Posted on April 17, 2023
Panama City, Fla., based Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. conducted sea trials for the R.B. Weeks (ESG Hull 258) trailing suction hopper dredge it built for Weeks Marine Inc. and launched last summer.
The R.B. Weeks, is the second trailing suction hopper dredge the shipbuilder has constructed for Weeks Marine Inc. This new 356- by 79-foot, 6-inch by 27-foot, 3-inch dredge has a hopper capacity of 8,550 cubic yards. The vessel outfitting and trials are being conducted at Eastern’s Port St. Joe Facility and the dredge should be delivered in two weeks.
The R.B. Weeks is named in honor of Richard B. Weeks, a co-founder of Weeks Marine and married to Magdalen Weeks, the namesake of the other dredge.
“Eastern Shipbuilding Group has enjoyed a strong partnership with Weeks Marine Inc’s team over multiple projects, and we are proud to build another dredge vessel that will enhance our waterways and restore our coastlines,” said Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc.
In nearly all respects, the R.B. Weeks is identical to the Magdalen delivered by the shipyard in 2017. The vessel includes an electrical power, propulsion, and dredge machinery package by Royal IHC, GE (now Wabtec Marine) EPA Tier IV engines, along with several accommodation and crew comfort upgrades.
Weeks Marine Inc. President Eric Ellefsen said this ahead of the dredge launch last summer: “We are excited to see the launch of our newest trailing suction hopper dredge, the R.B. Weeks, which will join her sister vessel in various dredging activities primarily aiding the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to maintain ports, harbors, and other waterways to ensure ship navigation is possible. These two vessels have an equivalent hopper size and pumping capacity, and we look forward to utilizing the R.B. Weeks, putting her to work deepening shipping lanes, nourishing beaches lost to erosion, and completing coastal restoration due to storm damage.”