Edward L. Ryerson

Edward L. Ryerson

1960-Present

Edward L. Ryerson on the St. Marys River, March 28, 2008. Photo by Roger LeLievre

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1960

Builder: Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company, Manitowoc, WI

Hull #425

Registry: U.S. 282106

IMO #5097606

Laid Down: April 20, 1959

Launch Date: January 12, 1960

Commissioned: August 4, 1960

Construction

The Edward L. Ryerson was constructed in 1960 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, as a gearless bulk freighter. She was built with graceful lines, with a flared bow and large pilothouse, tapered stern and a large streamlined stack with her aft mast fixed upon it. It is noted that over $8 Million was spent on her accommodations and guest quarters. The Ryerson was also the last American freighter built as a gearless bulk carrier and steamer, as well as the last vessel constructed at Manitowoc Shipbuilding’s Manitowoc shipyard.

Modifications

  • Bow thruster installed, 1969.

General Stats

Length Overall: 730′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 712′

Breadth: 75′

Depth: 39′

Loaded Draft: 28’04”

Capacity: 27,500 Tons

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

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

Number of Hatches: 18 [Dimensions: 54’x20′]

Primary Operations: Ore Trade

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Steam Turbine

Engine Manufacturer: General Electric Co., Boston, MA

Engine Model: Cross-Compound Steam Turbine

Number of Engines: 1

Rated HP: 9900 SHP


Boiler

Boiler Type: Oil-fired Water Tube Boilers

Boiler Manufacturer: Combustion Engineering, New York, NY

Boiler Size: 11,540 sq. ft.

Number of Boilers: 2


History

Lineage

Edward L. Ryerson – 1960-1998

Owner: Inland Steel Co., Chicago, IL

Operator: Inland Steel Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Indiana Harbor, IN


Edward L. Ryerson – 1998-2008

Owner: Indiana Harbor Steamship Co., Griffith, IN

Operator: Central Marine Logistics, Griffith, IN [chartered to Ispat International]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Indiana Harbor, IN


Edward L. Ryerson – 2008-2020

Owner: Indiana Harbor Steamship Co., Griffith, IN

Operator: Central Marine Logistics, Griffith, IN [chartered to Arcelor Mittal]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Indiana Harbor, IN


Edward L. Ryerson – 2020-Present

Owner: Indiana Harbor Steamship Co., Griffith, IN

Operator: Central Marine Logistics, Griffith, IN [chartered to Cleveland-Cliffs]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Indiana Harbor, IN


Her Story

The Edward L. Ryerson was constructed in 1960 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, as a gearless bulk freighter. She was built with graceful lines, with a flared bow and large pilothouse, tapered stern and a large streamlined stack with her aft mast fixed upon it. It is noted that over $8 Million was spent on her accommodations and guest quarters. The Ryerson was also the last American freighter built as a gearless bulk carrier and steamer, as well as the last vessel constructed at Manitowoc Shipbuilding’s Manitowoc shipyard.

The keel for this new bulk carrier was laid on April 21, 1959, being launched into the waters of the Manitowoc River on January 12, 1960. When she was headed out of the Manitowoc River for the first time, she became landlocked in one of the turns in the river. About 50 feet of dock on the East bank of the river had to be excavated to release her. After final fit-out, the Edward L. Ryerson departed Manitowoc on her maiden voyage on August 3, 1960, bound for Escanaba, Michigan, to load iron ore for delivery to Indiana Harbor. The Ryerson set several ore records during her first decade of service, passing the title of largest cargo of ore between herself and the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Due to her small cubic dimensions and lack of self-unloading equipment, the Edward L. Ryerson has spent many seasons laid up. She was inactive at Indiana Harbor for the 1986 and 1987 seasons, as well as at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, from 1994-2006. While in layup, Inland Steel was purchased by Dutch steelmaker Ispat International, taking over Inland Steel operations on July 15, 1998. Inland’s fleet was in turn sold to Indiana Harbor Steamship Co. to remain Jones Act-compliant. She did open up for public tours during the summer of 2002.

With increased demand, the Ryerson was drydocked at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay for a hull inspection and refit in June of 2006. She returned to service on July 22, 2006, departing the shipyard for Escanaba, under the command of Capt. Eric Treece. She was employed hauling ore from Escanaba, Michigan, and Superior, Wisconsin, to Indiana Harbor, Indiana, and Lorain, Ohio. She fit out again for the new season on April 6, 2007, and added more ports to her routes, making several trips down the Welland Canal to load Labrador Ore in Quebec.

The Ryerson operated under charter to Ispat International until 2008 when Ispat was involved in a European steel manufacturer merger. The vessels were then chartered by Arcelor Mittal, the resulting firm of the merger.

She sailed yet another full season in 2008, adding another port of call, delivering several loads of ore to the Arcelor Mittal Dofasco steel mill in Hamilton, Ontario. The dock was equipped with bridge cranes and perfectly capable of unloading her.

The Ryerson fit out again in 2009, only to lay up again on May 18, 2009, in Superior, Wisconsin. She has since remained in layup at multiple docks in the Twin Ports. Plans to convert her to a self-unloader come up often, but her owners and the economy do not warrant the project at this time.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on September 16, 2020



Sources

Bawal, Raymond A., Jr. Twilight of the Great Lakes Steamer. Inland Expressions, 2009. Pp. 75-81.

Berry, Sterling P. “Ryerson, Edward L.”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 16 September 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/r/ryerson-edward-l>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 80.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 3.4.

Reaume, Earl J., Jr. U.S. Freighters of the Great Lakes. Border Publishing, 2000. Pp. 195-196.

Thompson, Mark L. Queen of the Lakes. Wayne State University Press, 1994. Pp. 171-172.

Wharton, George. “Edward L. Ryerson”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 16 September 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/elr.htm>