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Edward L Ryerson


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After coming out for part of the 2009 season, the Ryerson arrived back in Duluth/Superior in May for lay-up due to a downturn in the economy. The ship continued to sit idle in Superior, WI during the 2010-2011 season as well as the entire 2011-2012 season.

The Ryerson Is Out!!!
The Edward L. Ryerson departed her lay-up berth at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI around noon (CDT) on Saturday, July 22, 2006. She headed for Escanaba, MI to load taconite pellets for Indiana Harbor, arriving at the Escanaba ore dock around 8 PM (CDT). Click Here For 23 Photos From That Trip. She had been laid-up since 1998. Bon Voyage Old Friend!!!

ALSO NOTE: I have converted the "Ryerson Salute" sound byte (near the bottom of this page) to an MP3 File (much smaller file size) and ADDED a "Formal Salute" (Like the one we were treated to as the Ryerson entered Escanaba - 3 Long & 2 Short), also in MP3 format. Click Here to go There

July UPDATE - Steam is up on the Ryerson. The departure date being bandied about now seems to be July 18-or-later from Bay Shipbuilding. The first trip will be going to Escanaba, MI. STAY TUNED!!

June 13, 2006: It's "official" - According to an article in the Door County Advocate newspaper, the Edward L. Ryerson is confirmed to sail sometime in early July 2006! Yeah!!!

June 8, 2006 UPDATE - The Edward L. Ryerson has been moved to the graving dock at Bay Shipbuilding AND it sounds like she will sail this year, perhaps by the end of June! Should she come out, her first trips would probably be from Escanaba, MI to Indiana Harbor, IN running taconite. Keep your fingers crossed!! More later as this story unfolds.

May 2006 - The rumor mill is buzzing again that 2006 may be the year that the Edward L. Ryerson sails once again! These rumors have crept up in the past; but the intensity of these rumors is higher than normal. I sure would love to see my favorite ship out and about once again! I would surely love to photograph her someplace besides her lay-up dock in Sturgeon Bay, WI, where she has been since 1998! More later ... hopefully!!

This page features a Slide Show of 51 photos from a tour of the Edward L. Ryerson in Sturgeon Bay, WI on July 20, 2002 PLUS more photos of the Ryerson have been added to the "non-slideshow" section below!

The Edward L. Ryerson is 730 ft. long and 75 ft. wide. It was the last ship built by Manitowoc Shipbuilding in Manitowoc, WI before they moved their operation to Sturgeon Bay, WI (Bay Shipbuilding). It was in lay-up at Bay Shipbuilding from 1998 until its resurrection on July 22, 2006 when it departed Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI and headed north to Escanaba, MI for a load of taconite pellets. The lack of a self-unloading system makes it rather inefficient to operate; however, demand for steel (taconite pellets) ballooned in 2006 and there were not enough active ships to fill the demand, so the Ryerson was awakened from its long sleep. Good morning, beautiful!!

Ship Information (from brochure handed out during the July 2002 Tour):

* Ship is named for Mr. Edward L. Ryerson who was past president of Joseph T. Ryerson & Sons, Inc. His company merged with Inland Steel in 1935 (actually 1936); and the resulting company, Inland Ryerson, was a strong force in the steel industry.

* Ship was designed by H. C. Downer & Associates to be the "prettiest boat on the Lakes".

* Maiden Voyage was on August 4, 1960. She departed Manitowoc for her first load of taconite pellets at Escanaba, MI.

* Ship last operated on December 12, 1998 after which she was put in lay-up in Sturgeon Bay, WI. Her 5-year survey (a successful survey is needed once every 5 years for a ship to continue operating) expired in December 2001.

* She was the largest vessel on the Great Lakes when she was commissioned.

* The living quarters, dining rooms and offices are air conditioned.

* Number of Cargo Holds - 4, which are serviced by 18 hatches

* Boilers - 2 Combustion-engineered V2M

* Main Engine - General Electric Cross Compound Steam Turbine

* Generators - 2 Westinghouse Steam Turbines

* Propellor Shaft - 40-ft. long, 21-5/8" Diameter, with 5 stainless steel blades (6686 pounds per blade) 20-ft. overall diameter, 14-ft. variable pitch

* Gross Registered Tons - 12,170

* Cost to build - 8 million

* Home Port - Indiana Harbor, Indiana

NEW...Be sure to check out the Ryerson "salute" WAV file at the bottom of the page.

Click the image in the framed box below to go to the Slide Show.

Remember that clicking on the"X" from within the Slide Show
Will bring you back to this page.

For those of you who would rather view the individual photos instead of all photos as a "Slide Show", Click Here

... NOTE - There are more photos of the Ryerson in this section than appear in the slideshow!

Edward L. Ryerson loading taconite at Escanaba, MI after having her career resurrected on July 22, 2006. Wlecome back old friend!!

The Edward L. Ryerson prepares to make the tune into the Rock Cut on the St. Mary's River on June 28, 2007.

A picturesque shot of the Edward L. Ryerson
at Bay Shipbuilding

Edward L. Ryerson Tour:

Edward L. Ryerson stern
Our tour group gets ready to board
Machine Shop
Engine Room
Engine Room

Engine Room
Engine Room
Tour Guide explains engine room control console
Engine Room
Engine Room control console

Engine Room
Engineers Quarters
Spare Propellor Blade - it weighs 6686 pounds - there are 5 blades that make up the variable-pitch propellor
Stainless steel smokestack
Port lifeboat near the stern

Stainless steel galley - sorry it is so dark...I forgot to use my flash
Crew mess room - Where the crew eats
Officer's mess room - Where the officers eat
Owner's Dining Room - Where the owner and company guests eat - there is a buzzer mounted to the table to summon the porter
Chalkboard - Shows original cost of the Edward L. Ryerson and what it would have cost to convert it to a self-unloader in 1995

Stern deck machinery - the winch is conected to a mooring cable
Rear view of the bow - notice the Edward L. Ryerson pennant and below it a bank of 5 lights...these are trim lights that are used when loading the ship, they tell if the ship is on an even keel or listing to one side or the other
View looking aft - Hatch Crane in center of picture is used to remove and replace the hatch covers that cover the 4 cargo holds
First Mate's quarters
View toward the port side of the pilothouse - the captain has more than a 180-degree view from his position on the bridge

A view past the steering pole shows a lot of pleasure craft in Sturgeon Bay this day
View toward the starboard side of the pilothouse
Bridge controls
Bow Thruster controls - a bow thruster is a propellor mounted crossway in a tunnel below the waterline in the bow of the ship and is used to move the bow from side to side. It makes maneuvering much easier, especially in tight quarters. See next photo -
Bow Thruster - Note the circular opening just above the water-line to the rear of the anchor chain - this is the bow thruster opening
The engine telegraph - there is another similar one in the engine room

Another stateroom - note the Art Deco style
Another stateroom

Forward Galley
Port side of guest lounge
Starboard side of guest lounge - with a view toward the stern of the ship
Stainless Steel Map of the route the Ryerson ran from Duluth to Indiana Harbor - she also made many runs from Escanaba to Indiana Harbor
Stern of the Ryerson with the Michigan Street Bridge raised in the background

Life jackets onboard the Ryerson
Break room
Bow thruster machinery
Engine room

Engine room
Engine room - main shaft in center of photo
Edward L. Ryerson - Port-side bow
Edward L. Ryerson - Starboard-side bow
The beautiful Edward L. Ryerson awaits an uncertain future

More photos of the Ryerson from other pages on the site:

Summer 1997 - A familiar sight in Escanaba, MI during her career, shown here loading taconite (iron ore) pellets at Escanaba (she has been idle since the end of the 1998 shipping season).
March 14, 2000 - The stack of the ship in lay-up at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Aug. 2000 in lay-up at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Aug. 2000 - Close-up of the bow at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI

Aug. 2000 - laid-up at Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Winter 2000-2001 - Lay-Up
Winter 2000-2001 - Lay-Up (stern)
Winter 2000-2001 - Lay-Up (side)

June 17, 2002 (Tour of Sturgeon Bay) - As we back away from our dock and out into the bay, the ship presents a nice stern profile.
June 17, 2002 - We approach the ship, which has sadly been laid-up in Sturgeon Bay since 1998.
June 17, 2002 - The stern
June 17, 2002 - The stately bow
June 17, 2002 - Full length view

June 17, 2002 - A bows-on look
June 17, 2002 - The 1960-built Edward L. Ryerson and the 2002-built Anson Bell. Which cost more? - The Ryerson cost 8-million dollars, while the Anson Bell was 7-million dollars MORE, or $15-million!
June 17, 2002 - The stern of a great ship
2003-2004 Winter Lay-Up - James R. Barker & Edward L. Ryerson (sterns at old Peterson Bros. Builders dock)

2003-2004 Winter Lay-Up - James R. Barker & Edward L. Ryerson (sterns - another view
2003-2004 Winter Lay-Up - Edward L. Ryerson & James R. Barker (bows)
2003-2004 Winter Lay-Up - Edward L. Ryerson & James R. Barker (bow close-up)
2003-2004 Winter Lay-Up - James R. Barker & Edward L. Ryerson (bows - another angle)
2003-2004 Winter Lay-Up - James R. Barker & Edward L. Ryerson (bow close-up)

2004-2005 Winter Lay-Up - The Edward L. Ryerson is rafted to the outside of the Mesabi Miner at the old Peterson Bros. Dock
2004-2005 Winter Lay-Up - Close-up of the Edward L. Ryerson
2004-2005 Winter Lay-Up - A view of the Mesabi Miner and Edward L. Ryerson from the Michigan Street Bridge
2004-2005 Winter Lay-Up - The Mesabi Miner (and Edward L. Ryerson) are berthed at the old Peterson Bros. Shipbuilders Dock
2004-2005 Winter Lay-Up - Close-up of the Edward L. Ryerson from across the bay

2004-2005 Winter Lay-Up - Close-up of the bow
2004-2005 Winter Lay-Up - Edward L. Ryerson and Mesabi Miner from across the bay

2005-2006 Winter Lay-Up - Stern view close-up of the Edward L. Ryerson
June 8, 2006 - Bow view in the graving dock as the ship is prepared to return to service after an 8 year lay-up!
June 8, 2006 - Bow view of the Ryerson and stern view of the American Century (ex-Columbia Star) from across the bay
June 8, 2006 - Close-up in the graving dock from across the bay
June 8, 2006 - Ryerson and American Century from across the bay

On July 22, 2006, the Ryerson sailed for the first time in 8 years heading into Escanaba, MI for a load of taconite pellets. (All times listed below are CDT)

Menominee - The Ryerson appears off Menominee, MI around 2 PM
Menominee - Pelicans, cormorants and my favorite ship off Henes Park in Menominee
Cedar River, MI - She is now about 20 miles south of Escanaba around 4:30 PM
Escanaba - Here she comes ... approaching Escanaba around 6:15 PM - WELCOME BACK FAIR LADY!
Escanaba - Another view
Escanaba - ... And another

Escanaba - Broadside view
Escanaba - Scenic broadside view
Escanaba - Close-up of her stern with the "Mittal" logo on her stack
Escanaba - Stern view passing the channel marker light
Escanaba - Approaching the ore dock
Escanaba - Close-up of the ship as it approaches the outer edge of the dock

Escanaba - Rounding the dock heading for her berth
Escanaba - Close-up
Escanaba - Wide view rounding the dock
Escanaba - "Bow's-on" view
Escanaba - A scenic view heading for her berth

Escanaba - Another close-up
Escanaba - Close-up as they tie her up at just about 8 PM!
Escanaba - Close-up of her stately bow
Escanaba - Another close-up at its berth
Escanaba - Side view
Escanaba - Scenic side view from Vinette Boatworks Co. next to the ore facility ... Did I mention that this is my FAVORITE SHIP?

Edward L. Ryerson - Entering the Soo Lock's MacArthur Lock upbound after dark around 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2006
Edward L. Ryerson - About halfway into the MacArthur Lock
Edward L. Ryerson - Secured in the MacArthur Lock waiting to be raised 21-feet to the Lake Superior level
Edward L. Ryerson - Partially raised in the MacArthur Lock
Edward L. Ryerson - Fully raised in the MacArthur Lock and ready to depart

2007 Photos:

Edward L. Ryerson - Here comes my favorite ship downbound above West Pier above the Soo Locks on June 28
Edward L. Ryerson - Downbound just before passing under the International Bridge
Edward L. Ryerson - Approaching the MacArthur Lock on Engineer's Day at the Soo Locks (June 28)
Edward L. Ryerson - Partially in the Lock
Edward L. Ryerson - Still coming in as a huge crowd watches

Edward L. Ryerson - Oh, Yeah!! That's what I'm talking about (and everyone else, too, apparently)!!
Edward L. Ryerson - (L to R) U.S. Merchant Marine pennant, Edward L. Ryerson commissioning flag, Denver Broncos flag (Captain is a huge Bronco's fan), and University of Michigan flag flying high above the ship's pilothouse
Edward L. Ryerson - Partially lowered (taken from the gates of the MacArthur Lock)
Edward L. Ryerson - There is a huge crowd on this side of the lock also
Edward L. Ryerson - The Edward L. Ryerson Fan Club appreciates the beauty of her stately bow

The next 5 photos are taken from about 200-ft. up from the Tower of History in the Soo:

Edward L. Ryerson - Passing the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers' base after departing the MacArthur Lock
Edward L. Ryerson - Passing the U.S. Coast Guard Base at the Soo
Edward L. Ryerson - Meets the upbound Edwin H. Gott
Edward L. Ryerson - The meet with the Gott continues in front of the Valley Camp Museum Ship
Edward L. Ryerson - Stern view as it heads for Mission Point down-river

Edward L. Ryerson - Side view at 4-Mile Beach (you can partially see the old "Inland Steel" which once adorned its sides)
Edward L. Ryerson - A view of its stately bow (the most beautiful and graceful on the Great Lakes)
Edward L. Ryerson - The stern of the great ship
Edward L. Ryerson - Stern view at 4-Mile Beach
Edward L. Ryerson - Just before starting the turn into the Rock Cut
Edward L. Ryerson - Making the turn at Neebish Island into the famous "Rock Cut"

2008 Photos:

2 Ships - Edward L. Ryerson and BBC Rosario upbound below Mission Point at Sault Ste. Marie, MI on June 28
Edward L. Ryerson - Upbound at the Rock Pile below Mission Point
Edward L. Ryerson - A closer look passing the Rock Pile
Edward L. Ryerson - Side view upbound at Mission Point
Edward L. Ryerson - Stern view of the ship blowing a steam salute to boatwatchers at Mission Point

Edward L. Ryerson - Stern view upbound at Mission Point
Edward L. Ryerson - Passing a group of "Ryerson Fan Club" Boatnerds at Mission Point
Edward L. Ryerson - Upbound in the MacArthur Lock

Click here to hear a "Salute" from the Edward L. Ryerson (1 Long & 2 Short - MP3 format - 162KB)

OR ...

Click Here For a Formal Salute (3 Long & 2 Short - MP3 version - 339KB)

These sound files are compliments of Andy LaBorde from his video
"The Real Queen of the Lakes"

I am saddened to report that Andy passed away unexpectedly on March 12, 2005. He was a wonderful person with a tremendous knowledge of the Great Lakes and its shipping, and had a wonderful sense of humor. Even though I only had the chance to meet him a couple of times I will miss him greatly. He was just that kind of a guy!

... Until we meet again, my friend ...