Lakes Contender – Erie Trader
Articulated Barge, Self-Unloading Bulk Carrier; Paired with Tugboat Clyde S. VanEnkevort
Year Built: 2012
Builder: Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair, Erie, PA
Registry: U.S. 1238380
Laid Down: 2011
Launch Date: February 2012
Commissioned: May 5, 2012
- Clyde S. VanEnkevort [2012-Present]
The Lakes Contender was built as an articulated self-unloading barge for Seajon LLC, a partnership between SEACOR Marine Holdings and Donjon Marine. The barge was to be operated and managed by American Steamship Company under a 5-Year charter agreement. She was equipped with a Hydraconn Articulated Tug/Barge connection system, which was pioneered by her second owners. She was paired with the tug Ken Boothe Sr. upon completion, still sailing together today.
The Lakes Contender was the second of three similarly designed barges, the other two being the Great Lakes Trader of 2000 and the Michigan Trader of 2020. All of these barges are currently under ownership of VanEnkevort Tug & Barge.
Her self-unloading equipment consists of a single hold belt and an aft loop-belt system feeding a 265′ deck-mounted boom.
- Fairleads replaced, 2014.
Length Overall [Combined Tug & Barge]: 840′
Length Overall [Barge]: 740′
Length Between Perpendiculars: 710’07”
Loaded Draft: 30′
Capacity: 38,516 Tons
Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader; Articulated Barge
Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 265′
Number of Cargo Holds: 7 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 3-4-4-5-4-3-3]
Number of Hatches: 26 [Dimensions: 44’x11′]
Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Stone Trades
Lakes Contender – 2012-2017
Owner: Seajon LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL [Partnership between SEACOR Holdings and Donjon Marine]
Operator: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [Under 5-Year Lease]
Flag: United States
Home Port: Erie, PA
Erie Trader – 2017-Present
Owner: VanEnkevort Tug & Barge, Escanaba, MI
Operator: VanEnkevort Tug & Barge
Flag: United States
Home Port: Escanaba, MI
The Lakes Contender was built in 2012 as an articulated self-unloading barge for Seajon LLC, a partnership between SEACOR Marine Holdings and Donjon Marine. The barge was to be operated and managed by American Steamship Company under a 5-Year charter agreement. The barge was launched at Erie, Pennsylvania during the early winter months of 2012, being christened Lakes Contender on April 10, 2012. The barge was paired with the articulated tugboat Ken Boothe Sr., being connected by a Hydraconn Articulated Tug/Barge connection system, which was pioneered by her second owners. The tug/barge pair Ken Boothe Sr. / Lakes Contender entered service on May 5, 2012, sailing out of Erie to load.
The pair were painted in American Steamship colors prior to the 2013 season, to reflect their operators.
The charter agreement with American Steamship Company expired before the 2017 season began, and the pair were purchased by VanEnkevort Tug & Barge of Escanaba, Michigan. The tug was renamed Clyde S. VanEnkevort and the barge Erie Trader. They entered service as usual at the beginning of the 2017 season, with their new names applied to their hulls.
The Clyde S. VanEnkevort / Erie Trader continue to be an active member of VanEnkevort’s quickly growing tug/barge fleet, hauling ore, coal, and stone to ports across the Great Lakes.
Compiled By Brendan Falkowski
Updated on June 11, 2020
Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.11.
Pennock, Isaac. “Clyde S. VanEnkevort”. Great Lakes Tugs & Workboats. N.d. Accessed 11 June 2020. https://gltugs.wordpress.com/clyde-s-vanenkevort/
LeLievre, Roger. “Erie Trader”. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 11 June 2020. http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/ErieTrader.htm