Canadian Century

Canadian Century – John D. Leitch

1967-Present

John D. Leitch in a fresh coat of Algoma blue, May 21, 2019. Photo by Isaac Pennock

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1967

Builder: Port Weller Dry Docks, Port Weller, Ontario

Hull #41

Registry: CAN 326395 

IMO #6714586

Laid Down: December 22, 1965

Launch Date: April 15, 1967

Commissioned: 1967

Construction

The Canadian Century was constructed in 1967 for Upper Lakes Shipping at their Port Weller Dry Docks shipyard. The Century was constructed to maximum seaway limits at the time. Her boxy design helps maximize cargo capacity and efficiency. The Canadian Century was constructed as a result of Upper Lakes being awarded a massive coal-hauling contract for Ontario-Hydro at the time.

The Canadian Century was originally equipped with a bow-mounted bucket-style self-unloading system, with a box type hold design with a single belt in the middle and reclaimer system. This was rebuilt to feature a loop-belt system at the bow later on. Her self-unloading equipment now consists of a single hold belt leading to an forward loop-belt system to a 250′ deck-mounted boom. Her cargo hold bottom is flat, and the Leitch utilizes a pair of front-end loaders to move cargo to her conveyor belt after the cargo is unable to flow via gravity to the belt.

Modifications

  • Self-unloading system rebuilt, 1976.
  • Self-unloading reclaimer removed, 1976.
  • Widened by Port Weller Dry Docks, 2002.
  • Self-unloading system rebuilt, 2002.

General Stats

As Constructed

Length Overall: 730′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 722′

Breadth: 75′

Depth: 45′

Loaded Draft: 29’08”

Capacity: 20,343 Gross Tons, 14,529 Net Tons

Vessel Type: Bucket Elevator / Loop-Belt Self-Unloader

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

Number of Cargo Holds: 1

Number of Hatches: 22 [Dimensions: #1-5 – 52’11”x14′; #6-22 – 52’11”x20′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Salt Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 2

After widening, 2002.

Length Overall: 730′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 722′

Breadth: 77’11”

Depth: 45′

Loaded Draft: 29’08”

Capacity: 34,127 Tons

Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader

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

Number of Cargo Holds: 1

Number of Hatches: 22 [Dimensions: #1-5 – 52’11”x14′; #6-22 – 52’11”x20′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Salt Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 2


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: Burmeister & Wain, Copenhagen, Denmark

Engine Model: 574 VT2F 160

Number of Engines: 1

Rated HP: 7500 BHP


History

Lineage

Canadian Century – 1967-1993

Owner: Upper Lakes Shipping, Toronto, ON

Operator: Upper Lakes Shipping

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Toronto, ON


Canadian Century – 1993-2002

Owner: Upper Lakes Shipping, Toronto, ON

Operator: Seaway Marine Transport [Partnership between Upper Lakes Shipping and Algoma Central Corp.]

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Toronto, Ontario


John D. Leitch – 2002-2011

Owner: Upper Lakes Shipping, Toronto, ON

Operator: Seaway Marine Transport [Partnership between Upper Lakes Shipping and Algoma Central Corp.]

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Toronto, ON


John D. Leitch – 2011-Present

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

Operator: Algoma Central Corp.

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Toronto, ON


Her Story

The Canadian Century was built in 1967 for Upper Lakes Shipping. The self-unloader was constructed after Upper Lakes Shipping was awarded a coal-hauling contract for Ontario-Hydro. The coal runs for Ontario-Hydro dominated most of her early life. The Century loaded her first cargo of iron ore in 1986.

Over the winter of 1975-1976, the Canadian Century‘s out-of-date bucket-style self-unloading system and cargo hold reclaimer were removed and replaced with a modern loop-belt system.

In 1993, management of the Canadian Century was taken over by Seaway Self-Unloaders, later Seaway Marine Transport, a partnership between Algoma Central Corporation and Upper Lakes Shipping to maximize efficiency and profits.

The Canadian Century went back to her builders yard in 2002 for a mid-life refit. While in drydock, her side tanks were cut out, and rebuilt to extend another 1.5′ over each side. Her cargo hold was rebuilt to a box-shape with a single belt running down the middle. Her self-unloading system was also refitted. After the rebuild, the Canadian Century was rechristened John D. Leitch in honor of the chairman of ULS Group.

The John D. Leitch and her fleetmates were sold to Algoma Central Corporation in early 2011. The Leitch has retained her name and continued as an active trader in the Canadian Great Lakes fleet. In February 2019, the Leitch underwent a refit and inspection, renewing her certificates for another five years and returning to service in a fresh coat of Algoma blue.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on April 9, 2020


Gallery


Sources

Berry, Sterling P. “Canadian Century”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 9 April 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/c/canadian-century>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 186.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.12.

“John D. Leitch”. Algoma Central Corporation. N.d. Accessed 9 April, 2020. <https://www.algonet.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/JDLEITCH-201409.pdf>

Wharton, George. “John D. Leitch”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 9 April 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/JohnDLeitch.htm>