Olive L. Moore
Build: 1928 by Manitowoc Ship Building Inc – Manitowoc, WI in USA, nr 241 as John F. Cushing
Some vessels age well, as they become elderly, they also become classic examples of period lines and celebrate the times gone by. Others try to mask their age through plastic surgery. This is the story of one of the latter, gone even more wrong than Cher or Joan Rivers.
When she was built 83 years ago, she was a very squat, but not half-bad looking tug built to pass under the low bridges of Chicago.
Perhaps things went bad when she assumed her current name. Almost 40 years of uneventful service came to an end within months of gaining the title Olive L. Moore when she struck her tow and ran aground in 1966, suffering significant damage that left her tied to the pier until 1968 when she was purchased and rebuilt.
In fact, this first rebuild wasn’t too much of a bad thing as the raising of the pilothouse actually helped her looks a bit, just as you’d expect that first round of plastic surgery might do. When she went back in 1980 for more, however, the results weren’t nearly as grand.
A thorough rebuild left her pilothouse intact, and that was about it, the rest became an oddly smooth and angled mismatch of hideousness. At this point, it was no wonder she could be referred to as the “Ugly Duckling” of the Graet Lakes. Or was it?
Her most recent surgery, which she must be addicted to by this point, took the little that was left, which wasn’t much, and wiped it clean for a new fascia, one that’s definitely deserving of the title of an Official Ugly Ship. I hate to think what will happen when she inevitably heads back for more.