Charles E. Wilson

Charles E. Wilson – John J. Boland {4}

1973-Present

John J. Boland, arriving at Bay City, MI, 6/11/2018. Logan Vasicek

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1973

Builder: Bay Shipbuilding Corp., Sturgeon Bay, WI

Hull #710

Registry: US 550954

IMO #7318901

Laid Down: —

Launch Date: March 10, 1973

Commissioned: September 20, 1973

Construction

The Charles E. Wilson was constructed as the first of ten vessels constructed for the American Steamship Company under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 at a cost of $13.7 Million.

The Wilson was also the first of four similar sister ships built by Bay Shipbuilding, the others being the H. Lee White, Joseph L. Block, and American Mariner. The following ships were each slightly longer versions of the Wilson.

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

Modifications

  • Forecastle enclosed, 1974.
  • Stern Thruster fitted by Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1995.
  • Sperry adaptive digital gyroscope steering control system installed, 1998.

General Stats

Length Overall: 680′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 666′

Breadth: 78′

Depth: 45′

Loaded Draft: 30’07”

Capacity: 34,000 Tons

Vessel Type: Incline-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 262′

Number of Cargo Holds: 6 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 3-4-4-4-4-3]

Number of Hatches: 22 [Dimensions: 44’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Stone, Coal, 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-E7B

Number of Engines: 2

Rated HP: 7,200 BHP


History

Lineage

Charles E. Wilson – 1973-1978

Owner: Franklin Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [American Steamship Co., GATX Corp.]

Operator: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Charles E. Wilson – 1978-2000

Owner: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [GATX Corp.]

Operator: American Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


John J. Boland {4} – 2000-2020

Owner: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [GATX Corp.]

Operator: American Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


John J. Boland {4} – 2020-2021

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

Operator: American Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


John J. Boland {4} – 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 Charles E. Wilson was built in 1973 as a self-unloading bulk carrier for American Steamship Company’s subsidiary Franklin Steamship Company. She was the first of ten vessels constructed for American Steamship over the next 8 years under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. The Wilson was launched on March 10, 1973, and was christened on August 30. She departed on her maiden voyage on September 20, 1973 bound for Escanaba, Michigan to load ore.

After her first season of sailing, her forecastle was enclosed, and a lookout booth added later on. Ownership of the Wilson was transferred over to American Steamship Company in 1978.

The Charles E. Wilson was renamed John J. Boland {4} in 2000 after the previous John J. Boland {3} was sold.

The Boland spent the 2013 season laid up at Superior, Wisconsin, and the 2015 season laid up at Huron, Ohio due to slow economic conditions. 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 John J. Boland and her ASC fleetmates American Courage, American Mariner, H. Lee White, and Sam Laud for the River class trade. She remains active in the ore, coal, and stone trades.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on March 31, 2021



Sources

Ahoy & Farewell II. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 1996. Pp. 39-40.

Berry, Sterling P. “Wilson, Charles E.”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 21 April 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/w/wilson-charles-e>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 189.

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

“M/V John J. Boland”. American Steamship Company, N.d. Accessed 21 April 2020. <http://americansteamship.com/fleet/mv-john-boland.php>

Wharton, George. “John J. Boland (4)”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 21 April 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/JohnJBoland4.htm>