S. T. Crapo

S. T. Crapo

1927-Present

S. T. Crapo on the St. Marys River, 1992. Photo by Roger LeLievre

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1927

Builder: Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI

Hull #256

Registry: U.S. 226885

IMO #5304011

Laid Down: April 11, 1927

Launch Date: July 7, 1927

Commissioned: August 18, 1927

Construction

The S. T. Crapo was constructed in 1927 by Great Lakes Engineering Works of River Rouge, Michigan, as a self-unloading powdered cement carrier. She was the second vessel of this type to be constructed in the world, the first being her fleetmate John W. Boardman of 1923. The Crapo was built at a cost of $1.08 Million

The S. T. Crapo was built to similar plans, but on a larger scale, to the John W. Boardman of 1923.

The Crapo was equipped with a four tunnel conveyor cargo hold layout.

Modifications

  • Bow thruster installed, G&W Welding, Cleveland, Ohio, 1964.
  • Boilers converted to oil-fired, Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, 1995.

General Stats

Length Overall: 402’06”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 384′

Breadth: 60’03”

Depth: 29′

Loaded Draft: 21’10”

Capacity: 8,190 Tons

Vessel Type: Self-Unloading Cement Carrier

Number of Cargo Holds: 6

Number of Hatches: —

Primary Operations: Cement Trade

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Triple Expansion Steam Engine

Engine Manufacturer: Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI

Engine Model: 22 1/2”, 38”, 83” dia. x 42” stroke

Number of Engines: 1

Rated HP: 1800 IHP


Boiler

Boiler Type: Coal-Fired Scotch Boilers

Boiler Manufacturer: Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI

Boiler Size: 3790 sq. ft.

Number of Boilers: 3


History

Lineage

S. T. Crapo – 1927-1965

Owner: Huron Portland Cement Co., Alpena, MI

Operator: Huron Transportation

Flag: United States

Home Port: Alpena, MI


S. T. Crapo – 1965-1987

Owner: Huron Portland Cement Co., Alpena, MI [National Gypsum Company]

Operator: Huron Transportation Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


S. T. Crapo – 1987-1996

Owner: Inland Lakes Management, Alpena, MI

Operator: Inland Lakes Management [Under charter to Lafarge]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Cleveland, OH


S. T. Crapo – 1996-Present

Owner: Inland Lakes Management, Muskegon, MI [Andrie, Inc.]

Operator: Inland Lakes Management [Under charter to Lafarge]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Cleveland, OH


Her Story

The S. T. Crapo was constructed in 1927 by Great Lakes Engineering Works of River Rouge, Michigan, as a self-unloading powdered cement carrier. She was the second vessel of this type to be constructed in the world, the first being her fleetmate John W. Boardman of 1923. The keel for the Crapo was laid on April 11, 1927, being launched with her boilers lit on July 7, 1927. After final preparations, she departed Detroit on her maiden voyage for Alpena, Michigan, on August 18, 1927.

The Crapo had a bow thruster installed in early 1964 by G&W Welding of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1965, the Huron Portland Cement Company was acquired by the National Gypsum Company, and operations of the Huron Cement fleet remained the same. The Crapo and her fleetmates were repainted in their familiar beige color that they are dressed in today.

On March 30, 1974, the S. T. Crapo lost her rudder near Gull Island in northern Lake Michigan, requiring the assistance of two tugs to be towed for repairs.

In 1987, National Gypsum and Huron Portland Cement were acquired by Lafarge Cement of Chicago, Illinois. The fleet was sold to the newly-formed Inland Lakes Transportation Company, being operated by Inland Lakes Management. The ships continued to operate out of the Alpena cement plant under cargo contract to Lafarge. Inland Lakes Transportation/Management was acquired by Andrie, Inc., of Muskegon, Michigan, in 1996. Fleet operations remained the same.

By the mid-1990’s, the S. T. Crapo was the last coal-fired freighter on the Great Lakes. In 1995, her boilers were converted to oil-firing by Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

The S. T. Crapo laid up on September 4, 1996, at Cleveland, Ohio. She was towed to Green Bay, Wisconsin, on September 9, 1997, for use as a cement storage vessel. She did see brief service during her time in layup, though, being towed out of Green Bay by a pair of Great Lakes Towing tugboats on October 13, 2005, being taken to Alpena, Michigan, to load cement, and back to Green Bay on October 29 for continued layup and storage barge operations. She remains in Green Bay to this day.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on October 2, 2020


Gallery


Sources

Berry, Sterling P. “Crapo, S. T.” Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 2 October 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/c/crapo-s-t>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 154.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 3.1.

Reaume, Earl J. U.S. Freighters of the Great Lakes. Border Publishing, 2000. Pp. 75.

The Great Lakes Engineering Works: The Shipyard and its Vessels. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 2008. Pp. 384-385.

Wharton, George. “S. T. Crapo”. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 2 October 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/crapo.htm>