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Anyone got the 411?


I've heard that there is a little boat that drives out to the enormous freighters to act like a floating market - selling cigarettes and snack food. Does anyone know anything about that?

It would make a good story for this hungry freelancer.

Thanks in advance!


"Hungry freelancer" seems kind of redundant.

Yep, there is such a boat -- or, at least, there was a few years ago. A friend of mine knows the guy who runs the boat and we got to go onboard for a little bit.

I'll be darned if I can remember the guy's name, though -- or the name of the boat! It might be there's more than one of these boats...


It was interesting, though. Like a really crammed convenience store inside.

Actually... you can email me if you want (my email address is on my web site -- see the link) and I'll send you my friend's name and email. He'd probably be able to point you in the right direction.

I think the last bumboat "Marine Trader" was sold and left the area?

my brother works on a boat, I'll have to ask him about that.

Captain Dan might know!

This is from 10 years ago, for what it's worth.

The last of the "bumboats"(named Marine Trader) ceased operation in the Twin Ports about 6 or 7 years ago, and left 2 or 3 years ago after being sold to a private owner in the Detroit area. Another retired bumboat used to be berthed on the southeast side of the old Northern Pacific ore dock in Allouez (the northwesternmost of the abandoned or docks there / the one at the public boat launch), but I'm not sure if it's still there.

A carpenter I work with occasionally, is probably the same Captain Dan to whom HotRod was referring. Dan Edholm was piloting a bum boat a few years ago. He also would pick up the captains of the anchored ships and bring them to shore. They were authorized to come ashore but the foreign born crew of the ships were not. In fact he ended up saving the life of one of these captains. I guess the guy spiffed it climbing down the ladder from the his ship down to the smaller boat. Dan shoulder blocked him into the water out of mid-air instead of having him crash headfirst into the deck. So as previously stated I think the bum boat is gone. But there still may be someone going out to pick up captains of foreign ships anchored in the lake.

Capt. Dann Edholm was the captain of the Marine Trader (bumboat) which is no longer in operation. It was sold by it's owner and isn't in Duluth anymore.Dann is also the captain of the Sea Service pilot boat, which picks up pilots and drops them off on foreign boats. (He was on the pilot boat when he saved the guy's life.) The picture is of one of the pilot boats, there are 2- the Sea Bear and the Sea Eagle.

the bum boats used to bring more than just sundry items to the crews of the saltys

Bum/Pimp Boat???

I'm not sayin, I'm just sayin...

bTW --- by no way am I implying that captn dan has or had ANYTHING to do with ANYTHING that does or will infringe or impinge and state or federal or municipal law or regulation

Understood. I took it as more of something that happened many years ago. Besides Capt. Dan may be a pretty cool guy, but I can't see him being able to pull off the floppy hat and cane look.

There's a little barge in Madison, WI that floats around selling hamburgers to recreational boaters and fishermen in the summer. Very tasty!

I'm gonna go with Baci, on this one and say that the best story for any freelancer is the one that everyone talks about but no one reads about and that is the "other" cargo that the freighters move around the great lakes. And then there's the prostitution, too. But you might want to (literally) lock up your daughters before you dig too deep into that one. It'd make a great Halloween story, because it's really, really scary.

thanks for all the help. The story I'm doing is less port traffic - I thought a bumboat could really feel that.

Did Cap't Dan work for Franz V. then? That's who (I believe) had the Marine Trader in '99?

Oh ... try the bars in extreme north end of Superior. Within stumbling distance of the docks. I bet they'd be feeling it. Maybe also wal mart or target in superior. A lot of sailors like to get stuff there they can't get in their home countries, etc. to send home.

Another one might be western union, same reason.

Great ideas - Thanks PDD crew.

They're probably just going out there to swap out slave prostitutes.

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