Laker Launch: Mark W. Barker Hits the Water

By GLSR Staff  |  Lakers & Salties, New Construction & Ship Repair
October 28, 2021, is a date that will go down in history for many stakeholders throughout the Great Lakes/Seaway system. It’s the day Mark W. Barker became more than president of The Interlake Steamship Company. It’s the day his namesake was launched at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.

The 639-foot self-unloader has been moved out of drydock, with finish work taking place over the winter. She will begin trading in the spring.

The ceremonial launch in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., recognized Interlake as building the first U.S.-flagged laker in nearly 40 years. Speakers include Mark Barker, and his father, James Barker, company chairman. Honorary launch sponsor was Helen Sharp, wife of Ian Sharp, Interlakes director of engineering for fleet projects.

Sharp began design work on the new laker in 2017. He continues as project manager, representing the company at the shipyard and through ongoing technical discussions.

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