The planning of America’s largest self-propelled hopper dredge

The making of a dredge is no simple feat, and the planning and design of the largest self-propelled trailing suction hopper dredge in the USA has certainly been no different.

Illustration Credit | ALVARO LEAL DE LA TORRE — Graphic Designer

For more than a decade, the new vessel – which is set to be christened the FREDERICK PAUP – has been an inkling in the back of Henry Schorr’s mind.

Henry, Manson vice president and Gulf & East Coast dredge manager, has been in this industry for quite some time and has seen a fair number of new vessels join the fleets of American dredging companies.

He joined Manson Construction Co. in 1999, just as the dredge BAYPORT was christened and put to work. He has helped get new cutterhead dredges – such as the LEONARD J – completed and out on the water, and even saw Manson’s current largest hopper, the GLENN EDWARDS, from planning through to completion.

From start to finish, the GLENN EDWARDS took around five years, with much of the vessel design happening simultaneously alongside construction. Since final delivery, it has been a highly successful investment.

“After seeing how successful it was, we started proposing that we look at a second dredge,” Henry says. In 2008, Manson, led by Henry’s analysis, began planning for a bigger, better, and more efficient hopper.

“I’ve got to give Henry the credit of analyzing the dredging market and understanding the abilities that we needed based on what the market needed,” says Shawn Hillis, former vice president of equipment who is retiring at the end of 2020 after a 42-year career with Manson.

After ten years of analyzing and planning, in 2018 Henry and his team got the go ahead to engage with naval architect Hockema Whalen Myers Associates, Inc. (HWMA) to begin the design phase of the new dredge.

This time would be different, though. “The GLENN EDWARDS was basically just a goliath version of previous dredges,” says Shawn. “The improvements for this dredge are going to be enormous.”

A ten-person Manson team, including Henry, Shawn, and Project Manager Jordan Brown, just to name a few, worked over every excruciating detail with HWMA to produce a complete and detailed design to be fully approved by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

Check out this story from Jimmie Collins, Proposal & Marketing Manager at Manson Construction Co., that follows the process from assessing the market, assembling the right team, and designing the dredge.