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Sandsuckers - A Haven For Antiques
Revised May 8, 2003
The extensive areas of sandy bottom in Lake Erie, accessible at shallow depths,
has created a modest industry in mining the sand with small suction dredges,
commonly called Sandsuckers.
This trade has always been a haven for older, smaller boats, which would
otherwise have been scrapped long ago.
John R. Emery - 1905
One of the oldest boats on the lakes.
F. M. Osborne - 1920
Built as a carferry, the Grand Island, converted to a sand dredge in 1954.
Returning from the lake with a load of sand, 7-May-2003
<!img src="DSM03933FMO_Crop.JPG" width="1576" height="1210" alt="">
...To Full Size Version
Emmett J. Carey - 1948
Built as a small freighter, converted to a sand dredge in 1953.
Atchafalaya isn't strictly a sandsucker, but a suction dredge,
used to remove sediment from rivers and harbors, and haul it out
to dumping areas well out in the lake.
Atchafalaya is unusual, in that the entire hull hinges open like a
clamshell bucket for dumping. The house is designed to stay level
above the opened hull, essentially becoming a catamaran.
She is equipped with 2 steerable outdrives, for extreme maneuverability.
When dredging, she is frequently moved directly sideways, by rotating the drives.
Lyman Burk & Associates has developed a sophisticated GPS system
for precise positioning of dredges.
Copyright 2003 North East Systems