Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc., Panama City, Fla., announced last week that it had started cutting steel for the 356'x79'6"x27'3" R.B. Weeks, a new trailing suction hopper dredge for Weeks Marine Inc. The contract to build the dredge was signed four months ago.

Designed by Royal IHC, the new vessel will be built at Eastern’s Allanton, Fla., shipyard. The dredge, which will have a hopper capacity of 8,550 cu. yds., is the second trailing suction hopper dredge project for Weeks Marine. The Magdalen was delivered in December 2017.

Main propulsion will come from twin GE 16V250 MDC Tier 4 diesel engines connected to Wärtsilä CPP in nozzles through Siemens marine gears. For additional maneuverability, the new dredge will feature an AC 730-kW VFD fixed pitch tunnel unit bowthruster. Ship’s service power will come from two 3,400-kW main shaft generators, a GE 6L250 MDC 1,423-kW auxillary generator, and a Caterpillar C18 powered 430-kW emergency generator.

The R.B. Weeks, which will have accommodations for 26, is scheduled for delivery in early 2023. It has been named in honor of Richard B. Weeks, a co-founder of Weeks Marine.

R.B. Weeks will be Lloyd’s Register classed, Maltese Cross A1 Hopper Dredge, Maltese Cross LMC, UMS and USCG certified.




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.