Great Lakes

Unlike general cargo vessels it is unusual for bulkcarriers (especially older ones) to be fitted with electric ventilation, but many have fire-smothering (e.g. CO2) facilities serving cargo-holds. Most have steel hatch-covers, opening fore and aft on the majority of handy-sized vessels, whilst the larger vessels, from panamaxes upwards, are frequently fitted with hatch-covers opening sideways when, in the open position they cover the deck between coamings and the ship’s rail, supported by a steel framework to allow ship’s crew and shore workers to pass underneath when moving about the vessel’s decks. This enables a bigger open hatchway space than would otherwise be the case, the better to accommodate large shore-based cargo handling equipment and speedier cargo-handling. Those designed to transit the Great Lakes Seaway and the Panama Canal, and also those equipped with self-discharging apparatus and thus able to trade to areas where port equipment may be inadequate. We have also encountered the ‘conbulker’ equipped to cross the boundaries of the container and the bulk cargo markets. There are others, however, and a brief description of some would be useful: Loggers usually around 15/35,000 deadweight, these bulkcarriers of particularly heavy construction are often fitted with derricks or with cranes in the region of 15/25 tonnes swl, capable of loading and sustaining heavy logs in addition to other, conventional bulk cargoes. Logs may also be loaded on deck, secured by ‘stanchions‘ alongside ‘bulwarks‘ (rails or steel sheeting running alongside the edges of the weatherdeck), and by heavy chains and securing tackle. Stanchions may be of the ‘permanent‘ steel variety – or ‘collapsible‘ along bulwarks adjacent to cargo hatches so they can be lowered to lie horizontally on the deck and allow clear unhindered access between shore and hatchways – essential when cargo equipment is used for loading or discharging. Where a logger is not fitted with steel stanchions, however, temporary wooden stanchions are sometimes used by shaving down suitable logs from the cargo, to enable them to fit into stanchion sockets in the edge of the weatherdeck adjacent to the bulwarks.