Painting Alouette Spirit

This is the Alouette Spirit and her tug Wilf Seymour at the MidWest Terminal dock getting some cosmetic touch-ups. Shipping on the Great Lakes today is by the large cargo carriers, but also, increasingly so, by barges with tugs. The Alouette Spirit is a bulk dry goods barge that is run by McKeil in Canada. The 425’ long boat has walls above the vessel and a retractable roof allowing it to carry goods that need to stay dry like grain. The tug barge system has been developing since the end of the schooner age when old wooden vessels were towed in a line behind tug boats. Today, barges like these are built with a “notch” in the stern for the tug to fit in and push the vessel and cargo.


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