Year Built: 1979
Builder: Bay Shipbuilding Corp., Sturgeon Bay, WI
Registry: US 610401
Laid Down: August 9, 1978
Launch Date: March 19, 1979
Commissioned: August 29, 1979
The Indiana Harbor was constructed as a self-unloading bulk carrier for Connecticut Bank & Trust of Hartford, Connecticut, to be managed by American Steamship Company. She was the ninth 1,000-Footer built, and the second for American Steamship Company, being constructed under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970.
She was built to the plans of the Bay Shipbuilding 1,000-Footers, being the third vessel constructed. These ships were the Belle River [Walter J. McCarthy Jr., 1990;], Lewis Wilson Foy [Oglebay Norton, 1991; American Integrity, 2006;], Burns Harbor, and Columbia Star [American Century, 2006;].
Her self-unloading equipment consists of a single hold belt leading to an aft loop-belt system to a 250′ deck-mounted boom.
Length Overall: 1,000′
Length Between Perpendiculars: 990′
Loaded Draft: 34’01”
Capacity: 80,900 Tons
Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader
Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 250′
Number of Cargo Holds: 7 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 5-5-6-6-6-5-4]
Number of Hatches: 37 [Dimensions: 56’x11′]
Primary Operations: Ore, Coal Trades
Propellers: 2 Controllable Pitch Propellers
Engine Type: Diesel Engines
Engine Manufacturer: General Motors Electro-Motive Division, Chicago, IL
Engine Model: 20-645-E7B
Number of Engines: 4
Rated HP: 14000 BHP
Indiana Harbor – 1979-2020
Owner: Connecticut Bank & Trust, Hartford, CT [managed by American Steamship Co.]
Operator: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY
Flag: United States
Home Port: Wilmington, DE
Indiana Harbor – 2020-Present
Owner: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [Rand Logistics]
Operator: American Steamship Co.
Flag: United States
Home Port: Wilmington, DE
The Indiana Harbor was constructed in 1979 as a self-unloading bulk carrier for Connecticut Bank & Trust of Hartford, Connecticut, to be managed by American Steamship Company. She was the ninth 1,000-Footer to be constructed and was the second built for American Steamship Company, being constructed under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. The keel was laid for the vessel on August 9, 1978, and she was float launched from the drydock on March 19, 1979, being christened Indiana Harbor on July 11, 1979. She entered service on August 29, 1979, bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota, to load ore for her namesake port.
The Indiana Harbor became the first U.S. lake freighter to be equipped with satellite communication in August 1982. She would spend part of the 1982 and 1985 seasons in layup at Ashland, Wisconsin, due to poor economic conditions. She collided with the saltwater vessel Anangel Spirit on November 28, 1983, requiring repairs to the 10′ gash in her hull.
In 1984, the Indiana Harbor became the first 1,000-Footer to load limestone, as well as visit Port Dolomite, Michigan, setting limestone records during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The Indiana Harbor set a record for western coal when she loaded 71,369 tons of coal at Superior, Wisconsin, for delivery to Silver Bay, Minnesota, on June 25, 1993. This was one of several coal records she set during the 1980’s and 1990’s. On September 7, 1993, the Indiana Harbor struck the Lansing Shoal Lighthouse in northern Lake Michigan after departing the shipyard in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, requiring her to return to the shipyard.
The Indiana Harbor grounded on multiple occasions when entering the harbor at Muskegon, Michigan, with coal for the B.C. Cobb power plant, notably on August 17, 1994, and August 22, 2007. The Indiana Harbor spent the majority of the 2016 season in layup at Superior, Wisconsin, fitting out in early November.
With high water levels in 2019, the Indiana Harbor broke the Soo Locks iron ore record her fleetmate American Integrity set on July 21, with a load of 76,930 tons on August 8, 2019. She broke her own record again on August 17, 2019, with a load of 77,542 tons of taconite pellets.
In February 2020, Rand Logistics announced that they purchased American Steamship Company from their parent company GATX Corp. No immediate changes were made to the fleet, and the Indiana Harbor returned to service as usual. She continues to be a busy member of the American Steamship Company fleet, hauling ore and coal across the upper Great Lakes.
Compiled By Brendan Falkowski
Updated on May 28, 2020
Ahoy & Farewell II. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 1996. Pp. 22.
Bawal, Raymond A., Jr. Superships of the Great Lakes. Inland Expressions, 2011. Pp. 56-60.
Berry, Sterling P. “Indiana Harbor”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 28 May 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/i/indiana-harbor>
Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 192.
Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.10.
“M/V Indiana Harbor”. American Steamship Company, N.d. Accessed 28 May 2020. <http://americansteamship.com/fleet/mv-indiana-harbor.php>
Wharton, George. “Indiana Harbor”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 28 May 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/indianaharbor.htm>