Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 36, no. 1 (October 2003), p. 13

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13. ROBERT KOCH REVISITED In the April issue, we featured the little cement carrier ROBERT KOCH, but there is more to say about her and more photos to show. And yes, we goofed a bit in that she had only ONE engine, and the PORTLAND CARRIER was sold Nor­ wegian in 1996 and not 1986. (Thanks to Bill Moran. ) Bill Schell has been able to give more details of her early years. The basic design (layout and dimensions) in the Everard fleet went back to STABILITY, built at Goole in 1949. The first ship of this design from Grangemouth was SPECIALITY, delivered in August 1951. ETHEL EVERARD, however, was a depar­ ture from the established design as she was the first in which a Swedish diesel was installed instead of the 4-cylinder "P" type by Newberry Diesel, with which her predecessors had been fitted. As built, she was a geared ship. The foremast was original and originally supported a single cargo boom. The mainmast was stepped on a modest sized deckhouse (with winch platform) located between cargo holds 2 and 3 (where the cement handling control/pumproom was later fitted). The mainmast was virtually identical to the foremast but had two cargo booms, one fitted so as to serve each of the holds. The "overgrown jackstaff" was added when she was converted for cement and originally supported a small cargo boom (per­ haps for stores) but by 1977 the boom was no longer being used and was by then lacking topping lift, guys or cargo runner. The West River Shipping Co. Ltd., which we mentioned, was jointly owned by Everards and Tunnel Portland Cement Co. Ltd. She appears to have traded briefly in the U. K. as GUARDIAN CARRIER, perhaps long enough to see that all of the bugs were out of the cement handling gear before she was sent off to New Zealand. Bill thinks it is safe to assume that she was put on the New Zealand register on her arrival there, as she was intended for coasting, but he notes that the sale to New Zealand Cement did not take place until March 1967 (and not in 1965). Mac Mackay saw GUARDIAN CARRIER in early June 1977 when she arrived at Hali­ fax from New Zealand. Although carrying the St. Lawrence Cement stack design she still showed Singapore registry and arrived with cement for Halifax brick and concrete block manufacturer L. E. Shaw Ltd. Mac also says that his "ABC of [British] Coastal Shipping" for 1963 indicates that several Everard ships, of which ETHEL EVERARD was one, had a "yellow" hull. Andy LaBorde was there with his camera when ROBERT KOCH hit the abutment of Bridge 5 on Sept. 29, 1981. The trenchcoated man was a Seaway inspector. * * * * *

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