Reserve

Reserve – James L. Kuber – Maumee {2}

1953-Present

Articulated Barge, Self-Unloading Bulk Carrier; Paired with Tugboat Victory

Maumee / Victory on the St. Marys River, July 17, 2019. Photo by Roger LeLievre

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1953

Builder: Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI

Hull #299

Registry: U.S. 265360

IMO #5293341

Laid Down: May 10, 1951

Launch Date: November 15, 1952

Commissioned: April 22, 1953

Paired Tugboats:

Construction

The Reserve was constructed in 1952 as a gearless bulk carrier by the Great Lakes Engineering Works at their River Rouge, Michigan, shipyard for the Columbia Transportation Division of the Oglebay Norton Company of Cleveland, Ohio. She was a member of the AAA Class, or the “Pittsburgh” Class, originally designed for the Pittsburgh Steamship Division of U.S. Steel. The AAA Class ships were designed with refined hull streamlining and an asymmetrical stern to help improve water flow to the propeller. Adding to this, the rudder was slightly offset for more efficiency. All vessels of the class were originally 647’ long, 70’ wide, and 36’ deep with a cargo capacity of about 21,000 tons. The AAA ships were outfitted with oil fired boilers that provided steam for a large Westinghouse geared steam turbine, giving them around 7,000 HP. These engines pushed the ships along at around 16 MPH, making a round trip in just over 5 days, an improvement over the 6-7 day passages by older vessels. There were also some minor differences between the American Shipbuilding and Great Lakes Engineering Works units, those being that the Great Lakes Engineering ships had a slightly larger pilothouse but a slightly lower gross registered tonnage.

The Reserve was one of eight ships built along the AAA class lines, the others being her identical sisters Arthur M. AndersonCason J. CallawayPhilip R. Clarke, and William Clay Ford, and the near-identical J. L. Mauthe, Armco, and Edward B. Greene.

The Reserve was originally constructed as a gearless bulk carrier, being designed with large box holds to make her an efficient carrier in the iron ore trade. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1982, and her self-unloading equipment consists of a single hold belt with an aft loop-belt system feeding a 250′ deck mounted boom.

Modifications

  • Bow thruster installed, 1970.
  • Lengthened by 120′, Fraser Shipyards, Superior, WI, 1975.
  • Converted to a self-unloader, Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1982.
  • Converted to an articulated barge, K&K Warehousing, Menominee, MI, and Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, WI, 2007.

General Stats

As Constructed

Length Overall: 647′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 629’03”

Breadth: 70′

Depth: 36′

Loaded Draft: 26’02”

Capacity: 21,000 Tons

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

Number of Cargo Holds: 3 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 6-7-6]

Number of Hatches: 19 [Dimensions: 46’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore Trade

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

After Lengthening, 1975

Length Overall: 767′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 749’03”

Breadth: 70′

Depth: 36′

Loaded Draft: 27′

Capacity: 26,525 Tons

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

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

Number of Hatches: 24 [Dimensions: 46’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore Trade

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

After Conversion to a Self-Unloader, 1982

Length Overall: 767′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 749’03”

Breadth: 70′

Depth: 36′

Loaded Draft: 27′

Capacity: 25,500 Tons

Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 260′

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

Number of Hatches: 23 [Dimensions: 46’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Stone Trades

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

After Conversion to a Barge, 2007

Length Overall [Combined Tug & Barge]: 815’02”

Length Overall [Barge]: 703’08”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 673’04”

Breadth: 70′

Depth: 36′

Loaded Draft: 27′

Capacity: 25,500 Tons

Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader; Articulated Barge

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 260′

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

Number of Hatches: 23 [Dimensions: 46’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Stone, Grain Trades


Engineering Equipment [Removed, 2007]

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Steam Turbine

Engine Manufacturer: Westinghouse Electric Co., Pittsburgh, PA

Engine Model: Double-Reduction Geared Steam Turbine

Number of Engines: 1

Rated HP: 7700 SHP


Boiler

Boiler Type: Oil-Fired Water Tube Boilers

Boiler Manufacturer: Foster-Wheeler, Baar, Switzerland

Boiler Size: 15466 sq. ft.

Number of Boilers: 2


History

Lineage

Reserve – 1953-1994

Owner: Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton Co., Cleveland, OH

Operator: Columbia Transportation Division

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Reserve – 1994-2006

Owner: Oglebay Norton Co., Cleveland, OH

Operator: Oglebay Norton Co., Marine Division

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Reserve – 2006-2007

Owner: Reserve Holdings LLC, Menominee, MI [K&K]

Operator: Central Marine Logistics, Griffith, IN

Flag: United States

Home Port: Menominee, MI


James L. Kuber – 2007-2011

Owner: K&K Integrated Logistics, Menominee, MI

Operator: K&K Integrated Logistics

Flag: United States

Home Port: Menominee, MI


James L. Kuber – 2011-2019

Owner: Grand River Navigation Co., Traverse City, MI [Rand Logistics]

Operator: Grand River Navigation Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Cleveland, OH


Maumee {2} – 2019-Present

Owner: Grand River Navigation Co., Traverse City, MI [Rand Logistics]

Operator: Grand River Navigation Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Cleveland, OH


Her Story

In 1952, the Columbia Transportation Division of the Oglebay Norton Company signed contracts with two shipyards to construct two new vessels of the AAA Class design. The Reserve would be nearly identical to the ships constructed for the Pittsburgh Steamship Division, while the other, the Armco would have a more stylized forward end with a pilothouse design similar to her near sister Edward B. Greene, minus the Texas Deck Lounge.

The keel for the Reserve was laid on May 10, 1952 at Great Lakes Engineering Works’ River Rouge, Michigan, yard. The new hull was christened Reserve and launched on November 15, 1952. She entered service on April 22, 1953, departing Detroit bound for Superior, Wisconsin, to load iron ore. She soon settled into her usual trade route, carrying ore from Silver Bay, Minnesota, to Toledo, Ohio.

The Reserve was modified in 1970 with the installation of a bow thruster, increasing her maneuverability. At the end of the 1974 season, the Reserve laid up at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin, where she was to be lengthened by 120′ at a cost of nearly $5 Million. She was placed in drydock, where she was then cut in half just aft of midship, and her stern section floated out of the drydock. The new mid-body was floated in and lined up with the bow, followed by the stern section. The sections were then welded together and a new, larger rudder was installed to handle the vessel’s larger size. She returned to service in early 1975.

In order to keep their newer vessels competitive, the Columbia Transportation Division embarked on a program to convert their 1950’s-era steamers into self-unloaders. The Reserve was the third vessel in the fleet to undergo the conversion, laying up at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for her conversion on May 18, 1982. While in the shipyard, her cargo hold bottom was removed and new sloped sections were lowered through her cargo hatches and welded together. Conveyor belts running lengthwise of the ship were installed in the hold. A loop-belt elevator system was installed just forward of the aft deckhouse with a 260’ cargo boom to deliver the cargo to the dock. She returned to service in September 1983 due to low economic demand.

The Reserve had a few incidents during the 1990’s, including grounding on the St. Marys River twice near the Rock Cut on April 16, 1990. On July 21, 1994, the Reserve lost power while downbound on the St. Clair River, doing a 180 degree swing, stopping 20′ off of the seawall in Port Huron. After bringing power back online, she continued on her voyage. On July 18, 2004, the Reserve suffered a boiler fire while on Lake Michigan, stopping at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for repairs.

Oglebay Norton faced rough times in the early 2000’s, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 23, 2004. In March of 2006, the Reserve was sold to Reserve Holdings, under the ownership of K&K Warehousing of Menominee, Michigan. She sailed as a powered vessel for part of the 2006 and 2007 seasons, being plagued with engine problems. She carried her last cargo as a powered vessel on July 31, 2007, at Green Bay, Wisconsin, before laying up at the K&K Dock at Menominee, Michigan, for conversion to a barge.

While in Menominee, her stern was cut down to the waterline from her fantail to just forward of the engine room. Her engine and boilers were removed. She was towed from Menominee to Sturgeon Bay on December 17, 2007, where she was drydocked for final removal of her stern and the fabrication of the notch for her tugboat. The work was completed and she was towed back to Menominee on January 4, 2008. During the following months, her old pilothouse was removed and she was given a new paint job. The barge was fitted with a Hydraconn Articulated Tug-Barge system rack to connect with the tug. The Reserve was rechristened James L. Kuber and paired with the newly-rebuilt tugboat Victory on March 29, 2008. The pair entered service for K&K Integrated Logistics on April 13, 2008.

In February 2011, Rand Logistics announced that they had acquired the vessels of the K&K Integrated Logistics fleet, those being their two Articulated tug-barge units, Lewis J. Kuber / Olive L. Moore and James L. Kuber / Victory. The tug-barge units were placed under the ownership of Rand’s Grand River Navigation Company. Part of the agreement was that the barges must keep their names for five years after the purchase.

On January 4, 2013, the Hydraconn connection system between the tug and the barge had a mechanical failure, and the tug crew had to set the barge adrift in heavy seas. The barge was retrieved by her fleetmate Saginaw, which was assisted by the tug Victory.

The James L. Kuber was renamed Maumee {2} in February 2019. The Maumee / Victory continue to be active members of the Grand River Navigation fleet, serving the ore, coal, stone, and grain trades.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on July 31, 2020


Gallery


Sources

Berry, Sterling P. “Reserve”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 31 July 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/r/reserve>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 170.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.11.

“Maumee Integrated with Tug Victory”. Rand Logistics, N.d. Accessed 31 July 2020. <https://www.randlog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Rand-Vessel-Profile-MAU-8-2019.pdf>

The Great Lakes Engineering Works: The Shipyard and its Vessels. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 2008. Pp. 456-457.

Wharton, George. “Maumee (2)”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online, N.d. Accessed 31 July 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/Maumee2.htm>