1 June 2019






2 mins

The second oldest Canadian registered to date on the Great Lakes is the CUYAHOGA. she’s the sole survivor of the A1 class of Maritimers

This “L6-S-A1” type (more commonly known as “Maritimer” class) steel bulk freighter was built in 1943 at an approximate cost of $1.97 million by the American Ship Building Co., Lorain, OH (hull # 828) as the Mesabi for the United States Maritime Commission. She was the 10th of 16 such vessels built in a 2-year period during World War II to carry much needed iron ore to the steel mills who were mass producing tanks, artillery, aircraft, and other supplies for the war effort. The “L6-S-A1” was a plan designation of the Maritime Commission meaning a Great Lakes vessel (L), 600-699 feet long (6), steam powered (S); the “A” being a specific design and the “1”, a sub-design.

Of the 16 “Maritimer” class bulkers built, 6 were of the “A1” type built by the American Ship Building Co. in either Lorain or Toledo, OH.  The other 10 were type “L6-S-B1″‘s and were built by Great Lakes Engineering Works in either Ashtabula, OH or River Rouge, MI. Although all 16 were of identical dimensions, there were more differences in the 2 types. The A1’s were the first boats on the Great Lakes to be built with a new cruiser stern design and the only lakers to be powered by a 2,500 i.h.p. four crank, double compound steam engine built by Lentz Standard Marine Engine with 2 coal-fired water-tube boilers made by Combustion Engineering Co. This power plant was a German-designed engine (ironic during World War II) which was basically two separate engines placed end-to-end sending power to a common shaft. The B1’s, by contrast, had different sterns, larger stacks and more traditional 2,500 i.h.p. triple expansion engines. The other 5 A1’s included the Thomas Wilson, Sewell Avery, Champlain, John T. Hutchinson, and the E.G. Grace (listed in order of entering service).  The J. Burton Ayers was the 5th of the 6 A1’s to enter service.

All images are at Port Colborne back to 28th April,2019.

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© All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –