Wilfred Sykes was built in 1949, is 678 feet long and flies a U.S. flag
The Wilfred Sykes was built by Inland Steel in Lorain at 678 feet long and was, when launched, the longest boat on the Great Lakes, setting many cargo records in her first year of operation. Self unloading equipment was installed on the boat, in 1975, at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. In 1953, she rescued crew members when the Henry Steinbrenner sank, and she was one of the boats that went out searching for the Edmund Fitzgerald when she sank in 1975.
Wilfred Sykes was president of Inland Steel Company from 1941 to 1949. He was born in New Zealand and educated in Australia. After working on engineering projects in South Africa and Germany, he came to the US in 1909, working first at Westinghouse Electric Company. He joined Inland Steel in 1923 and supervised the electrification of their steel mills, getting many patents for the inventions he developed to complete that job. He became an authority on industrial electrification and specifically electric welding and wrote many books on the subject.