Paul R. Tregurtha

 Pathfinder/Dorothy Ann

Paul R. Tregurtha was built in 1981, is 1,013½ feet long and flies a U.S. flag

Pere Marquette 41/tug Undaunted
Previous names:
William J. Delancey: 1981-1990
Paul R. Tregurtha: 1990-

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Listen to her whistle as she came into port on May 6, 2013
The Paul R. Tregurtha approaches the Duluth Ship CanalAt 1,013 feet, 6 inches long, the Paul R. Tregurtha is the largest boat on the Great Lakes. She comes to Duluth about once a week and almost always loads coal, usually for Detroit Edison power plants. She was built as the William J. Delancey in 1981 in Lorain, Ohio. She received her current name in the spring of 1990. Paul Tregurtha was born in 1935 and is an officer of the Interlake Steamship Company, the owner of the ship. She came to the Twin Ports 41 times during the 2012-13 season, second only to the James R. Barker.
In the picture above, the Tregurtha approaches the North Pier Light, at the head of the Duluth ship canal, a popular place for man and beast; Picture  taken Saturday, April 24, 2010
Above, the Tregurtha arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on May 28, 2014.
Above, she arrived Duluth on June 3, 2014 and docked at the Murphy Fuel Terminal; below, she goes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on May 6, 2013.
Below, slowly moving through the ice on April 13, 2013 as she departed Duluth.
Above, she passes by the American Mariner at the Port Terminal on her way to Midwest Energy Resources in Superior to load coal for Detroit Edison on August 4, 2013; arriving Duluth on April 28, 2012. Below, she passes by the Canadian flagged Radcliffe R. Latimer discharging salt at the Duluth salt dock on October 25, 2013.
Above, Captain Dayton  on phone in the pilot house after docking at the Calumet Fuel dock on March 25, 2012; below, arriving Duluth on September 17, 2012.
Above, approaching the Lift Bridge on July 17, 2012.
Above, she eases close to the Murphy Fuel Dock after coming under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge (right) on December 18, 2012. After docking, she hooks up a fuel line and begins to fill her up.
Below she departs Duluth on November 20, 2012.
Above, the Tregurtha is welcomed to Duluth as she approached the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on October 3, 2012. Below, a half hour later, she was docked at the Murphy Fuel Dock at the Port Terminal.
Above, the Tregurtha arrives Duluth while the Hon. James L. Oberstar departs on May 25, 2011; below, moving up the Duluth harbor on May 5, 2011
On her way out on June 28, 2010
The Tregurtha was the subject of a series on big ships of the world in the spring of 2008. The series was developed by the Discovery Channel, Canada. Most of their crew is seated for some dessert at the captain’s table on the Tregurtha. Standing at the back is another Discovery Channel crew member and to his left is Captain Dayton and to his left, other officers on the boat.
Above, arriving on April 15, 2007; she gets a welcome while arriving on September 16, 2007
In July, 2007, the crowd at the Duluth ship canal got a double bill just after the  Tregurtha cleared the North Pier Light; the Antigua flagged Pochard appeared and came into port.
She departs Duluth on July 30, 2006; below the same on May 6, 2006
Leaving Duluth on October 8, 2005
Above and below, visiting on January 17, 2004; below, Captain Dayton, center, gathered some of his crew who live in or near the Twin Ports for a picture on January 17th, 2004. Captain Dayton retired from service in 2014.
I went over to the boat in February to see how layup maintenance was going. As you can see, it can be hot when you are working on (or in) the engine (below)
The Tregurtha started the season taking coal to Lake Superior ports. Above, she is returning from one of those trips on March 23, 2004. Since the Soo Locks opened on the 25th, she was probably going to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources for Detroit Edison. Below, she returns to Duluth for more coal on April 4, 2004.
Above, she arrives on stage at the Blues Festival on August
I visited the Tregurtha on September 10, 2004. Above, we walked along the tunnel that runs the length of the boat below the deck, where cargo is dropped from each cargo hold onto a belt that moves cargo to the stern mounted self unloader which pulls it up and sends it out the self unloader arm and onto the ground or other receptacle on shore. We made it to the bow where Captain Dayton and I played a game of pool. The table is at the bow of the boat. Below that, a look on the deck where the coal loader at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior is filling the cargo holds.
Below, she brings in some ice from Lake Superior on Christmas Eve, 2004
Picture above taken Wednesday, January 13, 2002: The Tregurtha spent the winter of 2002-03 at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior. In mid-March, 2003, it was time to load coal and get out to Lake Superior. The Coast Guard cutter Sundew was called to breakup ice that had formed around the boat (below). It was a slow and delicate process but the cutter freed the 1,000-footer and she was ready to go
She departs on May 27, 2001
Picture above taken Sunday, May 28, 2000: Looking into the Duluth inner harbor as the Tregurtha goes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge


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  2. would anybody happen to know the size/weight of her anchors?

  3. James Pederson says:

    How and how much are the bow and stern thrusters used when entering Duluth Harbor?

  4. June Thielen says:

    June Thielen
    How many tons of Coal does the Paul Tregurtha Haul?

  5. I was on the tug Ohio when she needed help getting out from grounding we were joined by the North Dakota and Minnesota

  6. Jacky Block says:

    When will we be hearing more about that gigantic duck coming this summer and will we be able to go inside that thing?

  7. Hello would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working with?

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  8. Christian B says:

    This ship is 1,013FT of AWESOMENESS/EPICNESS

  9. Christian B says:

    This Ship is a sight to see, when I was on vacation with my Mom and Dad in Duluth of 2013 I saw this ship for the first time and I thought that it was SO HUGE that it dwarfed some of the small boats near it.

  10. Just saw the Tregurtha arrive port at 7:40 and I don’t ever remember seeing her making such a hard left and swinging her stern so close to the North Pier after going under the bridge — wow — that was close! Must be too early to have saluted — all the people on the pier waiting…………..

  11. Wonderful post but I wass wondering if you could write a litte more onn this subject?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaboratfe a little bit further.


  12. I was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota; lived on Park Point; and I never tire of watching the ships coming and going, Ken! I watch every opportunity I am given. What a beautiful sight! The bridge even responded to the salute! I am so thankful for the access we have via the net!

  13. Just checked out the landing of the Tregurtha, aka “The Girth,” and I must say: what a spectacle. It’s landing happened to coincide with the departure of The Whitefish, another cargo vessel – albeit slightly less esteemed, and it made quite the double feature. I’d put it right up there with Lethal Weapon and Lethal Weapon 2 at the now defunct Cottage Grove drive-in (R.I.P.) back in the summer of ’88 as the best double feature ever. And the captain driving the body: my oh my, what a nautical wizard.

    What a great day.

  14. This ship is called “Queen of the lakes”. Because she is 1013ft.

  15. Mike Skonicki says:

    Give me a break! You are going to blame the Paul R Tregurtha for global warming? You need to look at the hard facts and not be caught up with “Environmental Emotion”. Man made global warming is a political creation by those who seek power to exploit and influence mal-informed people. The Earth is not going anywhere……you are!

    • It is discouraging to see people reacting purely emotionally to things they don’t like. Global Warming was not an idea that was dreamed up by pot-smoking tree-huggers bent on scoring political points. The data for this would fill warehouses. The fact that global temperatures are increasing is not really arguable. It is now possible for ships to reach the North Pole which is a direct result of thinning of polar ice. Grizzly bears are now ranging far enough north to breed with polar bears. There is also vast documentation on the melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Holland has had to deal with rising ocean levels which had not changed over the past thousand years.

      The evidence that it is man-made is equally vast. This comes primarily from thousands of deep ice-core samples that show historical levels of various gases in the atmosphere. You also have evidence from tree-ring growth which is correlated with the ice core data. Tree ring data comes from very long-lived trees including Red Wood, Sequoia, and Bristlecone Pine. Ice doesn’t care about politics and neither do trees. The data is what it is. You can certainly debate the best course of action because not everything is equally practical or effective, but angry denial is surely the least effective of all.

      • holly jorgenson says:


      • Climate change denyers just can not stand to look at the data. Well said Brent.

      • Science is a wonderful thing. The key, when doing research, is to have only one variable. In this case it is NASA. It alone is responsible for global warming. Where is the proof you say? The proof is on the planet Mars. It seems that the surface of Mars is warming up at the same rate as our beautiful planet Earth. What do we have in common? NASA. Only NASA has been on both.

  16. Great Ship That Tregurtha, but the coal that it hauls is poison and I don’t see any comments about that. why? does anybody care? imagine how stupid in a hundred years from now after a dramatic climate shift and trillions of dollars of coast line destruction, we’ll look back at the people of these times and be so shocked as to there gross neglect for the environment.

    I drive a 100% electric car and I have my own off grid solar system to recharge it and it powers my house. I don’t want the coal and gas to be ever dependent upon. instead of admiring ships, you should admire the environment that supports all of this life instead of a coal ship. go get some solar panels and led lights you people.

    • A shipping website is not really the place to discuss environmental issues and I’m sure you are already aware of this. It is good that you care about the environment but it is also clear that you over-simplify a complex topic. Are you familiar with methane hydrate? Are you aware of how much methane is produced by termites due to deforestation in the Amazon? These are both greenhouse gases that are not related to burning fossil fuel.

      Are you aware that Brazil started off with 100% ethanol and is now down to 50% ethanol? The US began with 5% ethanol and is up to 10%. The likely convergence is no higher than 25%. Including bio-diesel, even with recycled restaurant oil, only increases this by another 5%. So, that is still 70% petroleum based fuel.

      Solar, wind, and hydro power are all good but they are not equally good everywhere. In Indiana there is a belt of over 1,000 windmills. These are quite large machines and can be see for miles. Yet, they only produce about 3% of Indiana’s electricity. Indiana is very flat so there isn’t much opportunity for hydro-electric power. And, being in a temperate zone, the gains from solar are also limited. Indiana however does have waste from hogs and chicken farms which could be used. These might increase Indiana’s renewable energy to perhaps 7%. For most people in Indiana, electric cars today would still be charged with power generated from coal. If the cost of solar voltaic power drops sharply due to something like printed film technology then this could change. There is evidence that solar generation is becoming a viable option without tax credits so there is no doubt that this will continue to grow. I’m not aware of anything related to an interest in shipping that is standing in the way of this.

    • Secondly, I should mention that ships like the Paul Tregurtha are used not because they are big toys but because they are efficient. There are many commodities including coal, iron ore, gravel, and salt that are moved by the millions of tons. You can move these by truck, by train, or by water. Water is the most efficient. Ships are limited by a fundamental relationship between bow wave generation and waterline length. Basically, the longer a ship is, the faster it can travel without planing like a speedboat. This is why if you watch the radio tracks you see the large freighters traveling faster than smaller ships like Mackinaw even though the Coast Guard ships have a much higher ratio of horsepower per ton of ship weight. Rather than getting upset, you should be glad that people went to the trouble to build and maintain locks, navigation, and ice-breaking services so that goods can be moved in ways that use the least amount of fuel.

    • Ernie Richardson says:

      You are clearly a Nut Case. Throw out coal and the energy generated by it and United States Industries are harmed – if not put out of business.American Workers lose jobs chaos ensues. Live “off the grid” if you want. Heck go back to horse-and-buggy. The rest of us need our jobs and our homes with modern conveniences. By-the-way Modern coal burning power plants are very clean. You belong in an institution for those with mental illness.

  17. Wendell Sullivan says:

    Can/will someone please send me a list of the cameras around the harbor area? The only one I know about is the one on the Corps of Engineers building.

    Thank you.

    • holly jorgenson says:

      wendell, at the top of this page click “links” then “duluth harbor cam”. there are 5 refreshing cams across the top of that page, and 3 live streaming cams down the right-hand side. all of them go to infra-red at night, so the picture is not great after dark.

      • Wendell Sullivan says:

        HI Holly–I hope this reaches you as I would like to keep in touch with you via e mail. You very kindly answered my question about the harbor cams in Dulth Harbor and I thank you for that. I live in the cornfields of IL but love boats. I have been to Dulth about 3 times and loved it.

        My e mail address is if you care to reply.

        I hope to hear from you soon and have a great Thanksgiving.

  18. Linda Bates says:

    Saw her come into port last night on the webcam. Just awesome. Watching ships come in, either in person or webcam , never gets old.

  19. sean cady says:

    i love watching the ships come to duluth and i really really like the Tregurthia cause i notice the big front end when she comes into port and i havent been up there for a while now but its one of my favorite 1,004 foot ships in the whole shipping fleet ever. i do like watchin this ship as shes comes to duluth when i was there a couple of years ago

  20. i wish i knew captin tim dayton that would be neat

  21. Saw the Tregurtha arrive in port at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 11/27 and depart the port of Duluth at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 11/28; that’s one quick stop in Duluth! She is one majestic ship!

  22. I just saw the Paul R. in Sarnia on. heading into lake huron at the blue water bridge looking very impressive in the half light riding high on the water

  23. So great the Paul R. is back in business! Was very concerned something had happened. Very much enjoy watching the ships on the harbor cam, much better in person! My wife & I travel from Iowa to Duluth every year & the ships are the highlight for me! Wife is from that area, but lets me run amok at Canal Park! Hoping to relocate to that area very soon and see the ships frequently.

    • Hey Donnie,
      Where in Iowa do you hail from? My husband and I live in Algona, IA. We love to visit Duluth and haunt the Canal St
      area. Love shipwatching and all things nautical.

      • Donnie Ray says:

        Suzanne, we live on the extreme NE side of Des Moines. I lived in the Knoxville area many years before relocating up here for work. My wife was born & raised in Cloquet! We try to get back there every year, even made the trek up north shore to Grand Marais.

  24. The Tregurtha pulled out of sturgeon Bay this evening at about 18:00. Nice to see her on the water again.

  25. She was pulled out of dry dock today. Looks like she got a fresh coat of paint

  26. Lisa Torvinen says:

    Wondering if there are any up dates on the Paul Tregurtha?

    • she is in sturgeon bay, wi , drydocked for repairs. maybe out of commission for a month?
      someone surely has more information than i do.

  27. Ali- a Duluth crazy girl :) says:

    i have a weird question to ask: what does Wilmington Del. stand for on the back of the ship?

    • Wilmington DL is where the ship is “home ported”. Probably where the company that owns her is incorporated.

      Many US companies incorporate in Delaware, due to the fact that there are no state corporate taxes in Delaware.

  28. Dave Mayberry says:

    She’s stuck in the St. Mary’s River. Any up-dates?

    • dave, she was freed early this morning…she’s now anchored just off drummond island. this report this morning from facebook:
      Roger LeLievre
      The grounded Paul R. Tregurtha was freed sometime during the early morning on Thursday. She was underway shortly after 6 a.m. downbound. The tugs Missouri and Florida were spotted returning their home base at Sault Ste. Marie shortly thereafter. As of 7:30 a.m., downbound vessel traffic had not yet resumed, with the exception of the Robert S. Pierson, which was able to transit down the upbound channel due to her light draft. The Army Corps of Engineers vessels Nicolet and Schwartz were reportedly headed for the location where the Tregurtha ran aground.

    • The Tregurtha is in Sturgeon Bay WI for repairs of damages from when she was aground.

  29. P.S. 2 yrs. ago we were on a ferry ride & were ~Very Blessed~ that it just do happened the Tregurtha was in the canal the same time we were

  30. We come up to Duluth a couple times a yr. once in August & once the end of Oct. We ALWAYS stay at The Inn On Lake Superior!! BEST Hotel in Canal Park! We L❤VE, L❤VE, L❤VE just hanging out, relaxing & watching all the ships come in & out. There’s just “something” about the water & seeing all the ships every day. In August, we l❤ve sitting outside in the wonderful lake breezes((sometimes wind)) & just see all the ships anchored just outside the harbor waiting to come in to load or unload. Sure, sometimes we do a ferry ride or a horse-drawn carriage ride…but for the most part just watching the ships & gazing at the water…soothes the soul. We also l❤ve taking a drive up North Shore, stopping here ‘n there to walk along the shore or stop at a couple lighthouses. We only live about 2 1/2-3 hrs. From Duluth down in WI, so we’re VERY blessed to be so close & when we need to get away from the stresses of life…we head for the big water. We’ve never seen the ocean..don’t know if we ever will…so, this kind of does give us an idea of what it would be like. Lake Superior & the wonderful staff at The Inn On Lake Superior is ALL we need((plus it’s the ONLY “GREEN” hotel on the water!!

  31. Penny Vokes says:

    We would be interested in taking a freighter cruise in 2012. Could you please advise whom we should talk with? Thank you.

  32. quite the ship! beautiful.

  33. An Iowa boy, the 1st time I seen the ships were in the mid 80’s. What a sight for me & my family. Been back many times since. (I try to take in a different waterfall/shore line/historical sites/restaurants/hotels on each trip) The coolest thing is, my 2 children have made visits on their own to have others feel what they 1st experienced so long ago.

  34. linda, what wonderful memories you must have of him, and he of duluth…it is a magical place. i go several times a year, and i will think of your dad now, each time i’m there.

  35. I watch the Duluth Ship Canal via webcam almost every day from a small town in North Texas. My dad was raised in Duluth, and I have inherited his fascination for the big freighters and coast guard vessels that come and go. Just before he passed away, he told me he thought he was at the Duluth Ship Canal. In your dreams, Dad…in your dreams.

  36. I have been watching the Tregurtha come and go all summer from my computer from the camera mounted at the Inn on Lake Superior! Love it as I was born and raised on Park Point!

  37. Donnie Ray says:

    Saw the Paul R. again just last week. Came in around 12:30 at night, departed early that afternoon. Worthwhile as we got a double dose of 1000 footers. Mesabi Miner was coming in at same time that day. I follow all the ships on and frequently watch the cameras positioned around the harbor area. To all the crews who travel the Great lakes, thank you for what you do, may you have calm seas and fair winds always.

  38. I saw your ship in Duluth a summer ago and have periodically followed your travels via Safe travels!

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