Following five months of work, Three Rivers Marine & Rail Terminals’ mv. Lady Louise is within a month of completing its re-hulling at Superior Marine in South Point, Ohio.
The harbor vessel, built in 1976 as the mv. Chief Powhatan II by Marine Builders Inc., of Clarksville, Ind., for North American Coal Corporation, is being cropped and renewed.
Weather-tight doors are being installed, and some work is also being completed on the house section of the boat. In addition, the wheels have been reconditioned and the shafts remade. New tubes and a new stern structure are also going in.
“Essentially, we’re rebuilding the boat around the propellers and the internal structure,” said Justin Apgar, director of shipbuilding and compliance for Superior Marine.
He expects the work on the boat, which began in April, to be completed the second week in October.
Mike Manning, operations manager for the Glassport, Pa., location of Three Rivers Marine, said Three Rivers has been extremely pleased with the work completed on the boat.
“It’s very impressive to see the work that Superior has done, and they’re doing a very nice job on it,” he said. “We’re very happy with our decision to have it redone.”
The mv. Lady Louise, named after the paternal grandmother of Three Rivers President J.D. Shearer, is 48.8 feet by 20 feet. It has twin CAT-C-18 engines building a total of 970 hp. Three Rivers purchased the vessel in 1998 from Neale Towing in Parkersburg, W.Va., and repowered it in 2014.
“This one still had good bones, so we wanted to bring her back to life and reuse her,” Manning said.
Normally the Lady Louise stays in service at Three Rivers’ Gibsonton terminal in Belle Vernon, Pa., Mile 42.5 on the Monongahela River.
The re-hulling should significantly extend the vessel’s life, Apgar said, adding that due to inflation more companies are doing this type of work to realize financial benefits.
“The smart operators are investing in their equipment right now so they extend the service life of that equipment out another 20 or 30 years even.”
Additionally, he said, the Lady Louise was a good candidate for the work because of the way the tunnels are designed in the hull, providing great handling.
“She pushes above her horsepower,” he said.
The workmanship and craftsmanship the shipyards used at the time is easily evident in the boat’s design, Apgar said, and Three Rivers already invested in the electronics and engines.
The boat will also have all new bearings when complete.
“It’s going to run as good as it did when it was built, once we’re done with it,” Apgar said.
The work on the Lady Louise is the first time that Three Rivers and Superior have partnered on a boat project. However, Manning said, it has gone so well that the men are already discussing possibilities for Three Rivers’ mv. Monskie, which is expected to head to drydock in two years.
Caption for photo: The mv. Lady Louise of Three Rivers Marine & Rail Terminals is being re-hulled by Superior Marine of South Point, Ohio. Work on the vessel has been ongoing since April and is expected to be complete in the second week of October. (Photo courtesy of Superior Marine Inc.)