Magdalen TSHD was launched at Allanton shipyard in March 2017. Image courtesy of Royal IHC.
The vessel is being built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group at its Allanton shipyard.
The hull of the dredger includes multiple blocks made of CNC-routed steel pieces. Image courtesy of Weeks Marine, Inc.

M/V Magdalen is a new twin-screw trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) under construction at Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s Allanton shipyard in Panama City, US. It is being built for Weeks Marine, a dredging contractor based in the country.

Eastern Shipbuilding received a contract from Weeks Marine to build the new TSHD in March 2015. Royal IHC provided the design, detailed engineering and dredging equipment for the vessel.

The TSHD vessel was launched in March 2017 and is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2017. It is primarily intended for deployment in beach nourishment and capital dredging operations, and is expected to become one of the biggest dredgers in the US, once operational.

M/V Magdalen design and features

The hull of the dredger is made of multiple blocks. Each block was built separately using CNC-routed steel pieces and all blocks were welded together to form the hull of the vessel. The dredger has been designed to deliver optimum speed, capacity and efficiency. It is classified under Lloyd’s Register, +100A1 Hopper Dredger, +LMC, and UMS notations.

The vessel has a length of 108.5m (356ft), a beam of 24.2m (79.6ft) and a shallow draft of 7.7m (25.3ft), which will allow it to operate in a wide range of areas, including coastal zones and interior waterways.

The TSHD vessel will be able to operate for 30-day periods and accommodate up to 13 crew members, including technicians, to repair equipment onboard the vessel.

Deck equipment and systems

The vessel is equipped with IHC’s dynamic positioning / dynamic tracking (DP / DT) system. The DP / DT system, in combination with the IHC economic pump control system, will increase the efficiency of the vessel, while enhancing hopper loading and unloading processes.

It will also enable the ship to negotiate the varying forces generated by dredging and interaction with the sea floor, allowing it to accurately maintain its dredging track, course and speed.

The pump control package will enable continuous operation of the dredge pumps aboard the vessel, without operator intervention. The artificial intelligence of the package will further enhance suction and discharge operations.

The hopper can hold up to 6,540m³ of material and be loaded within an hour. The material takes approximately the same amount of time to be discharged on shore through a 20,000ft pipeline.

“The DP / DT system, in combination with the IHC economic pump control system, will increase the efficiency of the vessel, while enhancing hopper loading and unloading processes.”

The booster pump will have a power rating of 1,600kW, while the rated power of the dredge and jet pumps will be 1,600kW and 445kW respectively. The efficient electrical and dredging systems onboard the vessel will increase fuel savings and reduce emissions.


The TSHD is powered by two GE 16V250 main diesel engines, which produce 5,682bhp each. The primary power generation plant also includes two 3,400kW main shaft generators and a GE 6L250 auxiliary generator producing 1,423kW. The energy-efficient diesel-electric propulsion system will reduce fuel burn.

The dredger is also equipped with a Caterpillar C18 emergency generator with a rated power output of 425kW, and a 730kW fixed-pitch tunnel thruster. The propulsion system will enable the vessel to sail at a maximum speed of 14.5kt.

The vessel is also equipped with two hydro-dynamic BARKE rudders supplied by Van der Velden Marine Systems (VDVMS). The proportional steering will enable independent control and operation of the rudders, while the efficient rudder design will enhance manoeuvrability and course-keeping stability.