This spring the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) took delivery of a DSC cutter suction dredge to work in the state-maintained intracoastal ferry channels from Cape Fear River near Wilmington to Currituck Sound near the North Carolina-Virginia state line. It will also maintain an emergency route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe south of Nags Head – the route used when North Carolina Highway 12 is out of service due to a storm or other event.
The Manteo – built to house two eight-per-son crews with a full galley four bunk rooms and two full bathrooms – will replace the dredge Carolina which was built in 1968. The dredge also features a 78-foot deckhouse that contains the machinery area crew quarters and galley. Far more efficient than its predecessor the 16-inch by 14-inch Manteo is capable of dredging a channel to a depth of 30 feet. Spud carriages which the original dredge did not have easily move the vessel as it works.
“We increased the horsepower of the engine and we increased the diameter of the impeller. This allows it to effectively move more material over a 1.5-mile distance to the discharge point” DSC Director of Sales Charles Johnson said.
DSC said additional custom features designed to make the dredge more efficient include a GPD dredging system an anemometer fire and flooding alarm system VHF radio loud hailer and marine intercom system and a closed-circuit television system.
It is equipped with automation including sensors to measure the amount of material dredged and HYPACK 3D imaging software to map the bottom of the waterway for more precise dredging. The dredge also has its own pass-word-protected website to which it uploads data. The website also allows DSC’s technical staff to log in for trouble-shooting and other technical support. “We wanted this dredge to be as self-sufficient as possible for the state of North Carolina” Johnson said.
The dredge is named after Native American Croatan Manteo chief of a local tribe that befriended and helped English explorers who landed at Roanoke Island in 1584.