19 April 2022






2 mins

A 69 year old lady still trading in Canada is the 1953 built self discharging bulk carrier SAGINAW.

She was built at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co at Manitowoc, Wisconsin in USA as the American Steamship Company ship JOHN J.BOLAND with yard no 417. By the 1980s the ship had become among the oldest operated by American Steamship Company and was idle for eight years, a 1,000 hp (750 kW) bow thruster was installed and returned to operation on 22nd April 1992 when she left Superior, Wisconsin for Marquette at Michigan.  In December 1998 she was laid up again and the American Steamship Company did not intend to sail the vessel the following year.

In 1999, she was sold to Lower Lakes Towing and was renamed as SAGINAW.  

She was homeported at Nanticoke, Ontario with the ship taken to Government Dock at Sarnia, Ontario for a refit. Upon returning to service during December 1999 she’s now carrying cargoes of stone, aggregates, coal, wheat, or salt. On 6th December 2002, her rudder was damaged in a manoeuvre at the Welland Canal and she was repaired at Heddle Marine in Hamilton, Ontario . On 4th April 2003 the bulk carrier became stuck in ice outside Marquette and was not freed until 7th April by the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker and buoy tender CCGS SAMUEL RISLEY.

In 2007, the ship underwent a refit that included swapping out her steam turbine for a diesel engine with the vessel returning to service in June 2008. On 31st December 2011, SAGINAW suffered a second boom collapse, this time while loading coal at Thunder Bay at Ontario. The vessel was repaired at Thunder Bay before completing her journey to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario arriving to unload on 20th January, 2012.

Featured photos are by our correspondent Mr. Nathan Attard. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –

Published – Tuesday 19th April, 2022.

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