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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 20, 2021, 5:29 pm 
They work for a subcontractor that does work at more than one yard.

That's my guess. Asbestos removal is subcontracted at Bay.


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 20, 2021, 1:10 pm 

Joined: December 6, 2014, 4:51 pm
Posts: 630
Guest wrote:
How would someone at Bay Shipbuilding know what went on with the Anderson, which was laid up in Superior and repaired at Fraser?


They work in the same field?


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 20, 2021, 8:52 am 
How would someone at Bay Shipbuilding know what went on with the Anderson, which was laid up in Superior and repaired at Fraser?


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 19, 2021, 10:45 pm 

Joined: December 6, 2014, 4:51 pm
Posts: 630
Talked to my friend today working at Bay Shipbuilding. He has been on the Blough twice this spring working on Asbestos removal and said they were removing equipment from the hull. Rumor is rumor and no concrete plan has been announced to him or any of the other workers there (not his boss either). Essentially he gave me 3 scenarios which he saw possible:

1. The most probable, she will be scrapped as she is limited in her capacity to other ports, her machinery is outdated, and her hull is not in the best of shape. The grounding several years ago was quite damaging and the effects are still there. She sits out more than she operates.

2. She sits at the wall for several years waiting for conditions to improve or change to bring her back out and repair her when that time comes. However she eats up valuable dockage.

3. She sits at the wall getting repaired and repowered/ upgraded periodically and gets ready to sail when conditions improve.

He was genuinely surprised that the Anderson wasn't scrapped in 2019. They were just waiting to paint the name out when the office called and had her repaired. After that it's of his opinion that none of AAAs are on the chopping block yet and should last another decade. He also thinks the footers are in the same boat (pun intended) as the AAAs, but he thinks the Cort may have a service problem in the next 5 years.

More exciting news he's getting is the probability of new contract to build a new laker after the new Barker is completed.

I'm told not to expect a decision to be made on her fate this year.


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 17, 2021, 5:49 pm 
I would suggest that footers are maxed out rite now no need for that kind of tonnage i would expect any new builds will be like Interlakes new ship, 730 or below, companies should make sure tugs that are pushing atb should have too meet all standards of ships


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 17, 2021, 11:08 am 
Are there exemptions built into the CII standards for vessels engaged exclusively in domestic shipping? The IMO documents I’ve come across emphasize international trade, but I haven’t reviewed the amendments in detail as this isn’t my area.

A large cross section of the U.S. fleet, especially the footers, engage in very little international commerce as it is. The main exception that stands out would be ore runs to Nanticoke. Perhaps the impact would be more severe for the Canadian side, but with a domestic exemption a carrier like Interlake could see very few impacts in the near term.


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 17, 2021, 10:24 am 

Joined: December 7, 2014, 10:33 am
Posts: 325
Some good perspectives are raised here, if only for discussion, but very much on point. With CII/EEXI rules still to be fully finalized and adopted, there is no certainty about loopholes or exemptions. It is possible there may be extended compliance timeframes for ships on the Great Lakes, but I honestly believe this is doubtful. Shipowners around the world are quietly protesting, but it falls on deaf ears and the IMO is holding steadfast on the resolution. Class societies are on the bandwagon too, all promoting their assistance offerings for compliance. Industry partners also are generally in support, as this will have an ongoing impact for future engineering solutions, since this will not mean a one-time upgrade to each ship, but a majority will see continual lifecycle capital improvements. The USA could petition the IMO to offer exemptions for specific vessels, though a positive outcome is unlikely given IMO's hard stance on the issue.

I do believe vessels classed as tugboats are exempt from CII/EEXI regulations, but I do not have enough knowledge to confirm. If so, then efficiency concerns are not applicable to ATB's, which could prove attractive to some owners. Another benefit of the ATB arrangement is ease of replacing the tug alone if regulations dictate improvement in efficiency and capital upgrades are not justified. Replacement of a tug is a more cost attractive opportunity compared to investing in modernizations to a ship. Still, this requires a significant investment.

CII calculations factor not only the fuel efficiency of the ship, but also the deadweight and cargo moved per year. While a thousand foot ship may have a less efficient hull form, it would come out ahead when calculating efficiency of cargo moved for fuel consumed. I believe any consideration of cargo section renewal on any ship is a dead subject. This would require a massive investment for nothing gained other than new steel. Even converting steam propulsion plants to diesel is questionable in terms of payback given the sliding scale for CII. Converting existing vessels - ships or ATB-mated barges - is slightly more probable, but perhaps this could go the opposite, with the return of ATB conversions if tugboats will be exempt from CII.

New construction of ships is very possible if shipowners have confidence in securing work for 40 years. Coal cargos are on the decline and will be <5% of cargo lifted by 2030. Aggregate cargos will always be available, varying in capacity to match the economy and construction sector. Steel-related cargos (taconite, briquettes, coke, and limestone) will continue a gradual decline, but always maintain a significant portion of cargos moved overall. However, a consideration to not forget is delivery of all the steel-related raw material could feasibly be done by rail. Waterborne transportation has always maintained an advantage in lower cost per ton-mile in transportation, but this gap can narrow if shipowners are forced to invest in new vessels, or upgrade existing fleets with capital extensive projects.


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 16, 2021, 1:39 pm 

Joined: July 2, 2010, 1:36 pm
Posts: 756
As far as the future of Key Lakes/GLF and the Blough goes, a lot depends on what exactly CII / EEXI means for other hulls in the GLF fleet, for other ships on the U.S. side of the Lakes, and for things like ATBs.

One obvious outcome is that Lakes shipping companies opt to slow down the operating speeds of their ships, meaning each ship makes fewer trips per season and increases the importance of having 'spare' or 'marginal' capacity in a fleet. In GLF's case that might mean finding more potential value in hulls like the Callaway and Blough.

Another potential outcome is that another major operator chooses to exit the business entirely. If such an operator exited all at once, its ships would likely be up for sale and that could mean a sure-fire retirement for the Blough if her owners suddenly had other options for adding or replacing tonnage. If instead some other operator decided to exit the business by steadily retiring ships as they slide further down the CII 'grading' system, they might not be interested in selling any of their ships to other companies they still consider competitors, even if just for the short run. If that were to be the case, perhaps the Blough's owners would find it lucrative to already be holding onto their own spare tonnage.

It's often said that ATBs are less fuel-efficient than ships due to the tug-barge hull interface/gap being less hydrodynamic than the stern end of a 'conventional' ship. If that's true it might mean that CII / EEXI fuel calculations lead to ATBs looking less lucrative vs. ships, a trend that's already underway as crew sizes on ships gets smaller and ATBs lose their labor cost advantage there. It's also possible that ATBs win out vs. ships on CII calculations if only the GRT of the tug is used, meaning a tug with less than 4000 GRT is exempt from the rules in a loophole kind of way, even though it's pushing a barge the size of a ship and moving the same amount of cargo. (That same kind of loophole but with respect to crew sizes is what gave us the modern proliferation of ATBs in the first place). If CII does apply to ATBs, perhaps VanEnkevort's newer hulls likeGreat Lakes Trader, Erie Trader and Michigan Trader, or Lafarge's Integrity and Innovation would be ideal candidates to have new CII-compliant tugs built for them, or perhaps for the construction of completely new CII-compliant stern ends added onto them, converting them to ships. Perhaps a lot of the older ATBs might suddenly require more rebuilding than their owners deem cost-effective, which could lead to a rather swift and major reduction in available tonnage in the U.S. fleet overall, which might change the calculus re: the Blough. Or perhaps owners just keep building or converting new CII-compliant tugs even for their older barge hulls, and ATBs continue on the Lakes scene.

GuestFromEU also mentions that even relatively new ships might end up not being able to readily comply with increasingly strong CII standards. If that's the case, then a lot of traditionally accepted knowledge about the desirability of, say, a thousand footer vs. a 1950s-vintage ship might go out the window. Does the streamlined shape of a 1950s hull give it better potential fuel efficiency than that of a thousand footer? If that's the case, and a ship like the Callaway's holds are in bad shape but its bow and stern are in good condition, perhaps it would be possible to create a CII-compliant vessel rather cheaply by joining the Callaway's existing bow and stern to a new mid-body and installing a new power plant in the stern, with nods towards easy adaptability toward adding future advances in propulsion tech. Such a project could even involve moving the self-unloading boom to the forward end and even installing a shorter mid-body in her to create a new river-class vessel. Or perhaps sheer size and carrying capacity still tips the scales in efficiency requirements, meaning it would make more economic sense to try to re-power a ship like the Speer in a way that makes her likely to be able to adapt to future CII requirements. In Key Lakes/GLF's case, what of Presque Isle? How fuel-efficient is her hull form, and what kind of shape are her hull/holds in? If the best option for CII compliance ends up being something like building completely new stern ends (with all the necessary power plant/propulsion tech) onto existing cargo hold/bows, would she be a better candidate for such a project, or would the Blough be a better candidate for such a project?

The same question unfolds in other fleets. Which ships are better prospects for conversion or alteration in the efforts to hold up to the new standards? Does it make more sense to start from scratch with new-builds? If any of those companies end up having to retire several of their ships, whether they're from the 1950s or 1970s era of shipbuilding on the U.S. side, tonnage that seems surplus now might very well prove useful or valuable soon, if it lends itself well to whatever kind of alterations end up being viable ones to adapt Great Lakes trading for new operating standards.

Until those questions are properly evaluated, GLF may very well find it worthwhile to hold onto the Blough, especially if her holds and bow are in good shape, and especially if her bow shape / hull form lend themselves well to good hydrodynamic efficiency.


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 16, 2021, 1:10 pm 
At the end of the day, fleets will invest in new tech for regulations in 2023, the reason being is that there is no alternative. They aren't going to build fast enough to replace any of the tonnage that's being shelved. Either some extension or some loophole, or new technology, will, in my opinion, inevitably happen. If it doesn't, the US could really see a major collapse as far as the iron industry, which affects most every aspect of the current economy. Unless the intent is to drive the US economy into the ground (not a political comment and do not construe it that way), I don't see how there isn't an alternative. The government is putting money into new icebreakers and new locks, so I doubt that they'll make it impossible to move stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 16, 2021, 12:57 pm 

Joined: July 2, 2010, 1:36 pm
Posts: 756
GuestfromEU wrote:
You prosed an excellent comment in that future, rapidly approaching changes to the Great Lakes fleet may be hard to envision in 2021, but will come nonetheless. Decisions are still not firmed by shipowners on paths forward, but options are few and limiting, whether practically or financially.


GuestfromEU wrote:
While I may sound like a Debbie Downer and beating this topic like dead horse, this is a subject I am involved in on a daily basis with ocean ships trading in the Australasian market. Not the Great Lakes of course, but the new regulations affect all in the same. The Great Lakes ship watching community has a following not matched by many elsewhere in the world. This is a reason I visit this page frequently. Unfortunately, devout followings often do not accept reality in some aspects. While the best outcome is to see exemptions for ships on the Great Lakes, it is doubtful to happen and we cannot predict what the US or Canadian fleet will look like in 3, 5 or 10 years from now.


These pending regulations could signal a renaissance in Lakes shipping, but perhaps only with proper accompanying action from the U.S. and Canadian governments. Moving people and goods by water is ultimately far more fuel/energy/resource-efficient than land and/or air-based modes of transport. In North America, we currently go out of our way to artificially subsidize some of those less-than-ideal modes of transport and mostly ignore or even actively discourage waterborne transport. We see this setup as 'normal' or 'inevitable' when it is anything but.

It would be shamefully counter-productive to continue the status-quo, which as you point out, may mean that Lakes shipping companies use EEXI/CII regulations as a reason to allow the Lakes fleet and its activity to dwindle or disappear, while simultaneously we keep giving handouts to far less efficient / far more destructive transport modes.

If the U.S. and Canadian governments recognize the potential for regional waterborne transport to serve as a major positive contributor to solving many of the problems we face which EEXI/CII are trying to address, they'd proactively enact programs which encourage and assist industrial actors to meet or exceed these new regulations, and the region's people, economy, and environment would benefit as a whole.

The community of people who are interested in Lakes shipping there would likely experience a positive side effect of such an outcome. The future might bring fewer thousand footers hauling coal and uncertainty in the iron ore trade. On the other hand if we finally enact common-sense transport policy in the Lakes region with respect to efficiency, the environment, and public safety there would almost certainly be a revival in the waterborne general cargo, grain, and passenger trades that would make for great boatwatching.


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 16, 2021, 11:42 am 
if glf losr or looses the uss contract, and the blough can only unload at 2 ports, really whats the need to repair her. next stop? port colborne


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 15, 2021, 6:16 am 
the widest beam on any canadian lake boat, sailing or layed up is 78ft. even mckeil marines barge "huron spirit" has a beam of 80ft and cant go below port colborne. even interlakes new build has a beam of 78ft. why? so if necessary it can use the welland canal and/or st lawrence seaway


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 14, 2021, 10:30 pm 

Joined: December 7, 2014, 10:33 am
Posts: 325
Hausen, you raise good points. The Roger Blough has original Pielstick main engines and three out elderly generator engines out of four. With two tunnel belts passing through the engine room, it may be challenging to fit a scrubber and associated machinery, which will not offset the new EEXI and CII requirements regardless. Re-powering is an option, though likely cost prohibitive. Would re-powering have an attractive return on investment? Considering the CII requirements become more stringent year-over-year, many older ships face a losing battle as the numbers will not work. Is it a sound decision to invest $5-10 million for re-powering and upgrades when the ship would fall below CII requirements in 8-10 years (or less)? The ultimate goal of these new regulations are to force shipowners to adopt alternative fuels and other green technology like solar panels, sails, or other options yet to be identified.

You prosed an excellent comment in that future, rapidly approaching changes to the Great Lakes fleet may be hard to envision in 2021, but will come nonetheless. Decisions are still not firmed by shipowners on paths forward, but options are few and limiting, whether practically or financially.

While I may sound like a Debbie Downer and beating this topic like dead horse, this is a subject I am involved in on a daily basis with ocean ships trading in the Australasian market. Not the Great Lakes of course, but the new regulations affect all in the same. The Great Lakes ship watching community has a following not matched by many elsewhere in the world. This is a reason I visit this page frequently. Unfortunately, devout followings often do not accept reality in some aspects. While the best outcome is to see exemptions for ships on the Great Lakes, it is doubtful to happen and we cannot predict what the US or Canadian fleet will look like in 3, 5 or 10 years from now.


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 14, 2021, 8:30 pm 
Guest wrote:
When it comes to being in the know regarding office decisions, crew are Very low on the totem pole.


Oh just gotta love the second guessers. I’ve known my friend 40 years. Sailed with him. Not a scuttlebutt spreader. He’s VERY high on that totem pole. Clear? BLOUGH has 2 ports it can serve. No backhaul capacity. When they fixed it after the grounding zug island was still making iron. BLOUGH is damaged extra tonnage. Anything is of course possible but doesn’t mean probable. Wait n see


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 Post subject: Re: GLF update?
Unread postPosted: September 14, 2021, 8:12 pm 
I was under the impression Rand wasn’t running the ASC footers? I thought they only took over the river boats.


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