Algoma Montrealais

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Algoma Montrealais enters harbour 2014-0927 IMG 9049full.JPG
Algoma Montrealais entering Port Colborne harbour on its way down the Welland Canal on 27 September 2014
Name: Montrealais
  • Canadian Vickers (1962–1964)
  • Papachristidis Co Ltd (1964–1972)
  • Jackes Sg Ltd (1972–1975)
  • Upper Lakes Sg Ltd (1975–2012)
Port of registry:
Builder: Canadian Vickers, Montreal
Yard number: 278
Launched: 15 November 1961
Completed: April 1962
  • Algoma Montrealais (2012)
  • Mont (2015)
Identification:IMO number5241142
Fate: Broken up at Aliağa, Turkey beginning on 10 July 2015
General characteristics
Type: Lake freighter
  • 222.5 m (730.0 ft) oa
  • 215.7 m (707.7 ft) pp
Beam: 23 m (75.5 ft)
Propulsion: 1 × steam turbine
Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)

Montrealais was a lake freighter launched in 1961. Constructed in two parts, the vessel was completed in 1962 and registered in Canada. Utilized as a bulk carrier, the vessel served on the Great Lakes until 2015. Montrealais was sold three times between 1962 and 2012, when the freighter was acquired by Algoma Central Corp. and renamed Algoma Montrealais. The bulk carrier continued in service until 2015, when the vessel was renamed Mont and sold for scrap. Mont was taken to Aliağa, Turkey and broken up beginning on 10 July 2015.


Montrealais was 222.5 m (730.0 ft) long overall and 215.7 m (707.7 ft) between perpendiculars. The vessel had a beam of 23 m (75.5 ft) and was powered by one steam turbine. The lake freighter had a maximum speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph). The vessel had a gross register tonnage of 17,647 GRT and a deadweight tonnage of 27,840 DWT.[1]

Service history[edit]

Montrealais was constructed in two sections, with the forepart of the ship built by G T Davie Shipbuilding at Lauzon, Quebec. The forepart was launched on 15 November 1961. The aft section was constructed by Canadian Vickers at their yard in Montreal, Quebec, and named Montrealer. The aft section was launched in November 1961. The sections were joined and the vessel was completed as Montrealais in April 1962.[1] When completed, she was the largest Canadian freighter on the Great Lakes.[2]

Initially owned by Canadian Vickers and registered in Montreal, Montrealais was sold to Papachristidis Co Ltd in 1964. The new owners retained the ship's name and registry in Montreal. The bulk carrier was sold again in 1972 to Jackes Shipping Ltd which kept the vessel's name, but changed Montrealais' registry to Toronto, Ontario. Jackes Shipping transferred ownership of Montrealais to Leitch Tpt Ltd in 1975. In 1976 Upper Lakes Shipping acquired Montrealais.[1]

On 25 June 1980 Montrealais collided with Algobay in the St. Clair River in dense fog at 05:08 while transiting in opposite directions. Both ships suffered severe damaged to their bows as a result of the collision.[3][4][5] No crewmembers were injured in the collision, but some oil was spilled into the St. Clair River.[5] As a result, the shipping channel was closed until 07:30.[4] Montrealais required over $1.5 million CAD in repairs.[3]

The ship's captain was issued the ceremonial top hat traditionally issued to the captain of the first vessel to set out to transit the St. Lawrence Seaway, in 1963 and 2009.[6][7][8]

In 2012, Upper Lakes Shipping's fleet was sold to Algoma Central Corp.[9] The vessel was renamed Algoma Montrealais and operated by Algoma Central.[6][9] Algoma Montrealais wintered in Montreal in 2014, laying up for the winter on 30 December 2014.[10] The winter of 2013–2014 was a hard winter on the Great Lakes, and to provide additional tonnage to help ease the back-log, Algoma Montrealais was activated for the 2014 season. In May 2015, Algoma Montrealais was taken out of service and renamed Mont. The vessel was towed to Aliağa, Turkey for scrapping, which began on 10 July 2015.[1] Algoma Montrealais was the last steam-powered lake freighter that operated under the Canadian flag on the Great Lakes.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "Montrealais (5241142)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Largest cargo of wheat loaded". The Leader-Post. The Canadian Press. 5 July 1962. Retrieved 4 January 2012. The new freighter, Montrealais, was loaded with 893,462 bushels of No. 2 Northern wheat.
  3. ^ a b Wharton, George. "Algobay: Algobay 1978 – 1994, Atlantic Trader 1994 – 1997". boatnerd. Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012. The Algobay was involved in a head-on collision with the Upper Lakes steamer Montrealais on an extremely foggy St. Clair River just below Port Huron, Michigan, on June 25, 1980, with resulting extensive bow damage to both vessels.
  4. ^ a b "Lakers collide in River". Windsor Star. 25 June 1980. Retrieved 5 January 2012. Petty Officer Allen a US Coast Guard spokesman in Detroit, said the collision occurred at 5:08 am in dense fog off St Clair.
  5. ^ a b "Freighter collide in St. Clair River". Weekend Herald. 25 June 1980. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  6. ^ a b "News Briefs". Peterborough Examiner. 1 April 2009. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2012. Upper Lakes Group owns the laker S. S. Montrealais that was featured in yesterday's traditional top hat canal-opening ceremony.
  7. ^ "Passage to the Sea". The New York Times. 21 April 1965. Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012. The ice is gone, the bulk carrier Montrealais was the first ship to head upstream, and navigation on the St. Lawrence Seaway is under way again.
  8. ^ Wells, Karen (29 April 2009). "Captain Peckford leads the way". Lewisporte Pilot. Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012. The ship he is mastering now, the Montrealais is 46-years-old this year. It is 730 feet long with a 75-foot beam.
  9. ^ a b Wharton, George. "Algoma Montrealais". boatnerd. Archived from the original on 5 January 2012.
  10. ^ "20th Annual Winter Lay-up List: 2013–2014". boatnerd. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  11. ^ Gross, Bob (17 April 2015). "Canadians buying new freighters for Great Lakes trade". Port Huron Times Herald. Retrieved 30 August 2017.

External links[edit]

Media related to Montrealais (ship, 1962) at Wikimedia Commons