James L. Kuber

James L. Kuber/tug Victory was built in 1953, was 767 feet long and flies a U.S. flag

Previous names:
Reserve: 1953-2008
James L. Kuber: 2008-

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The barge James L. Kuber is the former Great Lakes steamer Reserve.  The Reserve came into Duluth on January 12, 2006, still owned by Oglebay Norton.  By the time she left the port in April, she had been sold to K & K Warehousing in Menominee, Michigan. They kept the name Reserve and operated her through the 2006 shipping season until she sailed into Menominee in August, 2007 where she was converted to a barge.  The power plant was taken out and the superstructure and  two decks above the main deck at the bow were removed and a notch was added so a tug could move in and connect to the barge. Why was it done? One reason was the reduction in crew needed to operate a tug as opposed to a Great Lakes steamer. The tug only needs a crew of about 14 while the Reserve had a crew of at least 25. Through the 2011-12 shipping season, the tug barge James L. Kuber/Victory has only been here twice, once in April, 2008 and again in May the same year. As the Reserve, she usually came to the Twin Ports about 10 to 15 times a season. Picture above taken Friday, April 18, 2008 
While the original steam powered Reserve is no longer around, another version of her appears in a back yard in Duluth most every winter that we have enough snow.
The picture above was taken in August, 2006. She was greeted by a lot of visitors at the Duluth ship canal.  I doubt that many noticed the ‘erasure’ just under her name (close up at left). At that time (see above), she had already been sold to K & K but she had not yet been converted to a barge. The previous owners name, Oglebay Norton (see all the pictures below), has been painted over.
Pictures below taken when the vessel was the Reserve The Reserve was built in 1953 by Columbia Transportation, a division of Oglebay Norton in Cleveland. She was named after the Reserve Mining Company in Silver Bay, a company jointly owned by Armco and Republic Steel. Before being converted to a barge in August, 2007, she had several upgrades over the years. A bow thruster was added in 1970 at Fraser Shipyards, she was lengthened from her original length of 647 feet to 767 feet in 1975. Originally built with 4 holds using 19 hatches on deck, the lengthening included adding one more cargo hold and 6 more hatches.
Picture above taken Sunday, July 1, 2007
Picture above taken Wednesday, February 15, 2000: at winter layup, behind the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr.
Picture above taken Thursday, January 12, 2006
Picture above taken Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Picture above taken Thursday, November 29, 2001: approaching the Aerial Lift Bridge
Picture above taken Saturday, August 4, 2001: below the Lift Bridge
Picture above taken Monday, July 23, 2001
Picture above taken Monday, July 23, 2001: entering the Duluth harbor