated on charter to Scott Misener Steamships. Her name was retained on joining the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Co. in January 1973 and she remained in their colours until the sale to Desgagnes.

The ship carried 158 cargoes in the Q. & O. years and most, 45.5 per cent, were wheat. She also hauled ore on 59 occasions as well as barley and grain. There were lesser amounts of coke and soybeans and even some bentonite, sand, fluorspar and pig iron as she shuttled up and down the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. During her final year with Q. & O., GOLDEN HIND managed 24 trips hauling 349,037 tons of cargo for an average load of 14, 543 tons per trip.

GOLDEN HIND went aground on a few occasions. She hit a reef off Cassidy Point, Lake Erie, on May 15, 1967, the bottom of the St. Lawrence near Port Neuf, Quebec on June 18, 1979 and on the St. Mary's River near Sault Ste. Marie on August 10, 1982. The first two were the most serious and required significant time for repairs.

Following her brief service in Desgagnes colours, GOLDEN HIND was sold to Union Pipe and Machinery for scrap. She was resold of foreign interests and cleared Toronto on September 9, 1986, and went down the Seaway on her own power. The Polish tug KORAL took her out of Lauzon, PQ ion September 29, 1986, and they arrived at Mamonal, Colombia, on October 28, in a tandem tow with the JOHN E.F. MISENER. She was eventually broken up at Cartagena, Colombia in 1986 - 87.


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Posted: March 6, 2000       Last Revised: May 4, 2001
Photo by: - Willem VanMaanen - Copyright © - 1983, 2001

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