The Rotary Club is providing a shipyard tour in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday, September 11 from 9am-2pm.  The tour takes about 1.5 hours.

The shipbuilding company is currently owned by Fincantieri SpA, of Italy.  Fincantieri is one of the world’s largest shipbuilders with a history dating back more the 230 years, and over 7,000 ships built!

The Great Lakes shipping industry is comprised of approximately 60 vessels that, on a yearly basis haul over 164 million metric tons of bulk commodities.  Fincantieri built many of these vessels.  Each winter they attend to many items of repair they require. 

During your tour, one of the ships is under construction, the M/V Mark W. Barker, owned by Interlake Steamship Company.  She is the first Great Lakes Bulk Carrier build in nearly four decades.  The new vessel is named after the chairman’s son, James R. Barker.  

Courtesy:  WXYZ

Also under construction, is Hull 790, the LNG Bunker Barge, Clean Canaveral, which is being built by Polaris New Energy.  The barge will operate as a tug and barge unit that will initially run along the east coast. 

The M/V Roger Blough has been at the shipyard since January, 2021.  The Roger Blough is the largest traditional styled lake boat sailing the Great Lakes.

The Cason J. Callaway has also been on a long-term layup since January, 2021.  She sailed on her maiden voyage on September 16, 1952.  She is part of the USS Great Lakes Fleet.

If you’ve been to Sturgeon Bay, one of the most visible things in the skyline is “Big Blue”.  It’s a “Gantry” crane that can lift up to 200 tons.  If you have heard the horns go off, it’s the crane alerting employees that the crane is on the move.


The shipyard also has a Large Graving Dock, which there are only two on the Great Lakes.  They can accommodate vessels over 1,000 feet.  A graving dock is a large dock which allows a ship to be floated in.  Water can be pumped in and out of the dock which allows the ship to rest on a dry platform for repairs.  The dock is 1,219 feet long, 29.5 feet deep and 140 feet wide.  The dock can handle up to 1,100 foot vessel.  Most vessels on the Great Lakes are 1000 feet long.  The shipyard also has a Small Graving Dock down from the Large Graving Dock.  Same concept, but can only handle small vessels. 

They also have a Floating Dry-Dock.  The Floating Dry-Dock works essentially the same as the Large or Small Graving Docks with the main difference it’s mobile.  The Floating Dry-Dock and be brought out to a ship for repairs. 


Enjoy your tour!




Posted by:  Jill



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