In late December, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla., delivered the 356'x79'6"x27'3" trailing suction hopper dredge Magdalen to Weeks Marine Inc., Cranford, N.J.

The design and detailed engineering and the dredging equipment were provided by Dredge Technology Corp. (DTC), part of the Royal IHC Merwede International Group. Initially, the vessel was to be built by BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard, Mobile, Ala., where the keel was laid in 2012. Weeks Marine contracted Eastern in 2015 to finish the dredge.

“From the outset of this project, the construction of the Magdalen has been an exceptionally challenging and rewarding experience. Fortunately for Weeks, the dubious start gave way to an extraordinarily successful finish, due in large part to the capabilities of Eastern Shipbuilding,” J. Stephen Chatry, senior vice president, Weeks Marine, said in a statement announcing the delivery. “In retrospect, the delivery of the Magdalen has everything to do with the partnership that was forged between Eastern, IHC and Weeks during the build.”

The Magdalen features two booster pumps, powered at 1,600 kW each and an HD dredge pump, powered at 1,600 kW. There are two jet pumps, powered at 445 kW each. Hopper capacity is 8,550 cu. yards.

Main propulsion comes from twin GE 16V250 diesel engines, producing 5,682 hp each. For added maneuverability there is a VFD fixed pitch bowthruster tunnel unit, producing 730 kW of power. Electrical power comes from two 3,400-kW gensets, a GE 6L250, 1,423-kW auxiliary genset and a Caterpillar C18, 425-kW emergency genset. The new dredge’s maneuverability is enhanced by a 730-kW variable frequency drive fixed pitch tunnel bowthruster. (Names of the main generators, pump, and bowthruster manufacturers were not released.)

The Magdalen is Lloyd’s classed Maltese Cross 100A1 Hopper Dredge, LMC, UMS registered and USCG certified and U.S. flagged.

“This successful project was the result of a close working relationship between Weeks and ESG,” Joey D’Isernia, Eastern’s president said. “The completion of a partially constructed dredge requires clear and open communication by both parties during the bidding phase and the execution phase. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Weeks on this project and look forward to seeing the Magdalen positively impact the Jones Act dredging market.”

Weeks Marine is another Eastern repeat client. The new dredge continues the shipyard’s commitment to the U.S. Jones Act maritime industry, Eastern officials said.


Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.