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Steelcraft

Canadian List of Shipping 1956: Steelcraft [C.190426] registered at Owen Sound; built at Owen Sound in 1945. 41'2 x 11 x 3'8; 13 g.t.; 11 n.t.; 143 hp. Owned by Wm J. Perks, Meaford, Ontario. Steel fishing tug Steelcraft [C.190426] built by Russel Bros. at Owen Sound in 1945. In commission. Shaun Vary Notes: Owned by M.N.R. Rebuilt at Gambles Shipyard, Port Dover in 1988-1989. Canadian List of Ships 1997: Owned by The Minister of Natural Resources, Toronto. Transport Canada List 2003: Owned by Ministry of Natural Resources, Peterborough, Ontario.

Shaun Vary notes: Here are two pictures of the Steelcraft. The b&w is at Kingsville in the 1960's, probably when owned by Elmer Simpson. The second photo shows her at Harry Gamble Shipyards in Port Dover. This is during her 1988 rebuild for the MNR. My family were commercial fishermen on Lake Erie, and we owned the "Steelcraft" at Port Stanley for a few years. I put in a few days aboard her in my youth.

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Historical Collections of the Great Lakes Great Lakes Vessels Online Index
Photo source http://ul.bgsu.edu/cgi-bin/xvsl2.cgi Item 006798

 


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1988 Gamble yard at Port Dover. Shaun Vary photo courtesy Gerry Ouderkirk.

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Sept. 21, 1993 at Glenora. Photo courtesy Gerry Ouderkirk. GAO notes: at the Fisheries station beside the Glenora/Adolphustown ferry landing. The fish tug behind her is NAYMAYCUSH.

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Nov. 19th, 2001 at Point Anne. Photo courtesy Gerry Ouderkirk.

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Nov. 19th, 2001 at Point Anne. Photo courtesy Gerry Ouderkirk.

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SV notes: Here is a model of the Steelcraft that I built several years ago. It is in my own collection. The model is waterline, and mostly constructed of bristol board. I started out at a very young age building model fish tugs out of cigarette packages. I later switched to bristol board, which was much easier. I can no longer purchase the proper grade of bristol board to build these type of models. I have switched to wood, plastic, and other materials as my main medium.

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Fishtug Steelcraft, May 25, 2017 at Glenora ON. Shaun Vary photo. This boat was fished for decades by the Currie and Vary families. Wayne Currie notes (May 27, 2017): Steelcraft fished on Lake Erie. Both my family and Shaun Vary's family owned her over the years. I can't remember who my father and his brother bought it from. But it was in Kingsville at the time and would have been in the 70's. Shaun's grandfather bought it from our family and fished it. I think I went in the deal as I worked on it then. After that Jerry Rapchenkoff bought it, I believe. When our families owned it, it had a wooden top house on it. It was steel framed however. When Jerry bought it, I believe he had the aft part of the wooden tophouse replaced with steel so he could trawl for smelt. The MNR has had a lot of work done to it. Good looking little vessel now. SV notes: She was fished on Georgian Bay prior to coming to Lake Erie. The MNR got her in one of the buy-outs (a program to eliminate commercial license on Lake Erie during the 1980's). She was rebuilt at Gambles for research, and is now based at Glenora. Wayne and Terry came with the boat when Gramps got her.

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Fishtug Steelcraft, May 29, 2017 at Glenora ON. Shaun Vary photo.

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For more Russel exhibits visit Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum 1165 1st Ave West, Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K8
(519) 371-3333     http://marinerail.com