Bridlington dredger

Gypsey Race Gypsey Race

The UK’s Bridlington Harbour Commissioners have taken delivery of a new dredger that will be employed on maintenance dredging in the harbour.

The new dredger is named Gypsey Race after a dredger that operated in the port for 50 years and which was sold 10 years ago, and it will be used to keep Britain’s biggest shellfish potting port fully operational with a maintained depth of water.

The new dredger was designed by Simon Cormack of Marine Design International located in Glasgow, and was built at the Ardmaleish Boatbuilding Company on the Isle of Bute, a yard that specialises in ferry and fishing boat refits as well as new construction. The 25-metre-long dredger is equipped with two spud legs that are used to quickly anchor the vessel prior to dredging operations.

The vessel has a beam of 8 metres and a draft of 2.5 metres and is fitted with a central open-topped hold that allows the vessel to carry up to 100 tonnes of dredged material. Six hydraulically operated double-skin hopper doors in the bottom of this hold allow the dredged material to be dumped at sea.

The Gypsey Race is powered by a pair of Doosan MD196TI diesel engines, each of which generates 246 kW at 1500rpm. These give the dredger a cruising speed of 8 knots. Dredging is carried out with a Hyundai backhoe dredging unit installed in the bow with an articulated arm extending to 14 metres. The vessel was built at a cost of £1.1 million.

Chris Wright, the chairman of the Harbour Commissioners and former harbourmaster commented, “Our old dredger, also named Gypsey Race, was scrapped in 2010, and we have been hiring one since then. This vessel was too big and too expensive, and it was now or never, we had to bite the bullet and build new.

“A lot of the silt found in the harbour comes off the Holderness coast as a result of erosion and its removal is essential for keeping the berths and the navigation channels clear for fishing vessels in Bridlington harbour. A dredger is needed to clear the mud and silt, with an average build-up of nine inches every year across the 10.5 acres area of the harbour bed. This creates 12,000 to 14,000 tonnes of waste per year. Gypsey Race will be used to keep Bridlington harbour dredged in order to maintain maximum operating times for the modern fleet of local potting vessels that skippers continue to invest in.”

In addition to the dredging work at Bridlington Harbour the Gypsey Race will be available for charter by nearby ports for dredging work in order for the vessel to keep full employed.

By Dag Pike

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