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Upgrades keep aging Great Lakes freighters sailing strong

8:13 PM, Apr. 13, 2013
Great Lakes fleet sails on
Great Lakes fleet sails on: With a series of on-going upgrades and modernizations, ship operators on the Great Lakes said they don't foresee many external changes in the way the fleet looks in coming decades.
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Two plaques on the superstructure of the Great Lakes freighter Walter J. McCarthy Jr. denote its birth in Sturgeon Bay in 1977, and its subsequent name change 13 years later.

Thirty-six years after it was built in Door County, the 1,000-foot ship continues to move trade on the lakes as part of a fleet that averages 46 years of age on the U.S. side and 35 years on the Canadian side.

Crews at Bay Shipbuilding Co., a Fincantieri Marine Group company, were working in parts of the ship this week. With continued maintenance and upgrades, shipping officials say, wholesale changes in the complexion of the ...

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