Some Images of Cargo Handling on a Voyage on the Uchuck III

by John MacFarlane 2017

Uchuck III

The Uchuck III showing distinctive superstructure, almost unique these days on the coast. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

About 1990 I made a day trip from Gold River to Tahsis in the Uchuck III. We were deck passengers on a freight supply trip. Most of our fellow passengers were sightseers but I was fascinated by the loading and unloading of the cargo. Years later I realize that this method of transportation may disappear forever now that roads make much of the west coast of Vancouver Island accessible to truck transport.

The Uchuck III was built in 1942 at North Bend OR USA by the Kruse & Banks Shipbuilding Co. Inc. as the USS Y.M.S. 123 a minesweeper. She was decommissioned as the Y.M.S. 123 and was eventually renamed as the Uchuck III. 39.32m x 7.50m x 3.14m (129.0’ x 24.6’ x 10.3’) wooden hull 279.44gt 178.67rt.

Her engine came from the USN submarine chaser Del Norte. The two 44’ derricks were original fits, later changed out for ones from the CPR Princess Mary and then from the Princess Alberni. She had a capacity for 100 passengers and 200 tons of freight. In 1991 she was designated as a Vintage vessel by the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. She is currently powered by 2–600hp 8–268A diesel engines.

In 1942–1946 she was owned by United States Navy. In 1948 she was owned by Marine Express Lines Ltd., Vancouver BC. In 1952 she was sold to Barkley Sound Transportation Company Ltd., Port Alberni BC. In 1952 she was put on the Port Alberni to Ucluelet service. In 1960 she was on charter to Murray Marine Services of Alert Bay. In 1960 she was running from Kelsey Bay to Beaver Cove, Port McNeill and Sointula. In 1961 the company name was changed to Nootka Sound Service Ltd., Port Alberni BC. In 1961 she was put into service between Port Alberni and Clayoquot and Nootka Sound ports. In 1962 she was operating in Nootka Sound service. In 1982 she was in service extended to Kyuquot Sound ports. In 1986–2017 she was owned by Nootka Sound Service Ltd., Port Alberni BC.

Uchuck III

Stern view of the Uchuck III (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

Uchuck III

Cargo assembled on the dock at Gold River for the Uchuck III. The cargo will be man–handled with a forklift, a dolly, and brute strength to be picked up by the derrick gear and lifted into the ship’s hold. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

Uchuck III

The Uchuck III taking on cargo. The yellow and black barrels contain Jet-B helicopter fuel and the yellow barrels contain diesel fuel as well as tanks of lube oil and other petroleum products from the Petro–Canada bulk plant destined for mills, logging shows, and small customers. The all–yellow barrels probably contain diesel fuel from another source.(Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

Uchuck III

The winch man on the Uchuck III deftly manoeuvres the lifting gear to stow cargo in the hold. This may be the last ship on the BC coast to use this type of cargo handling equipment. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

The manager of the bulk plant at that time, Cliff Craig, explained that there were two sizes of cube tanks which his company utilized.

Uchuck III

The cargo lift in progress of a 1,640 litre tank of SP15W30 lube oil. These tanks weighed 3,800 pounds fully loaded. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

Uchuck III

The cube coming to a rest in the cargo hold. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

Uchuck III

A Petro–Canada lube oil cube tank being offloaded into the back of a pickup truck at a logging camp (probably at Mooyah Bay) in Nootka Sound from the Uchuck III. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

Uchuck III

A postal cover from the owners of the Uchuck III postmarked in Courtenay BC. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)



To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2017) Some Images of Cargo Handling on a Voyage on the Uchuck III. Nauticapedia.ca 2017. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/Uchuck.php

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