Bay Shipbuilding

VanEnkevort Tug & Barge History

The VanEnkevort family has been operating conventional tug/barges since 1967 beginning with a stone quarry business in Ohio, leading to the purchase and operation of the Tug Olive L. Moore.

In 1979, we purchased our first self-unloading vessel, the S/S Buckeye. We converted it to a barge and pushed/towed in a conventional manner until vessel retirement in 1990.

In 1990, we purchased the Joseph H. Thompson at a reduced price because sailing the steam-operated straight-decker wasn’t economically feasible on the Great Lakes. Due to high shipyard conversion costs, we decided to perform the work ourselves.

In 1993, we acquired the self-unloading S/S McKee Sons that had been idle for 11 years due to high operation costs. We completed the ATB conversion and operated satisfactorily for 3 years. In 1996, due to slow unloading rates and high labor and maintenance costs, we replaced the existing obsolete unloading equipment with a new hydraulically driven squeeze belt system. This project was completed in 4 months’ time and has greatly increased vessel efficiency.

In 1998 we installed a Hydraconn unit on our new 10,000 H.P. twin screw tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort.

In 2001, we took delivery of our self-unloading barge "Great Lakes Trader", which has been successfully trading, coupled with our tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort.

Products handled include: Taconite, iron ore, limestone, aggregates, coal, sugar stone, mill scale, pig iron and slag on both a long term and spot contract basis.