Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 27, no. 1 (October 1994), p. 8

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8. Ship of the Month No. 214 GLENEAGLES During the micL-1920s, just before the major reorganization and drastic down sizing of his fleet, the famous shipping entrepreneur, James Playfair, of Midland, Ontario, built a series of upper lake bulk carriers that were the largest and most efficient freighters seen to that point in time on the C a nadian side of the Great Lakes. They were the pride of Playfair's operating company, the Great Lakes Transportation Company Ltd., of Midland, and they far outclassed any of the smaller and older vessels that had been used by Playfair in prior years, and which had been acquired from other owners. The three new steamers were built at Midland by the Midland Shipbuilding Company Ltd. in successive years, 1924 through 1926, as the yard's Hulls 12, 14 and 16. The first of the steamers was GLENIFFER, better known in later years as ASHCROFT, while the last of the trio was built as GLENMHOR, was launched as GLENMOHR, and operated her entire life as LEMOYNE (I) (although this name was first painted on her as "LEMOINE"). It is, however, the second ship in the series, GLENEAGLES, which we have chosen to feature, as she enjoyed the longest and undoubtedly the most successful career of any of the three vessels. To begin our detailed description of GLENEAGLES, we could do no better than to quote from the November, 1925, issue of the Cleveland-based publication "Marine Review", which ran a major article entitled "Canadians Build Big Freighter", under a photograph of the launching of the steamer. Although the GLENEAGLES was in service before the article appeared in print, the description of the steamer was written while she still was under construc tion, and hence we have the seemingly-strange use by the author of the future tense in many sections of the piece. "The bulk freight steamship being built for the Great Lakes Transportation Co. Ltd., Midland, Ont., by the Midland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., to the Br i tish Corporation of Shipping's highest class requirements, was launched at Midland, Ont., on August 26, and christened GLENEAGLES by Mrs. James Play fair, wife of the president of the Great Lakes Transportation Co. Ltd. This vessel has been completed as shown in an accompanying illustration. The ge neral dimensions are, length over all, 596 feet, length on keel, 574 feet, breadth, 60 feet, depth, 32 feet; carrying capacity, 1 2, 200 tons. "A double bottom five feet deep runs for the entire length of the ship, divided into seven watertight compartments. The side tank, which is separate from the double bottom, is fitted for the full length of the cargo hold, extends five feet in from ship's side, and is divided into three watertight compartments on each side of the ship. The side tank wall is extended up to the spar deck, leaving a tunnel five feet wide above the main deck; all steam pipes, electric wires, steering gear shafting and hose lines, will be located in this space and will be easily accessible for repairs at any time when the ship is loaded. "The cargo hold is divided into four compartments by three screen bulkheads, the hold being 438 feet long by 50 feet wide. Access to cargo space will be provided by 23 hatches, spaced (on) 18 feet centres, which spacing is said to be a new departure and to be found only on the Great Lakes Transportation C o . 's latest ships. All hatches will be fitted with telescoping steel co vers, to be operated by two 6 x 6 inches steam winches. For mooring, six 8 x 10 inches steam winches will be installed, one at the stern, four between aft house and forecastle, and one in the windlass room. The steering gear will consist of a shaft controlled 9 x 9 inches engine, direct controlled to the rudder stock with control arms. "Forward, there will be a raised forecastle, with large deckhouse above, which in turn will be surmounted by the captain's quarters and pilot house. The forecastle will have accommodation for the first and second mates, two

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