Friday, June 4, 2010

Georgia S gets a trip

1 Georgia S (above)

2. Melvin H. Baker (above)

It was May 8, 2009 when Georgia S. arrived in Halifax to start an on and off layup in Bedford Basin. The gyspum carrier has been sidelined for much of the year due to reduced demand for gypsum in the US building trades.

The ship is also limited in the number of ports it can service due to its unusual "built in" self-unloading system. The large structure at the ship's stern houses retractable/ extendable conveyors. Unlike the deck mounted slewing conveyors of Great Lakes types self-unloaders, the Georgia S. system must unload to a shoreside conveyor system or hopper, and cannot deliver the gypsum into a long pile by slewing the unloader arm.

Georgia S. is the direct descendant of the pioneering vessel of this type, Melvin H. Baker. The Baker was developed by Ole Skaarup specifically to load gypsum out of the Dartmouth facility of National Gypsum. Built in 1956 she lasted in the service until 1994. Remarkably she continued to work in the far east until delivered to Chinese breakers in Xinhui December 23, 2009.

Georgia S. was built in 1981, and to achieve Baker's record she must keep on calling in Dartmouth until 2019 , then continue to work until 2030!

In the upper photo Georgia S. is shown sailing from National Gypsum this evening.

In the lower photo Melvin H. Baker sets out into Bedford Basin June 23, 1991.

Update: See June 16, 2010

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