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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 29, 2021, 11:17 am 

Joined: April 19, 2011, 4:01 pm
Posts: 428
Jerry at Duluth wrote:
in 1974 when we converted the Sykes, the ship yard had a plan to do the Ryerson the following season. The bid for the work was seven million dollars for each ship. I did not see any drawings of the proposed conversion on the Ryerson but I do believe that part of the plan was to use part of the side tank space due to her small cubic. This would work as they never carried ballast in the double bottom tanks and they could use the double bottom tanks to make up for anu ballast cubic lost in the conversion. I would suppose that the plans for that work are still at the shipyard.

I've often wondered why Inland never converted the Ryerson, especially if yards like Fraser had plans drawn up for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 27, 2021, 5:00 pm 
Guest wrote:
I'm assuming the Sykes had normal cargo holds, for the life of me I could never figure out why Inland designed the Ryerson the way they did and yes I understand the she was designed to carry only ore but it was like designers were fixing a problem that didnt excist, I'd assume the real reason she has never been converted to a self unloader isn't cause of the urban miths we've all heard but it was just to expensive to justify!


To footnote Jerry's posting, the intent behind the small holds in the Ryerson was to tackle a couple things. Knock down time it took to unload and reduce damage from the dock equipment.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 27, 2021, 1:55 pm 
At the time that the Ryerson was being built, they never considered the idea of conversion to a self unloader. The cargo holds were narrow, only slightly wider than the hatch openings. This was done to facilitate unloading and removal of a lot of the damage done by the unloading equipment trying to reach under the spar deck to pick up cargo from the side areas of the hold. The ballast tanks were very wide reaching from the ship side to just short of the hatch opening. The walkway tunnel was located next to the cargo hold area and the ballast water was carried all the way to the spar deck level. The reason for only carrying ballast in the side tanks was that the ballast was higher and would flow freely to the pump manifold which greatly increased the speed of removal.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 27, 2021, 10:10 am 
I'm assuming the Sykes had normal cargo holds, for the life of me I could never figure out why Inland designed the Ryerson the way they did and yes I understand the she was designed to carry only ore but it was like designers were fixing a problem that didnt excist, I'd assume the real reason she has never been converted to a self unloader isn't cause of the urban miths we've all heard but it was just to expensive to justify!


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 9:37 pm 
Guest wrote:
Shipwatcher News wrote:
Also keep in mind that when she came back out in 2006 after spending 12 years in layup, her steam turbine plant broke down several times during the season. She has been laid up since 2009 this time, another 12 year period. Who knows how reliable her plant and boilers are going to be this time. She will likely have to be repowered if she will be back in service for any duration of time.


I believe you mixed up the number of years of inactivity in your first sentence as when the Ryerson returned to service in July 2006 it had been idle since December 12, 1998, so about 7 1/2 years, not 12. Currently, it is about one month away from this ship having sat idle for 12 years, its longest extended layup period thus far in its career. I have attached an image of a table in the book "The Inland Steel Fleet" that lists the Edward L. Ryerson's long-term layup periods starting in 1985. You are right, however, that it did experience some engine problems in 2006 after its long-term layup. It also had some minor issues when it returned to service in 1997 as well, one of which, if memory is not faulty, that prompted a stop at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If the Ryerson ever does return to service without repowering, it is likely to have additional propulsion issues as is common with any mechancial device that has been unused for a prolonged period.



My mistake, you are correct. The one place I checked had her marked in layup from 1994 to 2006, but I now remember that she was reactivated in 1998. Should have checked another source, but thank you for sharing a correction.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 7:04 pm 
in 1974 when we converted the Sykes, the ship yard had a plan to do the Ryerson the following season. The bid for the work was seven million dollars for each ship. I did not see any drawings of the proposed conversion on the Ryerson but I do believe that part of the plan was to use part of the side tank space due to her small cubic. This would work as they never carried ballast in the double bottom tanks and they could use the double bottom tanks to make up for anu ballast cubic lost in the conversion. I would suppose that the plans for that work are still at the shipyard.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 3:33 pm 
The new Interlake self unloaded has a flat bottom and will carry two front end loaders to complete the unloading.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 2:23 pm 
Shipwatcher News wrote:
Also keep in mind that when she came back out in 2006 after spending 12 years in layup, her steam turbine plant broke down several times during the season. She has been laid up since 2009 this time, another 12 year period. Who knows how reliable her plant and boilers are going to be this time. She will likely have to be repowered if she will be back in service for any duration of time.


I believe you mixed up the number of years of inactivity in your first sentence as when the Ryerson returned to service in July 2006 it had been idle since December 12, 1998, so about 7 1/2 years, not 12. Currently, it is about one month away from this ship having sat idle for 12 years, its longest extended layup period thus far in its career. I have attached an image of a table in the book "The Inland Steel Fleet" that lists the Edward L. Ryerson's long-term layup periods starting in 1985. You are right, however, that it did experience some engine problems in 2006 after its long-term layup. It also had some minor issues when it returned to service in 1997 as well, one of which, if memory is not faulty, that prompted a stop at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If the Ryerson ever does return to service without repowering, it is likely to have additional propulsion issues as is common with any mechancial device that has been unused for a prolonged period.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 2:11 pm 
When she came out in 2006, she did go back for some repair, but they weren't directly involved with propulsion. They did not have trouble with the boilers or the turbine. During the course of a year, how many trips to the yard does an average laker make?


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 12:04 pm 
I have no more knowledge than anyone else here, and probably less than many. That said, a couple comments- one, I think many underestimate how strong the manufacturing economy is, particularly for hard goods and capital goods. As someone working in heavy manufacturing, it is nuts, and demand for raw materials of all kinds is through the roof. Yes, it's largely driven by loose monetary policy and may come crashing down, but for better or worse, it's reminiscent of the mid-2000s when she was brought out of mothballs last time.

Second, some of the longer term trends may work in the Ryerson's favor because she is NOT a traditional self unloader. Typical self unloaders are EXTREMELY efficient at delivering the bulk cargoes as we know them on the lakes, but essentially useless for anything else. I think the trend towards DRI/HBI will continue in order to provide a feedstock derived from raw ore that is compatible with electric arc furnaces. Thus, we may start to see some non-trivial level of DRI or HBI shipment on the lakes. I don't know all the details, but it seems to me that these types of products (particularly briquettes, which Cliffs is invested in) may lend themselves better to shoreside unloading equipment using electromagnets. Also, we know the new Mark Barker (while still a self unloader) is being built with a flat bottom and flat sides in its hold in order to be able to accommodate non-bulk cargo, and shuttling steel slabs between mills has been mentioned. Clearly Interlake thinks there is some future for non-bulk cargo transport. Perhaps the Ryerson could be used similarly if that is part of Cliffs' business model for their Great Lakes-adjacent mills. Yes, these uses would likely require modification to the cargo deck and hatches, which isn't a small thing, but I wouldn't see why it's not possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 11:22 am 

Joined: December 14, 2017, 8:37 pm
Posts: 698
Guest wrote:
They don't necessarily need to rip out the sidetanks and put in a slopping cargohold. They can rebuild the tanktops and put in a reclaimer system that uses front-end loaders pushing cargo to a centreline hopper/belt system, is is used on the John D. Leith, CSL Assiniboine and the newbuild Mark Barker.

Youtube video of the John D. Leitch unloading at Burns Harbor. Cargohold with front-end loaders starting around 1:30 mark.

- Brian

https://youtu.be/tuyXKZO-sIo


That system looks like it wouldn't be a very easy clean out between cargoes from iron ore to say coal. With a sloped cargo hold it is just a mater of hosing down the hold into the gates. With that flat bottom hold I'm not sure how they do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 10:55 am 
Theres no reason the Ryerson if tonnage required could return to service doing the run to Hamilton or ore out the Seaway from Lake Superior or like they were doing last season from Conneut.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 10:53 am 
Also keep in mind that when she came back out in 2006 after spending 12 years in layup, her steam turbine plant broke down several times during the season. She has been laid up since 2009 this time, another 12 year period. Who knows how reliable her plant and boilers are going to be this time. She will likely have to be repowered if she will be back in service for any duration of time.


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 10:12 am 
They don't necessarily need to rip out the sidetanks and put in a slopping cargohold. They can rebuild the tanktops and put in a reclaimer system that uses front-end loaders pushing cargo to a centreline hopper/belt system, is is used on the John D. Leith, CSL Assiniboine and the newbuild Mark Barker.

Youtube video of the John D. Leitch unloading at Burns Harbor. Cargohold with front-end loaders starting around 1:30 mark.

- Brian

https://youtu.be/tuyXKZO-sIo


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 Post subject: Re: Ryerson
Unread postPosted: March 26, 2021, 7:48 am 
Denny wrote:
If I am understanding it correctly from all of the past articles on here and talk of her possibly and again I say maybe at some point if demand warrants her return, it wouldn't be easy to convert her to a self-unloader has her cargo holds I thought I read would have to be redone or something because they're sloped if I am right on this? Sorry if I am incorrect and NOT trying to offend anyone here that likes the Ryerson and don't get me wrong I love her as well and would definitely love to see her back! I miss that awesome horn and steam whistle salute of hers badly. However, the sad fact is that the Economy would really have to get booming along with the demand for steel and I just don't see that happening anytime soon. Also the fact that she is not a self-unloader makes her return that much more difficult since she would have to be unloaded by shoreside equipment. Not that they can't unload her without a boom but she's sat in lay-up since 2008 or 2009 and I just don't see it happening sorry and sad to say anytime soon. We can hope!



The Ryerson was designed specifically for the ore trade and as such had square-shaped cargo holds as the specific gravity of iron ore/taconite takes up less volume by weight in comparison to stone, grain, or coal that are the other primary bulk commodities moved on the lakes. As a consequence of this design, it has very little excess cubic capacity to trade-off in the installation of sloped cargo holds for a conventional hopper style self-unloading arrangement. Such a conversion would reduce the vessel's carrying capacity to a larger extent than other vessels of its era that have received such conversions. I recall at one time it being said that if the Ryerson was to be converted to a self-unloader it would likely be lengthened to 800+ feet to compensate for the lost carrying capacity. How a reclaimer unloading system could be integrated I don't know but it seems that since this type of arrangement does not require sloped cargo holds it may be an option. With the growth of US vessels trading down the Seaway, that may not be something likely to happen if a conversion ever takes place. But, then again, if its owner decided the ship would remain committed to work west of the Welland Canal that would not be an overriding issue. I'm sure that someone out there has a better explanation than I have.


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