Imperial Leduc

Imperial Leduc – Nipigon Bay

1951-1989

Nipigon Bay, St. Marys River, 1971. Roger LeLievre

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1951

Builder: Collingwood Shipyards LTD., Collingwood, ON

Hull #146

Registry: CAN 176115

IMO #5252933

Laid Down: March 7, 1950

Launch Date: November 4, 1950

Commissioned: April 18, 1951

Construction

Imperial Leduc was constructed in 1951 as an oil tanker for Pipe Line Tankers LTD. She was the first of her class, constructed to transport crude oil from the end of the Interprovincial Lakehead pipeline at Superior, WI, to Imperial Oil refineries at Sarnia and Clarkson, ON. The Leduc and her sisters were and still remain to be some of the largest tankers to sail the Great Lakes. Three of the four vessels were retired as tankers in 1953 after the pipeline was extended from Superior to Sarnia, and were rebuilt for other purposes.

The Imperial Leduc was the lead ship of her class, and her sisters were the Imperial Redwater [R. Bruce Angus, 1954;], Imperial Woodbend [Golden Hind, 1954;] and B. A. Peerless.

Modifications

  • Repaired after explosions, American Shipbuilding Co., Toledo, OH, 1952.
  • Converted to a gearless bulk carrier, Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. LTD., Port Arthur, ON, 1958.
  • Lengthened by 72′, Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. LTD., Port Arthur, ON, 1958.
  • Trunk deck added to spar deck, Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. LTD., Thunder Bay, ON, 1981.

General Stats

As Constructed as a Powered Tanker

Length Overall: 619’11”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 600′

Breadth: 68′

Molded Depth: 35′

Loaded Draft: —

Capacity: 12,595 Gross Tons, 9573 Net Tons, 18,418 Deadweight Tonnage

Vessel Type: Petroleum Tanker

Number of Cargo Tanks: 27

Primary Operations: Petroleum Trade, between Superior, WI, and Sarnia, ON

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

After Conversion to a Gearless Bulk Carrier, 1958

Length Overall: 692′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 672′

Breadth: 68′

Molded Depth: 35′

Loaded Draft: —

Capacity: 13,274 Gross Tons, 9712 Net Tons, 18,030 Deadweight Tonnage

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

Number of Cargo Holds: 6

Number of Hatches: —

Primary Operations: Ore, Grain Trades

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Steam Turbine

Engine Manufacturer: John Inglis Co., LTD., Toronto, ON

Engine Model: Double-Reduction Geared Triple Cross-Compound Steam Turbine

Number of Engines: 1

Rated HP: 4500 SHP


Boiler

Boiler Type: Oil-fired water tube Boilers

Boiler Manufacturer: Foster-Wheeler, Baar, Switzerland

Boiler Size: 8,864 sq. ft.

Number of Boilers: 2


History

Lineage

Imperial Leduc – 1951-1955

Owner: Pipeline Tankers LTD., Toronto, ON

Operator: Imperial Oil Co., Toronto, ON

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Collingwood, ON


Nipigon Bay – 1955-1989

Owner: Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, QC

Operator: Canada Steamship Lines

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Collingwood, ON


Her Story

Imperial Leduc was laid down at Collingwood Shipyards of Collingwood, ON, on March 7, 1950, as their Hull #146. She was launched on November 4, 1950 for Pipe Line Tankers LTD. of Toronto, to be managed by Imperial Oil Co. She was the first of her class, constructed to transport crude oil from the end of the Interprovincial Lakehead pipeline at Superior, WI, to Imperial Oil refineries at Sarnia and Clarkson, ON. The Leduc and her sisters were and still remain to be some of the largest tankers to sail the Great Lakes. Three of the four vessels were retired as tankers in 1953 after the pipeline was extended from Superior to Sarnia, and were rebuilt for other purposes. Imperial Leduc entered service on April 18, 1951, departing American Shipbuilding in Lorain, OH. She was taken to American Shipbuilding after her completion for repairs after she sustained damage during her launch. She soon entered service between Superior, WI, and Sarnia, ON.

On December 10, 1951, Imperial Leduc suffered an explosion in her forward tanks while crew members were inside cleaning the tanks. Five men were hospitalized after the event, with one eventually passing away. The tanker was repaired by American Shipbuilding at Toledo, OH.

In 1954, Imperial Leduc was sold to Canada Steamship Lines of Montreal, QC, and renamed Nipigon Bay at the beginning of the next season. She operated as a tanker for Canada Steamship Lines until the end of the 1957 season, when she was laid up at Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. LTD. in Port Arthur, ON, to be rebuilt as a gearless bulk carrier. Her liquid cargo handling equipment was removed, holds reconfigured, spar deck reconstructed, and pilothouse moved forward. She returned to service on August 8, 1958.

Nipigon Bay ran aground on the St. Lawrence River near Crossover Island on October 15, 1980, damaging about 100′ of her bottom. After unloading, she proceeded to Thunder Bay, ON, for repairs. While at the shipyard, a 5′ tall trunk deck was constructed over the spar deck, adding to her cargo capacity. The work was completed by Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. LTD.

Nipigon Bay was laid up at Montreal, QC, on December 2, 1982, remaining there until April 1984 when she was towed to Kingston, ON, for continued layup. She was moved again, to Toronto, in November 1987. Nipigon Bay was sold for scrap in mid-1989, and towed out of Toronto on July 7, 1989, for Sorel, QC, where she departed on August 8 for the scrapyard at Aliaga, Turkey.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on February 22, 2021.


Gallery


Sources

Ahoy & Farewell II. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 1996. Pp. 138.

Berry, Sterling P. “Imperial Leduc”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 22 February 2021. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/i/imperial-leduc>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 179.