Excell Marine Buys Mv. Oliver C. Shearer, Keeps Name

With the recent purchase of the venerable towboat Oliver C. Shearer from Campbell Transportation Company, Excell Marine Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio, is perpetuating a name that is deeply etched into river history. The boat’s namesake was the son of the founder of a company that was one of the early transporters of coal on the inland waterways, O.F. Shearer & Sons. Oliver C. was the president from 1943 until the company was sold to Indiana & Michigan Electric Company, a division of American Electric Power, in 1973. The boat was the pride of the Shearer fleet.

“Due to the amount of history the boat has with that name, we will be leaving it the same,” said Robert Englert, general manager of Excell Marine, speaking of the company’s decision to not rename the almost 60-year-old boat.

The 150-foot, 5,000 hp. towboat was built in 1961 by Marietta Manufacturing Company in Point Pleasant, W.Va. for O.F. Shearer & Sons. Shearer sold it to Indiana & Michigan Electric Company in 1973, which, in turn, sold it to Campbell Transportation in 1987. Campbell repowered it with GM 16-645E5 diesel engines in 2008 and replaced the hull in 2015.

The Oliver C. Shearer will go into Excell’s charter boat business, said Englert, “to further diversify our growing fleet.” The boat is the 14th vessel in the Excell fleet, which numbered 10 as of June 2017.  “With today’s charter market, we see the need to have vessels that can safely move product for our customers on any river. That flexibility is a must. Through our growth in the last couple years, we have kept this mindset, this boat being no exception,” Englert said.