Buffalo {3}

Buffalo – Algoma Buffalo


Algoma Buffalo departing Manistee, Michigan, October 1, 2020. Photo by Daniel Lindner


Build Information

Year Built: 1978

Builder: Bay Shipbuilding Corporation, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Hull #721

Registry: US 596352 [1978-2018] CAN 841536 [2018-Present]

IMO #7620653

Laid Down: May 12, 1977

Launch Date: March 16, 1978

Commissioned: September 23, 1978


The Buffalo {3} was built as a self-unloading bulk carrier for the Connecticut Bank & Trust, to be managed by American Steamship Company. She was the seventh of ten ships constructed for American Steamship under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 at a cost of $25 Million.

The Buffalo was the second of four similar River class sister ships constructed by Bay Shipbuilding. The other two were the identical Sam Laud, near-identical American Courage, and the American Republic [Great Republic, 2011], which has a near-identical hull.

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


  • “Canadianized”, Algoma Ship Repair, at Sarnia, Ontario, April 2018.

General Stats

Length Overall: 634’10”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 617′

Breadth: 68′

Depth: 40′

Loaded Draft: 28′

Capacity: 24,300 Tons

Vessel Type: Incline-Belt Self-Unloader

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

Number of Cargo Holds: 5 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 3-4-5-5-3]

Number of Hatches: 20 [Dimensions: 40’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Stone, Salt Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1

Engineering Equipment



Engine Type: Diesel Engine

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

Engine Model: 20-645-E7

Number of Engines: 2

Rated HP: 7,000 BHP



Buffalo {3} – 1978-2018

Owner: Connecticut Bank & Trust, Hartford, CT

Operator: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE

Algoma Buffalo – 2018-Present

Owner: Algoma Central Corp., St. Catharines, ON

Operator: Algoma Central Corp.

Flag: Canada

Home Port: St. Catharines, ON

Her Story

The Buffalo was built as a self-unloading bulk carrier for the Connecticut Bank & Trust, to be managed by the American Steamship Co. She was the seventh of ten ships built for American Steamship under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. The keel was laid for the Buffalo on May 12, 1977, and she was side-launched on March 16, 1978. After final fit-out and sea trials, the Buffalo entered service on September 23, 1978 bound for Escanaba, MI, to load iron ore.

On September 6, 1990, the Buffalo sailed past the moored tanker Jupiter while traveling upstream on the Saginaw River. The tanker Jupiter was unloading gasoline at the time. The suction created by the Buffalo passing was enough to pull the Jupiter away from the dock, breaking the aft mooring pilings and breaking the fuel unloading lines. This subsequently resulted in an explosion and massive fire that completely destroyed the tanker, and the death of one of the crew members. The Buffalo was linked as one of the series of events that caused the incident. She was trapped upstream until October 19, 1990, when the U.S.C.G. finally reopened the river to traffic.

On December 12, 1997, while downbound on the Detroit River, the Buffalo struck the Detroit River Light at around 5:20 in the morning. Visibility was clear at the time. The ship suffered the majority of the damage, with the lighthouse crib crushing in the Buffalo‘s bow in similar to a crushed tin can. The Buffalo‘s bow had a 25-foot gash in it as a result of the collision, and was deballasted and backed off of the lighthouse, being allowed to sail to nearby Toledo for repairs. The incident was blamed on human error.

On December 26, 2017, the Buffalo laid up at Sarnia, ON, after an active season sailing for American Steamship. Soon after, it was announced that she was sold to Algoma Central Corp. along with her fleetmates Adam E. Cornelius {4}American Valor, and American Victory in late 2017. The Buffalo was renamed Algoma Buffalo and reflagged Canadian, entering service for Algoma in May of 2017. She has yet to be painted in their hull colors.

The Algoma Buffalo continues to be an active member of the Algoma Central fleet, serving their river class markets in the ore, stone, and salt trades.

Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on May 22, 2020



Ahoy & Farewell II. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 1996. Pp. 9.

“Algoma Buffalo”. Algoma Central Corporation. N.d. Accessed 22 May, 2020. <https://www.algonet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Algoma-Buffalo.pdf>

Berry, Sterling P. “Buffalo”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 22 May 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/b/buffalo-3>

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.7.

“M/V Buffalo”. American Steamship Company, N.d. Accessed 22 May 2020. <URL Unknown>

Wharton, George. “Algoma Compass”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 22 May 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/AlgomaCompass.htm>