August 12, 2008
Last coal-burner under repair
The last coal-burning steamship in the U.S., the 410 ft SS Badger, is temporarily out of service.
Originally constructed as a rail car ferry in 1952, SS Badger is currently operated by Lake Michigan Carferry on a 4 hour, 60 mile route between Manitowoc, WI and Ludington, MI as a car passenger ferry.
On August 9, 2008 the Badger experienced a stern bearing failure, causing sailings to be canceled pending repairs.
On August 10 the Badger steamed under its own power to Manitowoc Corp's Bay Shipbuilding Company dry dock in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.
Lake Michigan Carferry President Bob Manglitz told the Ludington Daily News, "We understand that we have disappointed passengers affected by our cancelled sailings. The company will expedite the repair work to allow the Badger to return to service as soon as possible."
Updates on the vessel's status at http://www.ssbadger.com and much more on the ship itself here:
(including such facts as that it has the last Skinner Unaflow engines operating on the Great Lakes and is a registered historical site in two states).