Edwin H. Gott, last to come in for the winter

Nice for the boats; winter arrived here within minutes of the Heritage Marine tug Nels J making sure the last boat to come in, the Edwin H. Gott, was secure against the dock at the Port Terminal on Wednesday morning, January 18, 2012. The temperature plunged, down to -31 at my home, and a big snow storm, the largest we have had yet, at least ¾ of an inch, maybe even 1/8 more. The Alder was close by but was not needed, so she went back to her dock, probably not moving from there until March 7th or so.


  1. Michelle from Woodbury says:

    Thanks for the info Nick and E.D. – can’t wait for the start of the shipping season 🙂

  2. Nick and Michelle, winter layup is usually a busy period for lake freighters; these are big complex machines with plenty of maintenance needs that have a limited season in which to carry out their obligations. During the shipping season owners only approve maintenance and repair work that’s absolutely necessary so that time isn’t wasted. That means the industry has fallen into a cycle of working hard carrying cargo from March to January and then working hard on major maintenance work during the winter layup season. Every active vessel that’s in for winter layup has at least some work going on, everything from rebuilding engines and generators to remodeling crew quarters or updating wheelhouse navigation equipment. The Duluth Port Authority has estimated that on average each freighter in for winter layup generates about $800,000 in profits for local contractors and shipyard companies, and sometimes for individual ships with major work going on that number can be a lot higher.

  3. Nick from Woodbury says:

    Hi Michelle. I think the ships are sometimes worked on, like maybe a little coat of paint, but most just sit waiting for the new season. I really don’t know though. That would be my guess.

  4. Michelle from Woodbury says:

    What happens to the boats during winter lay up? Is maintenance being done on the inside? Does anyone stay on them?

  5. jill from Fort Lauderdale says:

    Now that I’ve watched the last ship of the season lay up, this question popped into my head….do the Aerial Bridge tenders report for duty during the winter?
    I grew up on Park Point and my father was a Captain for Great Lakes Fleet, but I never bothered to notice whether or not anyone worked in the bridge shack during the off-season. Just curious! (and already impatient for the first ship of next season).
    Thanks for the wonderful job you do…..

  6. Very nice shot Ken! Is that the Roger Blough in front of the Gott?

  7. Thanks for the greetings Jill. You should come up here and try it some winter!

  8. Jill from Alabama says:

    Oh my sweet Ken and wonderful friends in Duluth. Y’all take good care of yourselves up there in the frozen north! Paul and I will send “warm” thoughts your way. I mean, I don’t even have clothes for weather like that . . Thanks for another great picture.

  9. Minus 31, BRRR.
    It was 70 here today. I know rub it in.
    Thanks again Ken for a wonderful season. Can’t wait till March.


  10. nice pic! i missed her arrival by about 10 minutes…

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