American Mariner

American Mariner

1980-Present

American Mariner, Saginaw, MI, 8/2/2019. Logan Vasicek

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1980

Builder: Bay Shipbuilding Corp., Sturgeon Bay, WI

Hull #723

Registry: US 619736

IMO #7812567

Laid Down: December 5, 1978

Launch Date: August 2, 1979

Commissioned: April 18, 1980

Construction

The American Mariner was constructed as a self-unloading bulk carrier for Connecticut Bank & Trust of Hartford, Connecticut, to be managed by American Steamship Company. She was the ninth of ten vessels constructed for the American Steamship Company under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970.

The American Mariner was the third of four similar sister ships, the others being the Charles E. WilsonH. Lee White, and Joseph L. Block. The following ships were each slightly longer versions of the Charles E. Wilson, with the Block being 48′ longer than the Wilson and 24′ longer than the White. The Joseph L. Block and the American Mariner were the closest to being identical, with the main differences being that the Mariner‘s forecastle is raked forward by 2’, and that she lacks the larger guest accommodations of the Block.

Her self-unloading equipment consists of a single hold belt leading to an aft loop-belt system to a 250′ deck-mounted boom.


General Stats

Length Overall: 730′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 714′

Breadth: 78′

Depth: 45′

Loaded Draft: 30’11”

Capacity: 37,300 Tons

Vessel Type: Incline-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 250′

Number of Cargo Holds: 7 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 3-3-3-4-4-4-3]

Number of Hatches: 24 [Dimensions: 44’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Stone, Grain Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: General Motors Electro-Motive Division, Chicago, IL

Engine Model: 20-645-E7

Number of Engines:

Rated HP: 7000 BHP


History

Lineage

American Mariner – 1980-2020

Owner: Connecticut Bank & Trust, Hartford, CT [managed by American Steamship Co.]

Operator: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, Delaware


American Mariner – 2020-2021

Owner: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [Rand Logistics]

Operator: American Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


American Mariner – 2021-Present

Owner: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [Rand Logistics]

Operator: Grand River Navigation, Traverse City, MI [Rand Logistics]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Her Story

The American Mariner was built in 1980 as a self-unloading bulk carrier  for Connecticut Bank & Trust of Hartford, Connecticut, to be managed by American Steamship Company. She was the ninth of ten ships constructed under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 for American Steamship Company. The American Mariner was originally laid down as Chicago on December 5, 1978, being launched on August 2, 1979. Her name was changed during fit-out, and she was christened American Mariner on April 16, 1980 and entered service two days later, heading to Escanaba, Michigan, to load iron ore.

On March 17, 1995, the American Mariner suffered a minor conveyor belt fire while in winter layup at Toledo, Ohio, being repaired and returning to service soon after. The American Mariner has made frequent trips down the Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway since the late 1990’s, and is one of the few American Great Lakes ships that is within the size limits for the Seaway.

On April 28, 2000, the American Mariner struck Light No. 7 in the Lake Huron Cut and ran aground while approaching the mouth of the St. Clair River. The incident was caused by a loss of steering, and resulted in multiple gashes in the hull. She was lightered into her fleetmate Adam E. Cornelius {4} and was taken to Toledo, Ohio for drydocking and repairs. The grounding caused the U.S. Coast Guard to close the St. Clair river to traffic, delaying almost 25 vessels.

In February 2020, Rand Logistics announced that they purchased American Steamship Company from their parent company GATX Corp.

In March 2021, Grand River Navigation bareboat chartered the American Mariner and her ASC fleetmates American Courage, H. Lee White, John J. Boland {4}, and Sam Laud for the River class trade. She is typically a busy member of the American Steamship Company fleet, hauling ore, coal, stone, and grain across the Great Lakes.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on March 31, 2021


Gallery


Sources

Ahoy & Farewell II. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 1996. Pp. 5-6.

Berry, Sterling P. “American”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 1 June 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/a/american-mariner>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 193.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.4.

“M/V American Mariner”. American Steamship Company, N.d. Accessed 1 June 2020. <http://americansteamship.com/fleet/mv-american-mariner.php>

Wharton, George. “American Mariner”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 1 June 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/AmericanMariner.htm>