The dredge R.B. Weeks

Eastern Shipbuilding Delivers Dredge R.B. Weeks

Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (ESG), Panama City, Fla., announced the delivery May 22 of the 8,550-cubic-yard-capacity trailing suction hopper dredge R.B. Weeks to Weeks Marine Inc., Cranford, N.J.

“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, ESG president. “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 more than a century.

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“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 R.B. Weeks is named in honor of Richard B. Weeks, a co-founder of Weeks Marine and husband of Magdalen Weeks, the namesake of the sister vessel Magdalen, also built by ESG. In nearly all respects, the R.B. Weeks is identical to the Magdalen, which was delivered by ESG in 2017. The vessel is powered by a pair of GE Tier 4 main engines from Wabtec Corporation and has two Wärtsilä controllable-pitch propellers in kort nozzles. Reduction gears are by Siemens. The electrical power, propulsion and dredge machinery package was designed by Royal IHC.

The R.B. Weeks has an overall length of 364 feet, 6 inches; beam of 79 feet, 6 inches; and draft of 27 feet, 3 inches.

“The R.B. Weeks joins our extensive fleet of dredging equipment, which includes four other trailing suction hopper dredges and seven cutter suction dredges and a vast array of support equipment,” said Chuck Broussard, Weeks Marine dredging division manager and senior vice president. “Weeks owns and operates best-in-class equipment operated by talented crews of dredging experts that provide our clients like the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and other government agencies with a cohesive dredging services lifecycle.”