A new Jones Act trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Magdalen, recently launched at Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s (ESG) Allanton facility in Panama City, Fla., is expected to be handed over to its owner, U.S. dredging contractor Weeks Marine, before the end of 2017.
This modern TSHD has a length of 108.5 meters, breadth of 24.24 meters and a molded depth of 8.31 meters.
The state-of-the-art 356’ twin screw dredger is outfitted with BARKE high-lift flap rudders by Van der Velden Marine Systems (VDVMS) in conjunction with Ships Machinery International, Inc. (SMI). VDVMS provided complete engineering support to facilitate the installation of these rudders into the hull and worked closely with the designer and shipyard to assure a smooth transition from initial design to final installation.
“The launching of our new vessel marks an important milestone for Weeks Marine,” Hans Blomberg, Technical Manager for Weeks said in a statement. “The independently operated Van der Velden BARKE rudders in combination with Royal IHC’s Dynamic Positioning and Dredge Tracking System, will allow the vessel to be highly maneuverable not only during the dredging cycle but also for station keeping while connected to the shore delivery system.”
VDVMS has a long history with the dredger’s designer, Royal IHC. The two have worked together for decades to help improve the technology available for these special ships. Dredgers have requirements for precise steering while maneuverings at very slow speed at one moment and then they require accurate and efficient course keeping when not in dredging mode. VDVMS said it has provided the most effective rudder design for this type of vessel, meaning the TSHD will have enhanced maneuverability and excellent course keeping stability.
“This vessel will reward the owners with high operating efficiency over its lifetime thanks to the selection of the Barke Rudder,” said Arthur Dewey, Vice President of SMI. “A dredge that is able to maintain precision position during operations will be easier to operate and will be a highly productive asset for its owners.”
Magdalen’s Barke rudder is the foundation of an exceptional maneuvering system consisting of two independently controlled and operated hydro-dynamic Van der Velden BARKE rudders. Independent proportional steering is another key feature which will allow the rudders to be actuated either independently or synchronized. VDVMS hydraulics are compact packages which are part of the turnkey system. VDVMS said it is one of a few rudder manufacturers that offer a complete system inclusive of all hydraulics and controls.
The BARKE rudder is built with an innovative and sophisticated progressive high lift design, the manufacturer said. The progressively operating flap linkage system is contained in a fully enclosed, grease-lubricated BARKE housing. This results in minimum wear on the linkage components and eliminates the problems caused by contact with floating objects.
The dredge features efficient, clean-burning engines and state-of-the-art frequency drives to power the vessel’s pumps, jetting and other electrically driven systems. The Magdalen has twin GE 16V250 main engines producing 5,685hp each, and a GE 6L250 auxiliary engine producing 2,009hp. Two 3,400kW shaft generators and a 1,500 kW auxiliary generator make up the ship’s primary power generation plant. In addition the vessel is also equipped with a Caterpillar C18 emergency / harbor generator that produces 425 kW. The Magdalen is outfitted with a 730 kW fixed pitch tunnel thruster unit.