Eastern delivers new Weeks Marine dredge

Written by Nick Blenkey
New Weeks Marine dredge R.B. Weeks on sea trials

New Weeks Marine dredge R.B. Weeks on sea trials [Photograph: Eastern Shipbuilding Group]

Panama City, Fla., based Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. (ESG) has announced the delivery of the R.B. Weeks (ESG Hull 258) a 8,550 cubic yard capacity trailing suction hopper dredge (TSHD) constructed for Weeks Marine, Inc.

“It’s our pleasure to once again deliver a quality vessel on time and on budget to our valued customers at Weeks Marine, Inc.,” said Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. “The R.B. Weeks joins an impressive fleet that works alongside the Army Corps of Engineers to preserve our treasured waterways.”

Despite building the vessel through the height of the COVID pandemic, ESG’s workforce was able to deliver the vessel on schedule. The R.B. Weeks was constructed at ESG’s Allanton Shipyard and was launched on June 17, 2022. The vessel outfitting and trials were conducted at ESG’s Port St. Joe Shipyard.

According to Weeks Marine President and CEO Eric Ellefsen, the delivery of R.B. Weeks is a significant milestone for the company and the largest capital investment in Weeks Marine history, which spans over a century.

“We look forward to putting the R.B. Weeks to work deepening and maintaining navigation channels, restoring storm-damaged coastal barrier islands and nourishing beaches lost to erosion, aiding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other key clients,” he said.

The new Weeks Marine dredge is named in honor of Richard B. Weeks, a co-founder of Weeks Marine and married to Magdalen Weeks, the namesake of the sister vessel Magdalen (ESG 256), built by ESG.

In nearly all respects, the R.B. Weeks is identical to the Magdalen delivered by ESG in 2017. The vessel has a hopper capacity of 8,550 cubic yards and includes an electrical power, propulsion, and dredge machinery package by its designer, Royal IHC.

Measuring 356 feet x 79 feet 6 inches x 27 feet 3 inches, it is powered by two GE (now Wabtec) 16V250 MDC IMOIII/EPA Tier 4 engines

  • Main propulsion: (2) Wärtsilä CPP in Nozzles
  • Bow thruster: (1) AC 730kW VFD Fixed Pitch Tunnel Unit
  • Main gears: (2) Siemens (Flender)
  • Main shaft generators: (2) x 3400ekW
  • Auxiliary generator: (1) GE (now Wabtec) 6L250 MDC (1423ekW) IMOIII/EPA Tier 4
  • Emergency generator: (1) Caterpillar C18 (430ekW) IMOII/EPA Tier 3
  • Classification: Lloyd’s Register, 100A1 Hopper Dredger, LMC, UMS
  • Flag & Regulatory: USA, USCG
  • Hopper Capacity: 8,550 cubic yards (6,540 cubic meters)
  • Accommodations: 26 persons

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