The Art of Dredging

Dredging and shipping

Oldtimer dredger "Wilhelm Kruger "

Around 1993 we were at work with "Amerigo Vespucci" in Cuxhaven, Elbe River, Germany.

In and out went this little antique hopper dredger, still busy with maintenance dredging in Cuxhaven: "Wilhelm Kruger", built 1941, and still dredging anno 2008,  67 years old.

And he kept a very regularly shedule as well, I can assure you.




 "Wilhelm Kruger" in original outfit.









Some details: Built 1941-42     Yard: O&K, Lübeck      

LOA: 102.5m     Beam: 16.1m      Draught 7 m       GRT: 2994 GT        

Power installed: 2648 kW        Speed 10 knots

Dredging depth 21 m                

Hopper capacity: 2000 m3   





Remarkable about this dredger is the central suction pipe, inside a hopper well in the ship.







 Close up of the central suction pipe.




There are some very obvious disadvantages to this design. (How to clean the draghead ? How to dredge with side current ?)   


This design detail is borrowed from the  bucket dredger layout, where the ladder is lowered between two side pontoons.

The same idea was adaopted for cutter dredgers later on.






This warbuilt ship 'Ministerialdirigent Eckhardt' is a trailer dredger, built 1941 at shipyard F. Shichau Elbing. It was lost during WWII, probably off Gdansk. 

The hopper well with the central suction pipe is clearly visible.

Contrary to the "Wilhelm Kruger", the suction pipe does not hang aft of the stern, but is embedded in a wrap around moonpool. 



Marc Van de Velde

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