JAMES R. BARKER,
JAMES R. BARKER, US.573682, Twin Screw Self-Unloading Bulk Freighter built in 1976 by American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio as Hull #905. Her keel was laid on October 14, 1974. Float launched May 29, 1976, her sea trials took place on July 31st. Christened August 7, 1976 as a) JAMES R. BARKER which was to become Interlake's first 1000 footer and the flag ship of the fleet for Moore McCormack Leasing, Inc. (Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.). She was built at a cost of more than $43 million under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. 1000'loa, 990'6"lbp x 104'8"x 50'; 34,728 GRT, 29,629 NRT, 61,564 dwt. She was the third thousand footer to sail on the Lakes and the first built entirely on the Lakes. Powered by two 8,000 bhp V-16 cylinder, four stroke cycle, single acting, turbocharged Colt-Pielstick PC2V diesel engines, 400mm (15.75") bore by 460mm (18.1") stroke, built by Fairbanks Morse Engine Division of Colt Industries, Beloit, WI driving through a Falk reversing gear box to two Bird-Johnson controllable pitch, stainless steel, four bladed propellers seventeen feet, six inches in diameter. Rated service speed: 15.75 knots (18 mph). Her equipment includes a 1500 hp Bird-Johnson bow thruster. Rated load capacity is 59,000 gross tons of iron ore pellets and 52,000 net tons of coal at a draft of 28 feet. Her self-unloading rig has a 250 foot boom fed by a three row hopper/belt system discharging at a rate of 10,000 long tons of taconite pellets per hour and 6,000 net tons of coal per hour. As a comparison of unloading rates, Interlake's first bulk carrier, the 242’loa wooden steamer the V.H. KETCHUM, U.S.25908, built in 1874 at Marine City, Mich. and brought into the fleet in 1883, had a load capacity of 1700 tons of ore which took nearly twelve days to unload by wheel barrow. The BARKER's deckhouse was built at AmShip's Chicago yard and was transported in sections to Lorain on the deck of the steamer GEORGE D. GOBLE. The JAMES R. BARKER departed Cleveland August 8, 1976 on her maiden voyage. While up bound October 27, 1986 on Lake Huron above buoys 11 & 12, a high pressure fuel line on the starboard engine failed causing an engine room fire, which was extinguished by on-board fire fighting equipment. Fortunately no one was injured. On October 29th the BARKER was lashed side-by-side to the thousand-foot WILLIAM J. DE LANCEY and taken to Sturgeon Bay, Wis. arriving there November 2nd for repairs. In service as of 1995.