Prairie Harvest

Prairie Harvest – Atlantic Huron – Melvin H. Baker II – Atlantic Huron

1984 – Present

Atlantic Huron on the St. Marys River, July 2, 2020. Photo by Isaac Pennock

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1984

Builder: Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Collingwood Shipyards LTD., Collingwood, ON

Hull #227

Registry: CAN. 800815

IMO #8025680

Laid Down: —

Launch Date: October 18, 1983

Commissioned: April 6, 1984

Construction

The Prairie Harvest was built in 1984 by Collingwood Shipyards of Collingwood, Ontario, as a gearless bulk carrier for Canada Steamship Lines at a cost of $35 Million. She was the first vessel built to Caribbean Class standards, and was designed to be easily converted to a self-unloader.

The Martin was one of ten similar ships built by Collingwood Shipyards in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The other ships were the AlgobayAlgoportNanticokeAlgowoodLake WabushAlgowestAtlantic SuperiorJohn B. AirdHon. Paul Martin, and Paterson.

The Prairie Harvest was constructed as a gearless bulk carrier to be efficient in the ore and grain trades, and was converted into a self-unloader in 1989. Her self-unloading equipment consists of a dual-hold belt leading to an aft loop-belt system to a 261′ deck-mounted boom.

Modifications

  • Converted to a self-unloader, Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ontario, 1989.
  • Unloading system modified for Hibernia Challenge 1997.
  • Widened by 3′, Port Weller Dry Docks, 2003.

General Stats

As Constructed

Length Overall: 736’07”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 714’08”

Breadth: 75’10”

Depth: 46’04”

Loaded Draft: 31′

Capacity: 23,263 Gross Tons, 15,877 Net Tons, 36,900 Deadweight Tons

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

Number of Cargo Holds: 5 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 2-4-4-4-3]

Number of Hatches: 17 [Dimensions: 52’x18′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Grain Trade

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1

After conversion to a self-unloader, 1989

Length Overall: 736’07”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 714’08”

Breadth: 75’10”

Depth: 46’04”

Loaded Draft: 31′

Capacity: 34,600 Tons

Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 261′

Number of Cargo Holds: 5 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 2-4-4-4-3]

Number of Hatches: 17 [Dimensions: 52’x18′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Stone, Grain, Salt Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1

After widening by 3′, 2003

Length Overall: 736’07”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 714’08”

Breadth: 77’11”

Depth: 46’04”

Loaded Draft: 31′

Capacity: 34,860 Tons

Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 261′

Number of Cargo Holds: 5 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 2-4-4-4-3]

Number of Hatches: 17 [Dimensions: 52’x18′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Stone, Grain, Salt Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: Sulzer, Winterthur, Switzerland

Engine Model: 6RLB66

Number of Engines: 1

Rated HP: 11,094 BHP


History

Lineage

Prairie Harvest – 1984-1989

Owner: Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, QC

Operator: Canada Steamship Lines

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Montreal, QC


Atlantic Huron {2} – 1989-1994

Owner: Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, QC

Operator: Canada Steamship Lines

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Montreal, QC


Melvin H. Baker II – 1994-1997

Owner: Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, QC

Operator: Canada Steamship Lines

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Montreal, QC


Atlantic Huron {2} – 1997-Present

Owner: Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, QC

Operator: Canada Steamship Lines

Flag: Canada

Home Port: Montreal, QC


Her Story

The Prairie Harvest was built in 1984 by Collingwood Shipyards of Collingwood, Ontario, as a gearless bulk carrier for Canada Steamship Lines at a cost of $35 Million. She was the first vessel built to Caribbean Class standards, and was designed to be easily converted to a self-unloader. The ship was christened Prairie Harvest and launched on October 18, 1983. She entered service on April 6, 1984, departing Collingwood light for Thunder Bay, Ontario.

For her first 5 seasons, the Prairie Harvest served the Seaway grain trade. At the end of the 1988 season, she laid up at Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines, Ontario for conversion to a self-unloader. The project consisted of was removing her old cargo hold tank top, installing two conveyor belts running lengthwise of the ship, and fabricating a new sloped hold bottom over the top of the belts to permit the flow of cargo. The belts led to a stern-mounted loop-belt elevator that fed a 260′ self-unloading boom. She returned to service on November 30, 1989, under the name of Atlantic Huron.

After hauling a few coal cargoes, the Atlantic Huron departed the Great Lakes for East coast service. In 1994, she was renamed Melvin H. Baker II to honor a new contract with National Gypsum Co. She was renamed Atlantic Huron once again in 1997.

In 1997, the Atlantic Huron and her fleetmates Atlantic Erie and Nanticoke were modified to deliver magnetite ore ballast for the offshore Hibernia Oil Rig that was under construction off of Newfoundland. The ships each carried four loads to the rig, with each trip lasting roughly 12 days. 

After the Hibernia Challenge, the Atlantic Huron returned to Great Lakes trades. In 2003, she was drydocked at Port Weller Dry Docks, where, her old side tanks were cut out and new tanks fabricated, widening the vessel by 3′ overall and bringing her to maximum Seaway width.

In Jul of 2020, the Atlantic Huron lost power while approaching the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, ramming the pier. She sustained heavy damage, and was taken to the Export Dock at Algoma Steel for inspection. The Atlantic Huron was towed to the shipyard in Thunder Bay, Ontario, a few days later, where she was drydocked to determine the extent of repairs needed and whether or not they would be cost effective. Atlantic Huron returned to service in the fall of 2020, actively trading across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on September 2, 2020



Sources

Ahoy & Farewell II. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 1996. Pp. 31.

Berry, Sterling P. “Prairie Harvest”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 1 September 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/p/prairie-harvest>

“Salarium”. Canada Steamship Lines. N.d. Accessed 1 September, 2020. <https://www.cslships.com/sites/default/files/atlantic_huron_-_new_version_2017.07_0.pdf>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 195.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.5.

Wharton, George. “Atlantic Huron”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 1 September 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/atlantichuron.htm>