In the fall of 2021, Muddy Water Dredging and DSC Dredge launched a project to build a custom 24-inch dual pump Marlin Class dredge. Combining Muddy Water Dredging’s over forty years of experience in the maritime transportation industry with DSC Dredge’s customized engineering and dredging solutions expertise, the project is one of the largest of its kind in the United States to maintain U.S. navigable waterways. Below, Muddy Water Dredging co-owners Michael Kerns and Matthew Devall and Bob Wetta, president and CEO of DSC Dredge, discuss the ambitious project.

MPT: What would you say are the guiding principles of keeping such a large project on task?

Michael Kerns: Muddy Water Dredging will engage a first principles approach by employing the latest technological advancements to the machinery and employees allowing for a truly unique and forward-thinking organization. We are incredibly excited to join a dynamic industry that is vitally important in sustaining U.S. navigable waterways.

MPT: What brought Muddy Waters Dredging and DSC Dredge together? How’d you find the right choice?

Matthew Devall: Over the years DSC has made its name in the industry for helping clients make “the right choice” when it comes to their dredging needs and MWD is a continuation of that client partnership. This custom Marlin Class dredge will have an overall length of 371 feet making it one of, if not the longest 24-inch dredge in the United States with the capability of dredging a 400-foot wide cut utilizing an 80-degree swing arc, thus increasing the dredge’s swing/advance efficiency by 5.9 percent. At a duty point of 28,236 gallons per minute slurry volume, this new dredge will have the ability of filling an Olympic size swimming pool with dredge slurry in only twenty-three minutes and can completely fill an area the size of the New Orleans Superdome in only twenty-three days. 

Bob Wetta: Notwithstanding the massiveness and strength this dredge embodies, its customization not only includes a detachable carriage barge that allows the dredge to quickly convert from a wide cut format configuration to a shorter conventional dredge configuration for work in areas with limited space but also has lay-down carriage barge spuds to facilitate transit under low clearance structures. This custom 24-inch diesel-electric design, with total installed horsepower of 9,621 delivering 6,830 kW of electrical power, is expected to be completed October 2023. The perfect balance of elegant design and outstanding function—this is the essence of design meets function.

MPT: Spirits seem very high for this project. What’s the feeling as manufacturing begins?

Matthew Devall: I am extremely grateful to everyone involved for all the hard work over the last few months to make this a reality. 

Michael Kerns: I am extremely proud to re-enter the U.S. dredging industry as co-owner and president of Muddy Water Dredging, and fortunate to have an opportunity to incorporate my many years of dredging experience into the design of our new 24-inch cutter-suction dredge.

Bob Wetta: DSC is extremely excited to partner with Muddy Water Dredging on this new dredge build. The specifications and overall design of the dredge will lend itself to the future of efficient dredge designs while still providing a beast of a dredge. Muddy Water Dredging has taken steps to bring a new dredge to the industry that will be designed for high production capacity, the latest in dredging technology and an efficient and practical design. It doesn’t get much better than partnering with clients that share the same vision and that’s exactly what we have with Muddy Water Dredging. This is going to be fun.

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