Representatives from Eastern Shipbuilding Group and Weeks Marine gathered at Eastern’s Allanton Shipyard in Panama City, Fla., August 19 to celebrate the steel cutting for the R.B. Weeks, a forthcoming trailing suction hopper dredge. The event came about four months after the two companies signed a contract for the construction of the new dredge.
The R.B. Weeks marks the second dredge Eastern has built for Weeks. In December 2017, Eastern delivered the dredge Magdalen to Weeks. The R.B. Weeks is named for company co-founder Richard B. Weeks, who was married to Magdalen Weeks, for whom the dredge Magdalen is named. The R.B. Weeks is scheduled for delivery in 2023.
The R.B. Weeks will measure 356 feet by 79.5 feet, with a depth of 27 feet 3 inches. Royal IHC designed the vessel. The dredge is slated for a pair of GE 16V250 MDC IMO III/EPA Tier 4 main engines and Siemens gears, coupled to Wärtsilä controllable-pitch propellers in kort nozzles. The vessel will feature an AC 730 kW bow thruster, two 3400 ekW main shaft generators, an auxiliary GE 6L250 MDC 1423 ekW IMO III/EPA Tier 4 generator and an emergency Caterpillar C18 430 ekW IMO II/Tier 3 generator.
The R.B. Weeks will have a hopper capacity of 8,550 cubic yards, matching the Magdalen as the largest in Weeks’ hopper dredge fleet.
“Despite the pandemic, the dredging market has remained strong,” said Stephen Chatry, senior vice president and general manager of Weeks Marine’s dredging division. “The R.B. Weeks will enhance our competitive position as we grow our company to meet the nation’s navigation, shore protection and coastal restoration needs. We especially look forward to another successful partnership with Eastern Shipbuilding.”
Caption for photo: Hans Bloomberg of Weeks Marine Inc., left, stands with Eastern Shipbuilding Group representatives Brian D’Isernia, Kenneth Munroe, Jamie Keel, Benny Bramblette and Bob Babb at a ceremony celebrating the steel cutting for the R.B. Weeks.