SS North American

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Coordinates: 42°11′00″N 87°39′00″W / 42.1833333°N 87.65°W / 42.1833333; -87.65

Career (United States) 60px
Name: SS South American
Operator: Chicago, Duluth & Georgian Bay Transit Company
Builder: Great Lakes Engineering Works
Ecorse, Michigan
Laid down: 1913
Launched: 1914
Completed: 1914
Out of service: 1967
Fate: Sank while in tow to Piney Point, Maryland 1967
General characteristics
Class and type: Passengers and package freight
Tonnage: 2317.00 gross[1]
Length: 259.00 ft (78.94 m)[1]
Beam: 47.00 ft (14.33 m)[1]
Draft: 18.25 ft (5.56 m) [1]
Propulsion: Propeller
Notes: Steel

SS North American was a Great Lakes steamboat built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse, Michigan in 1913 for the Chicago, Duluth & Georgian Bay Transit Company. The vessel was launched on January 16, 1913 and was the oldest of two sister ships, the newer one being the SS South American.

The North American was 280 feet (85 m) in length, had a 47-foot (14 m) beam, and drew 17 feet 6 inches (5.33 m) She was equipped with a 2,200 indicated horsepower quadruple expansion steam engine and three coal-burning Scotch boilers. In 1923 the boilers were converted to burn oil.

In 1963 the North American was sold to the Canadian Holiday Co. of Erie, Pennsylvania. The company used her in cross-lake service between Erie, Pennsylvania and Port Dover, Ontario for one year until she was retired in 1964. After being retired from service the North American was involved with purchasing deals of uncertain nature, and was finally sold at public auction to the Seafarers International Union in 1967 and she was to be used as a training ship at Piney Point, Maryland.

While the North American was on the North Atlantic being towed to Piney Point, she unexpectedly sank on September 4, 1967. The location was 25 miles (40 km) northeast from Nantucket Light, where the bottom is at 400 feet (120 m). The wreck still remains at this location.

The SS North American has been found. In July 2006, a research team aboard Quest Marine’s R/V Quest located the ship close to the edge of the continental shelf, approximately 140 miles (230 km) off the New England coast in 250 feet (76 m) of water.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "North American". Historical Collection of the Great Lakes (Bowling Green State University). 2003. 

External links

fi:SS North American