Eastern Shipbuilding Group conducted the keel laying for the new trailing suction hopper dredge (TSHD) it is building for Weeks Marine.

This new U.S. flag dredge R.B. Weeks, ordered by Weeks Marine in April, is be constructed at Eastern’s Allanton Shipyard in Panama City, Fla., for scheduled delivery in early 2023. Steel cutting commenced on August 19.

R.B. Weeks is the second TSHD Eastern is building for the Cranford, N.J.-based marine construction and dredging contractor, following the Magdalen delivered in December of 2017.

The R.B. Weeks is named in honor of Richard B. Weeks, a co-founder of Weeks Marine and husband to Magdalen Weeks, the namesake of the previously delivered sister vessel.

A number of new dredgers are currently under construction at shipyards across the United States, including hopper dredges for Great Lakes Dredge and Dock and Manson Construction being built at Conrad Shipyard and Keppel AmFELS respectively. Cutter suction dredges are also being built for Mike Hooks and Callan Marine at Mobile Pulley Works and Halimar Shipyard respectively, and Royal IHC said it will build a new dredge for the North Carolina State Ports Authority at an unnamed U.S. shipyard.

R.B. Weeks (ESG hull # 258)
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
Main gears: (2) Siemens (Flender)
Bow thruster: (1) AC 730kW VFD Fixed Pitch Tunnel Unit
Main shaft generators: (2) x 3400ekW
Auxiliary generator: (1) GE 6L250 MDC (1423ekW) IMOIII/EPA Tier 4
Emergency generator: (1) Caterpillar C18 (430ekW) IMOII/EPA Tier 3
Classification: Lloyd’s Register, +100A1 Hopper Dredger, +LMC, UMS
Flag & Regulatory: U.S., USCG
Hopper Capacity: 8,550 yd³ (6,540m3)
Accommodations: 26 person

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