Paul R. Tregurtha


 Pathfinder/Dorothy Ann

Paul R. Tregurtha was built in 1981, is 1013½ 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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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
The Paul R. Tregurtha goes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
Picture above taken Friday, June 12, 2009: Taken from the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, the Tregurtha is seen arriving Duluth Minnesota on June 12, 2009, her 15th of 40 trips to the Twin Ports that year.
The Paul R. Tregurtha enters the Duluth harbor
Picture above taken Sunday, May 10, 2009
The Paul R. Tregurtha hosts the Discovery Channel for dessert
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.
The Paul R. Tregurtha approaches the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
Picture above taken Friday, July 4, 2008
The Paul R. Tregurtha approaches the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
Picture above taken Sunday, April 13, 2008: The Tregurtha is always a popular boat when she arrives in Duluth, here just entering the Duluth piers.
The Paul R. Tregurtha comes into Duluth in stormy weather
Picture above taken Wednesday, December 26, 2007: It takes a lot to keep the big Great Lakes boats off the water; here the Tregurtha battles wind and snow as she enters the Duluth inner harbor the day after Christmas, 2007
The Paul R. Tregurtha enters the Duluth Ship Canal
Picture above taken Friday, December 7, 2007
The Paul R. Tregurtha breaks ice on the way into Duluth
Picture above taken Sunday, April 15, 2007: The Duluth North Pier lighthouse is a good place to watch the Great Lakes boats come into port
The Paul R. Tregurtha attracts a crowd
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.
The Paul R. Tregurtha goes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at sunset
Picture above taken Wednesday, November 8, 2006: The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge makes a great frame for a picture of a Great Lakes cargo boat
The Paul R. Tregurtha departs Duluth
Picture above taken Saturday, May 6, 2006
The Paul R. Tregurtha departs Duluth
Picture above taken Saturday, October 8, 2005: The Tregurtha is a commanding presence when she is in town, and especially when she is coming under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
The Paul R. Tregurtha takes center stage at the Bayfront Blues Fesitival in Duluth
On stage at the 2004 Blues Festival at Bayfront Park in Duluth
The Paul R. Tregurtha Captain and some of the crew
Captain Dayton, center, gathered some of his crew who live in or near the Twin Ports for a picture on January 17th, 2004.
The Paul R. Tregurtha
Picture above taken Tuesday, March 23, 2004: Watching the Tregurtha approach the Duluth Ship Canal from the beach on Park Point, just beyond the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
The Paul R. Tregurtha enters the Duluth Ship Canal
Picture above taken Saturday, January 17, 2004
Picture above taken Saturday, January 17, 2004
Picture above taken Monday, April 1, 2002: entering the Duluth harbor
Picture above taken Wednesday, March 20, 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 some coal and get out to Lake Superior, the Coast Guard cutter Sundew was called over to breakup some of the ice that had formed around the boat. It was a slow and delicate process but the cutter freed the 1,000-footer and she was ready to go
Picture above taken Sunday, May 28, 2000: Looking into the Duluth inner harbor as the Tregurtha goes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna November 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

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!


holly November 22, 2014 at 9:16 am

agreed, donna!


Boat Bros, Inc. 1969 July 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

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.


Joshua May 17, 2014 at 9:20 am

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


Mike Skonicki February 19, 2014 at 10:27 pm

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!


Brent R April 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

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 April 22, 2014 at 11:13 am
Jon May 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm

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


michael Chownyk January 14, 2014 at 9:34 am

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.


Brent R April 22, 2014 at 11:47 am

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.


Brent R April 22, 2014 at 11:59 am

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.


Wendell Sullivan November 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm

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 November 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm

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 November 28, 2013 at 11:55 am

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.


Linda Bates August 25, 2013 at 9:12 am

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


sean cady March 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

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


erik March 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm

i wish i knew captin tim dayton that would be neat


Donna November 28, 2012 at 7:37 am

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!


Tom B October 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm

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


Donnie Ray September 17, 2012 at 9:43 am

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.


Suzanne September 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm

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 October 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm

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.


Dave S September 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm

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


Dave s September 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm

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


Lisa Torvinen September 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

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


holly September 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

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


Ali- a Duluth crazy girl :) August 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

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


Jon August 20, 2012 at 8:53 am

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.


Ali- a Duluth crazy girl :) August 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm

oh ok that makes sense now!! thank you! :)


Dave Mayberry August 16, 2012 at 8:56 am

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


holly August 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

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.


Liz W August 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm

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


Shawna July 27, 2012 at 1:26 am

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


Shawna July 27, 2012 at 1:12 am

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!!


Penny Vokes December 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

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


nick November 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm

quite the ship! beautiful.


Dave November 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm

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.


holly October 1, 2011 at 8:37 am

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.


Linda October 1, 2011 at 8:32 am

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.


Donna August 6, 2011 at 11:06 am

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!


Donnie Ray July 22, 2011 at 5:44 am

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.


Justin July 21, 2011 at 11:54 pm

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


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