The hull of the Mark W. Barker is floated out of its dock at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. Photo courtesy Interlake Steamship Company

New U.S.-Flagged ‘Laker’ Floated Out in Wisconsin

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 22263
January 4, 2021

The first ‘laker’ to be built in the United States in more than 35 years has been floated out of dry dock at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

The new MV Mark W. Barker is a self-unloading bulk carrier under construction for Interlake Steamship Company. The new River-Class vessel, measuring 639 feet in length and 28,000 dwt, will be used to transport raw materials to support manufacturing throughout the Great Lakes region and it is believed to be the first ship for U.S. Great Lakes service built on the Great Lakes since 1983.

Following the float, the hull was moved to a new berth at the yard to make space for the arrival of existing U.S.-flag vessels to undergo repair and upgrades during the winter off season.

Work aboard the Mark W. Barke will continue throughout the winter and will be focused on vessel auxiliary machinery, electrical equipment, piping, and electrical wiring installations, according to Interlake Steamship Company. Shipyard workers will continue building the forward hull and bow section, the loop belt casing, the accommodation structure and the casing and funnel structural sections.

The Interlake Steamship Company, headquartered in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, is the largest privately held U.S.-flag fleet on the Great Lakes, with nine vessels carrying bulk cargoes and a rich history dating more than 100 years.

Delivery of the Mark W. Barker is scheduled for mid-2022.

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