Posted on March 14, 2023
Conrad Shipyard of Louisiana recently delivered a new shallow-draught, split-hull hopper dredger to Greenville, North Carolina-based marine projects company EJE Dredging Service. The Jensen Maritime-designed dredger has been named Miss Katie in honour of the late Caitlyn “Katie” Whitehurst, daughter of EJE Dredging co-founder Judson Whitehurst.
Miss Katie will be operated by EJE Dredging in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a popular area for both commercial and recreational fishing as well as home to one of the largest fishing industries in the United States. The new dredger is designed to perform maintenance work to help address issues related to shoaling in the area. Maintaining the channel’s authorised depth of 14 feet (4.3 metres) will help keep the area’s waterways open and navigable for both commercial and recreational vessels.
EJE Dredging will operate Miss Katie in support of the US Army Corps of Engineers, which is the primary agency responsible for dredging federally authorised shipping channels. The dredger has the necessary endurance to operate for up to 12 hours a day (weather permitting) to address the problems of shoaling and shifting sandbars.
The new dredger has welded steel construction, a length of 156.25 feet (47.63 metres), a beam of 35 feet (11 metres), a draught of 10.8 feet (3.3 metres) at full load, a displacement of 566 tons (513 tonnes), a hopper capacity of 512 cubic yards (391 cubic metres), and accommodations for five crewmembers.
Two Cummins 760hp (566kW) diesel engines driving ZF azimuthing thrusters deliver a maximum speed of 11 knots and a cruising speed of 7.3 knots. The propulsion arrangement also includes two bow thrusters and two Cummins QSM11 250kW generators.
The array of dredging equipment consists of dragheads with pipes and pumps capable of filling the hopper to its maximum capacity in as little as 30 minutes. Also fitted on board are pumps for discharging material for beach nourishment and similar projects.
Miss Katie embarked on its first project in Dare County’s Hatteras Inlet in late January 2023 and completed all key works in less than two weeks, removing an estimated 14,172 cubic yards (10,835 cubic metres) of sand from the inlet. The dredger will operate in the Outer Banks under a 10-year concession, which also includes options for extension if necessary.