Erie Trader/Clyde S. VanEnkevort

Edwin H. Gott

The Erie Trader/Clyde S. VanEnkevort was built in 2012, is 875 ft long and flies the U.S. flag

Erika Kobasic
Previous names:
Ken Boothe Sr: 2012-2017
Clyde S VanEnkevort: 2017-
Previous names:
Lakes Contender: 2012-2017
Erie Trader: 2017-
The tug/barge combo Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr, operated by American Steamship Company, was sold to VanEnkevort Tug and Barge in March, 2017. The barge was renamed Erie Trader, while the tug will be named Clyde S. VanEnkevort. The Lakes Contender combination was launched in April, 2012,as the newest combination tug/barge working the Great Lakes. They were operated by American Steamship in Buffalo. Ken Boothe, Sr. was a former manager at the shipyard in Erie where the tug and barge were built. Below, vessel was in Duluth for repairs, seen here on April 26, 2015.
Click here for other pages featuring the Erie Trader/Clyde S. VanEnkevort when she was called the Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr
Above, the Erie Trader/Clyde S. VanEnkevort arrived Duluth on Thursday afternoon, June 8, 2017 with limestone to discharge at Hallett#5. When that is completed, she will move next door to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock.
Above, the Lakes Contender on April 26, 2015
The tug Ken Boothe Sr. brought the barge Lakes Contender into port (above) this morning (June 16, 2013) to discharge a cargo of limestone at the Graymont Dock in Superior. They will then move to Midwest Energy to load coal for Marquette, Michigan, on the south shore of Lake Superior.
Often, when in Marquette (below), they load iron ore pellets for Toledo after discharging the coal. This year, they have been loading iron ore pellets, coal and limestone while moving between the ports of Muskegon, Presque Isle, Zug Island, Drummond, Marine City and Port Inland in Michigan, as well as Toledo, South Chicago, Silver Bay, Cleveland and Milwaukee.
The barge Lakes Contender arrived with tug Ken Boothe, Sr. on September 26, 2012 on her first visit to the Twin Ports. She is seen here in the photo above taken the next day in Marquette by Anders Gilbertson.


  1. In tracking the cargos out of Silver Bay I noticed the the capacity of the Erie Trader is listed at 33,892 and the Great Lakes Trader is listed at 39.600 tons. which is correct?
    Both barges have identical dimensions.

  2. Chuck Carlin says:

    On 8/15/2017 the tog/barge combo. in disarray, was towed and pushed into the dock slightly east of the bridge. What’s happening, Dennis?

  3. TJ Gillis says:

    My mistake, it is the Erie Trader on the side.

  4. TJ Gillis says:

    The Erie Contender is sitting in front of St. Helena Island in Lake Michigan. It has been there overnight.

  5. David Reuschel says:

    Just saw this vessel today traveling from Lake Huron south on the St. Clair River; had ridden my bike down to the Blue Water Bridge. Our last warm day here for awhile at 64 degrees.

  6. Lindsay says:

    Watching from the soo locks today!

  7. she is a good boat and did you know that her prener doup soooooooooooooooooooooo many stuff in the lake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Jeff Smith says:

    I really don’t see any advantages to this current trend of using tug/barge combinations as lake boats. Sure they require less personnel to operate the vessel, and they use existing, partially scrapped former lake vessels as hulls, but at present there are several American lake boats in long-term layup at Toledo and Superior, Wisconsin that can still be put back into service. So why was this new tug/barge shown above built when we already have surplus ships in layup elsewhere?

  9. Yes, this photo was taken at Marquette. You are also correct that it is US flagged and chartered by American Steamship Co. Built in 2012 by the Donjon Shipyards in Erie PA for Seajon LLC.

  10. You might want to get you’re information correct. The Contender and Boothe are flagged American and are being chartered by American Steamship Company. Also the photo looks more like the ore dock in Marquette

    • Thanks to Johnathan and Anders for the corrections. Hate to make excuses, but hate more to make mistakes but i was in teh hospital for cateract surgery, which hopefully gives me 2 exuses since it is taking a while to get my sight back. Every went well and i am almost back 100%. Thanks again for your help

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