Shenango II

Shenango II – Charles M. Beeghly – Hon. James L. Oberstar

1959-Present

Hon. James L. Oberstar unloading at Superior, Wisconsin, August 19, 2019. Photo by Isaac Pennock

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1959

Builder: American Shipbuilding Co., Toledo, OH

Hull #193

Registry: U.S. 278807

IMO #5322518

Laid Down: —

Launch Date: November 22, 1958

Commissioned: May 14, 1959

Construction

The Shenango II was constructed in 1959 as a gearless bulk carrier by the American Shipbuilding Company at their Toledo, Ohio, shipyard for the Shenango Furnace Company at a cost of $8 Million.

The Shenango II was the third and final of three similar sister ships, those being the George M. Humphrey {2} and John Sherwin {2}.

The Shenango II was originally constructed as a gearless bulk carrier, with large box holds designed for maximum efficiency for carrying iron ore and coal. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1981, and her equipment consists of a single hold belt leading to an aft loop-belt system feeding a 250′ deck mounted boom.

Modifications

  • Lengthened by 96′, Fraser Shipyards, Superior, Wisconsin, 1972.
  • Converted to a self-unloader, Fraser Shipyards, Superior, Wisconsin, 1981.
  • Repowered with new diesel engines, Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, 2009.
  • Diesel exhaust scrubbers installed, Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, 2015.

General Stats

As Constructed

Length Overall: 710′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 690′

Breadth: 75′

Depth: 37’06”

Loaded Draft: 26’07”

Capacity: 25,400 Tons

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

Number of Cargo Holds: 3

Number of Hatches: — [Dimensions: 48’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Grain Trades

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

After lengthening by 96′, 1972

Length Overall: 806′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 786′

Breadth: 75′

Depth: 37’06”

Loaded Draft: 28’10”

Capacity: 32,500 Tons

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

Number of Cargo Holds: 4

Number of Hatches: 24 [Dimensions: 48’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal Trades

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

After conversion to a self-unloader, 1981

Length Overall: 806′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 786′

Breadth: 75′

Depth: 37’06”

Loaded Draft: 28’06”

Capacity: 31,000

Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 250′

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

Number of Hatches: 25 [Dimensions: 48’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Stone Trades

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Steam Turbine

Engine Manufacturer: General Electric Co., Boston, MA

Engine Model: Cross-Compound Steam Turbine

Number of Engines: 1

Rated HP: 9350 SHP


Boiler

Boiler Type: Oil-Fired Water Tube Boilers

Boiler Manufacturer: Babcock & Wilcox, Akron, OH

Boiler Size: 17,000 sq. ft.

Number of Boilers: 2


Repower – 2009

Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: Rolls-Royce Bergen, Hordvik, Norway

Engine Model: B32:40L6P

Number of Engines: 2

Rated HP: 8158 BHP


History

Lineage

Shenango II – 1959-1967

Owner: Shenango Furnace Co., Pittsburgh, PA

Operator: Shenango Furnace Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Pittsburgh, PA


Charles M. Beeghly – 1967-1973

Owner: Pickands Mather & Co., Cleveland, OH

Operator: Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH [Pickands Mather & Co.]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Charles M. Beeghly – 1973-1987

Owner: Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH [Pickands Mather & Co.]

Operator: Interlake Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Charles M. Beeghly – 1987-2011

Owner: Interlake Steamship Co., Middleburg Heights, OH

Operator: Interlake Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Hon. James L. Oberstar – 2011-Present

Owner: Interlake Steamship Co., Middleburg Heights, OH

Operator: Interlake Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Her Story

The Shenango II was constructed in 1959 as a gearless bulk carrier by the American Shipbuilding Company at their Toledo, Ohio, shipyard for the Shenango Furnace Company. She was launched on November 22, 1959, and entered service for Shenango on May 14, 1959, after being christened Shenango II at Cleveland, Ohio.

On May 9, 1962, the Shenango II loaded a record cargo of 689,000 bushels of wheat at Chicago, Illinois. She set another grain cargo in 1965 when she loaded 910,340 bushels of oats for a winter storage cargo at Duluth, Minnesota, for Buffalo, New York. This cargo stands as the largest bushelage loaded by a U.S. flagged Great Lakes vessel.

On March 1, 1967, Shenango Furnace sold the Shenango II and the William P. Snyder Jr. to Interlake Steamship Company. The Shenango II was soon renamed Charles M. Beeghly and repainted in Interlake fleet colors, entering service for them in the spring.

In early 1972, the Beeghly was taken to Fraser Shipyards to be lengthened by 96′. At Fraser’s, she was drydocked, cut in half aft of amidship, and her stern section was floated out. Workers then prepared the new 96′ long hull section for insertion. The new hull section was lined up with the bow in the drydock, then the stern was floated back in. The hull was welded back together with the new section in the middle. She returned to service in 1972 as the third largest vessel on the Great Lakes.

On July 28, 1973, the Charles M. Beeghly set an iron ore record of 31,015 tons loaded at Taconite Harbor, Minnesota, for Lorain, Ohio. The Charles M. Beeghly ran aground on the St. Marys River on January 26, 1978, while operating in ice. She was escorted out of the shipping channel by the Coast Guard and lightered before proceeding to Superior, Wisconsin, for bottom repairs.

The Beeghly once again laid up at Fraser Shipyards at the end of the 1980 season, but this time for conversion to a self-unloader. At the yard, 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 250’ cargo boom to deliver the cargo to the dock. She returned to service in April 1981, only to be laid up again in Superior in November due to the economic downturn.

The Charles M. Beeghly returned to service on April 17, 1984, only to get caught in ice and currents and driven stern first into the breakwall at the Superior entry at Superior, Wisconsin. She headed back to Fraser Shipyards for repairs before returning to service on May 14.

On August 21, 2001, the Charles M. Beeghly loaded the final load of iron ore at Taconite Harbor, Minnesota, before the dock closed. On June 10, 2004, the crew of the Beeghly was awarded with Chamber of Shipping America’s Jones F. Devlin Award for 1,398 days without a lost-time accident.

In February of 2007, the James L. Oberstar was painted on the hull with intentions of renaming the vessel, but at the request of Sen. Oberstar, Charles M. Beeghly was repainted on the hull. On November 25, 2008, the Beeghly laid up for the final time as a steamer at Bay Shipbuilding’s Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, shipyard, for repowering to diesel. Her old steam plant was removed and replaced with two new Rolls-Royce Bergen diesel engines. She returned to service on June 19, 2009.

Prior to entering service for the 2007 season, the Beeghly was officially renamed Hon. James L. Oberstar. She was christened by Sen. Oberstar’s wife Jean in ceremonies on May 4 at Duluth, Minnesota.

In early 2015, the Oberstar was fitted with diesel exhaust scrubbers by Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, as part of Interlake Steamship’s fleet modernization project. The Oberstar now displays a signature steam plume to show Interlake’s commitment to the environment.

The Hon. James L. Oberstar continues to be an active member of the Interlake Steamship Company fleet, primarily serving the iron ore, coal, and occasionally stone trades.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on August 19, 2020



Sources

Berry, Sterling P. “Shenango II”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 19 August 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/s/shenango-2>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 179.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.14.

“M/V Honorable James L. Oberstar”. Interlake Steamship Company. N.d. Accessed 19 August 2020. <http://www.interlake-steamship.com/our-fleet/m-v-honorable-james-l.-oberstar/>

Wharton, George. “Hon. James L. Oberstar”. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 19 August 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/JamesLOberstar.htm>