Great Republic was built in 1981, is 634 feet long and flies the U.S. flag
The American Republic was purchased by Great Lakes Fleet from American Steamship Company in June, 2011. They renamed her Great Republic. She made her first visit to Duluth under the new name on September 11, 2011. In the two pictures here, she is seen departing Duluth with iron ore pellets.
The American Republic was specifically built in 1981 to carry taconite pellets from Lorain to Cleveland and then up the Cuyahoga River to Mittal Steel (formerly LTV). She is still doing it. It requires great maneuverability, a task accomplished by the presence of 8 rudders. With control stations at the front and back of the pilot house, the captain can back up as easily as moving forward, and can, relatively speaking, stop and turn on a dime.
Her strength is with smaller cargos and her ability to navigate rivers, not making the long haul up to Lake Superior. But this is her 4th trip here this year although she will not be loading or discharging cargo here unless her orders are changed
When she is on Lake Superior, she usually loads iron ore pellets here or in Silver Bay that she takes to Cleveland where she discharges part of the cargo at the Cleveland Bulk Terminal at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. From there, the boat will go up the river to Mittal Steel to discharge the remaining pellets. She has been taking taconite up this river for 25 years.
Picture above taken Monday, July 7, 2008