The Art of Dredging

Dredging and shipping

The Swiss Army knife dredge:                                                                a concept for a multi role vessel:                                                          the "Dredgevision 1500 compact"


Dredge builders launch a lot of "cheap and simple" "off the shelf" "compact" "low maintenance" design concepts.

IHC has its "Easydredge ®" hopper series and "Beaver ®" cutters. Damen is another example. Both companies emphasize standardization to reduce costs and delivery time.

These designs target the maintenance dredging / inland waterway / developing world markets. The "low investment dredger" is supposedly lowering the treshold to own and operate a dredger.

December 2015, the Dutch out-of-the-box-think-tank "Dredgevision" proposed the  "1500 Compact" concept, that combines (within a single hull) cutter-, hopper- and water-injection (WID) dredging. This adds "multipurpose" to the "budget, simple" slogan.



This hull design dates back to the oldest design for hopperdredgers, with a central well for the suction pipe.

This "old skool" hull-with-central-moonpool allows to interchange a suction pipe for a cutter ladder or a WID unit; and this is an innovation.


Cutter mode:

added spuds and cutterladder.

Another novelty: this is a cutterdredger with a hopper. No need for floating lines, barges, etc...






Hopper mode:

added central suction pipe






Water injection dredging:  added WID-module








To add further to the modular design, side-loading arms can be mounted, increasing capacity with extra hopper barge(s).




 Increased hopper capacity (total 3500 m3) with an additional pushbarge.







Changing from one dredge mode to another should be possible with ship's crew and a crane.

The whole concept has restrictions towards capacity, dredge depth, weather operationability and redundancy, but again: this is not a tool (one should say "multi-tool') for the capital dredging / offshore market.

It's the first dredger designed -from the keel up- to dredge in three different modes, a true Swiss Army knife.




Marc Van de Velde

dec. 2015

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