Lake Boats

Saginaw - 1953

Page 2 - Nighttime

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Revised Feb 6, 2003
Saginaw was launched in 1953, as the John J. Boland (3),
for American Steamship Company.

She is currently operated by Lower Lakes Transportation Co., Cleveland, OH.

Saginaw loading salt - Fairport OH
July 26, 2002


Around midnight, loading was nearing completion.
Most of the hatches were already closed, and the crew was moving
the boat fore and aft to position the last hatches for loading.
Salt is much lighter than the iron ore she was built to carry,
so the holds were filled right up to the coamings.
A deckhand used a shovel to level the salt so the hatches could be closed.

When loading these long lakers, it is essential to alternately load
along the entire length of the holds, much like tightening engine head bolts.
The standard method of moving lake boats along the dock is via 4 spring lines,
two forward and two aft, led thru pairs of fairleads at each end of the main deck.
Pairs of deck winches are located at each end of the deck just for this purpose.
This method of positioning boats has been in use for many years.
The paired fairleads are visible in boat photos from the early 1900's,

Just before 0100, the radars started turning, and shortly after that,
the bow thruster engine was started, to warm up.
Soon the 15 minute outbound security call was heard on the scanner.

Meanwhile, loading continued, filling two at the aft end, moving to fill a forward hatch,
then back to finish amidships. On the shore, 2 men cast off the bow line.
Finally the boat was moved forward so the unloading boom could clear
the dock loader, and the boom was swung inboard and lowered into its cradles.

When loading was completed, the intense floodlight on the after house was turned off,
finally allowing a quick shot of the stern before departure.

And then at 0120, she departed, first working the bow thruster and prop against left rudder
to move out from the pilings, then forward out the harbor mouth.

We found out later that she took the salt through the Welland Canal, presumably
to Toronto or one of the other Canadian cities along Lake Ontario.
Since she's Canadian flagged, she is not permitted to carry between US ports.

Saginaw loading salt - Fairport OH
Departure at Dusk
Aug. 18, 2002

She had also loaded salt on Aug. 16

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History of Saginaw

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