Dover Harbour Board’s (DHB) maintenance dredger David Church has recently undergone a comprehensive £485,000 refit to relife the vessel for another 15 years service.
A full review of the dredger business unit was undertaken by Simon Moore, Duty Harbour Master and it was decided that the most cost effective option for the Port of Dover was to upgrade the vessel which was built by Appledore Ship Builders in 1995.
The project has focused mainly on renewing and upgrading all cargo equipment including dredge pipe, drag head, hydraulics, winches, discharge doors and crane. The majority of the refit refit works were completed by Smalls Shipyard of Lowestoft over a 3 week docking period. The crane refurbishment/upgrade was completed by the original manufacturer Pulleman (PLM) of Holland. The vessel sailed to Holland where the crane was lifted off at the PLM yard.
Other works included upgrades to the crew facilities, dredging software and navigation equipment. The vessel is manned by a dedicated crew of 5.
The David Church is unique in that she has the ability to both suction dredge and grab dredge and is ideally suited for working in the tight confines of a small port. The crane is a Pulleman PLM 50 which is dual purpose as it is fully certified as a lifting crane up to a maximum load of 15t at a radius of 6 metres. The David Church is now available to the market for charter and contract dredging.
Press Release, October 17, 2012; Image: