Eastern launches Weeks Marine trailing suction hopper dredge

Written by Nick Blenkey
Trailing suction dredge (TSHD) launch

TSHD R.B. Weeks hits the water in spectacular side launch at ESG's Allanton shipyard [Image; ESG]

Panama City, Fla., based Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. yesterday launched the trailing suction hopper dredge (TSHD) R.B. Weeks (ESG Hull 258) in a ceremony at its Allanton, Fla., shipyard.

With a hopper capacity of 8,550 cubic yards, the 356-foot long vessel is the second trailing suction hopper dredge the shipbuilder has constructed for Cranford, N.J., headquartered Weeks Marine, Inc. It is named in honor of Richard B. Weeks, a co-founder of Weeks Marine who is married to Magdalen Weeks, the namesake of the sister vessel Magdalen (ESG 256), delivered by Eastern in 2017.

Launch ceremony for trailing suction hopper dredge 0tshd)
Eastern Shipbuilding president Joey D’Isernia (at podium) speaks at TSHD launch ceremony

This second TSHD is set for an on time delivery in 2023 following outfitting and trials at Eastern’s Port St. Joe Facility.

“Eastern Shipbuilding Group has enjoyed a strong partnership with Weeks Marine, Inc’s. team over multiple projects, and we are proud to build another dredge vessel that will enhance our waterways and restore our coastlines,” said Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc.

In nearly all respects, the R.B. Weeks is identical to the Magdalen delivered by ESG in 2017. The vessel includes an electrical power, propulsion, and dredge machinery package by Royal IHC, GE (now Wabtec Marine) EPA Tier IV engines, along with several accommodation and crew comfort upgrades.

“We are excited to see the launch of our newest trailing suction hopper dredge, the R.B. Weeks, which will join her sister vessel in various dredging activities primarily aiding the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to maintain ports, harbors, and other waterways to ensure ship navigation is possible,” said Eric Ellefsen, president, Weeks Marine, Inc. “These two vessels have an equivalent hopper size and pumping capacity, and we look forward to utilizing the R.B. Weeks, putting her to work deepening shipping lanes, nourishing beaches lost to erosion, and completing coastal restoration due to storm damage.”

Trailing suction hopper dredge (TSHD) prior to laucj
R. B. Weeks has been built to a Royal IHC design


  • Dimensions (Overall) 356’ x 79’-6”’x 27’-3”
  • Designer: Royal IHC
  • Main Engines: (2) GE 16V250 MDC IMOIII/EPA Tier 4
  • Main Propulsion: (2) Wärtsilä CPP in Nozzles
  • Reduction Gears: (4) Siemens (Flender)
  • Bow Thruster: (1) Wärtsilä Fixed Pitch Tunnel Unit
  • Main Generators: (2) Hyundai
  • Auxiliary Generator:(1) GE 6L250 MDC IMOIII/EPA Tier 4 / Hyundai
  • Emergency Generator: (1) Caterpillar C18 IMOII/EPA Tier 3
  • Classification: Lloyd’s Register, 100A1 Hopper Dredger, XLMC, UMS
  • Flag & Regulatory: USA, USCG
  • Hopper Capacity: 8,550 cu.yd (6540 cu.m)
  • Accommodations: 26 Persons
TSHD in the water
R.B. Weeks will be fitted out at ESG’s Port St. Joe facility
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