Keeping Oregon's waterways navigable for more than a century

Support of the United States’ navigation needs is one of the Army Corps of Engineers’ earliest civil works missions dating back to 1824. The U.S. Congress, recognizing the importance of the Columbia and Willamette rivers to the economy of the Northwest, established the Portland District in 1871.

At first, one of the main goals of the District was to remove obstacles to navigation in the two rivers. Today, the region’s commercial development is still dependent on safe passage of sea-going ships across the bars and up the waterways, and the Portland Corps of Engineers keeps Oregon's waterways safe and navigable through the dredging of sandbars, channel deepening, ensuring more than $18 billion in waterborne commerce are transported safety.

Portland District's vessels

  • Hopper dredges
  • Survey vessels

The Portland District’s hopper dredges Yaquina and Essayons work to ensure a safe “highway” for ships and other vessels. The hopper dredge is a specialized sea-going vessel designed to dredge and transport dredged material from ocean bars, swiftly flowing rivers and isolated harbors to open-water disposal areas. A hopper dredge works somewhat like a vacuum cleaner.

  • Essayons
  • Yaquina

Essayons

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge Essayons was delivered to the Portland District in 1983. Operated by a merchant marine crew, the Essayons helps maintain the entrance bars, rivers and harbors on the coasts of California, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska and, in emergencies, the Mississippi River. Because of its size and dredging depth, the Essayons is particularly well-suited for dredging the larger coastal entrances.

Designed to operate anywhere in the world, the Essayons is automated for operation with a semiautomatic dragarm handling system. Sophisticated instrumentation allows constant production monitoring and enables the dredge crew to maintain maximum dredging efficiency 24 hours a day. The Essayons also is equipped for direct pumpout.

The Essayons’ crew consists of 46 civil service mariners. The crew is divided into two operating tours each of 23 men and women. Each tour normally alternates an 8-day-on/6-day-off schedule of 10 hours
a day, with both crews working the day shift on crew change days.

The Essayons was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and constructed in 1982 by the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine.

Click here for more about the Essayons

Specifications
Hull
Length (overall): 350’
Beam: 68’
Height (keel-to-mast): 126’
Minimum height clearance: 110’
Mean draft
Light: 22 ‘
Loaded: 32’
Displacement: 7,248 long tons
Deadweight tonnage: 9,500 long tons
Hopper volume: 6,423 cubic yards
Dredging depth
Normal dredging depth: from 35’to 80’
Extended dragarms: from 80’ to 94’
Minimum disposal depth: 4’ keel clearance
(Calm conditions - mininimum 36’ depth of water required at zero tide)
Main propulsion engines
Two – Tier II C-280-12 Diesels 4,640 hp each (900 RPM)
Manufacturer: Caterpillar
Reduction gears 5.792-to-1; Haley
Ship service generator engines
Three: Tier II C-3512 engines with 1,207 horsepower (1,030 kilowatts) each
Manufacturer: Caterpillar / KATO
Dredge pumps
Two: Tier II C-280 diesels, with 4,640 horsepower each
Generators: two mounted on dragarm 600 V KATO....1,650 horsepower each
Two: inboard-mounted: 3,000 horsepower each
Intake: 28”
Discharge: 26”
Vessel speed
Light: 13.8 knots
Loaded: 13.5 knots

Yaquina

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge Yaquina was delivered to the Portland District in 1981. The Yaquina, operated by a merchant marine crew, helps to maintain the entrance bars, rivers and harbors on the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. Its size makes the Yaquina particularly well-suited for dredging small, shallow coastal entrances.

The Yaquina’s crew consists of 40 civil-service mariners. The crew is divided into two operating tours, each of 20 men and women normally alternating on an 8-day-on/6-day-off schedule, working 10-hour days. Sophisticated instrumentation allows constant production monitoring and enables the dredge crew to maintain peak dredging efficiency 24 hours a day. The dredge normally works continuously, tying up eight hours or less per week for fuel, water, supplies and maintenance.

The Yaquina was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and constructed by the Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation of Norfolk, Virginia, in 1981.

Click here for more about the Yaquina

Specifications
Hull
Length (overall): 200’
Beam: 58’
Height (keel-to-mast): 100’
Minimum height clearance: 90’
Draft
Light: 8’
Loaded: 16’
Displacement: 2,001 long tons
Dredging depth
Normal: 45’
Extended dragarms: 55’
Minimum disposal depth: 5’ keel clearance
(Calm conditions - minimum 18’ depth of water required at zero tide)
Main propulsion engines
2 Tier II MTU 8V4000 M60: 1,140 horsepower each
Ship service generator engines
Two Tier II MTU 12V2000 P82: 805 horsepower each
Dredge pumps
Pumps, two Caterpillar D-379 (565 horsepower): centrifugal
Intake: 18”
Discharge: 16”
Pump engines: 565 h.p.
Pumps will be replaced in 2012 with two Tier II MTU 12v 2000 P12
Speed
Light: 10.5 knots
Loaded: 10 knots

Four survey vessels, the West Mark, Redlinger , K.H. Patterson and Elton, provide valuable hydrographic data to continue maintaining the more than 400 miles of navigation channels vital to the Pacific Northwest. Corps survey vessels travel from Cape Disappointment on the southern Washington coast, south to the Chetco River on the Oregon coast, and from the Pacific Ocean east along to the Columbia River to McNary Dam. The boats and their crews, using sophisticated electronic equipment, survey the river and harbor bottoms to determine where dredging is required. Survey boats are also used for special purpose surveys, contract dredging support and provide channel condition surveys for pilot operations.

  • Elton
  • K.H. Patterson
  • Redlinger
  • West Mark

Elton

The Elton is based in Astoria, Ore., and surveys the mouth of the Columbia River. She is part of a new generation of survey boats with a hydrofoil-assisted catamaran design assuring a stable platform to monitor channel and harbor conditions and that provides high-quality, precise surveys of areas in need of dredging.  The vessel is designed for exceptional maneuverability. Her hulls are coated with a paint that makes it impossible for sea-life to adhere. The Elton's diesel engines produce fewer harmful emissions, and her fuel tanks stand alone inside the hulls, providing an additional layer of protection in the event of a fuel spill.

A legacy of excellence

The survey vessel Elton is named for Arthur Elton, an individual who played a significant role in the direction and accomplishment of the Portland District’s navigation mission.

Arthur Elton came to work for the Portland District’s Plant Maintenance Section in November 1993 as an engineer in the marine engineering sub-section. He was instrumental in improving the ship repair processes for the Corps’ survey boats as well as the dredges Essayons and Yaquina. The design and construction of both the West Mark and the Patterson were accomplished during his tenure.

Art was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2001 and passed away on Sept. 27, 2003.

Click here for more about the Elton

Body: Foil-assisted catamaran, 5083-H116 aluminum hull, w/ stainless steel hydrofoils
Length: 59’ 5”
Breadth: 23” 6’
Hull depth: 9’ 2”
Light draft: 3’ 3”
Max speed: 36 knots
Fuel capacity: 1,328 gallons
Engines: MTU Series 60, 825 horsepower @ 2300 RPM
Propulsion system: Hamilton 403 Jets
Engine controls: Hamilton Blue Arrow
Multi-beam transducer: Kongsberg EM3002 on deployable strut
Single-beam transducer: Odom SMBB200-3 on deployable strut arm
Generators: Northern Lights – 12 kW, 120/240V
Anchor winch: Kinematic Marine, 16x24 W8 with S/S drum
Accommodations: Galley, head, two survey stations

K.H. Patterson

The K.H. Patterson was designed by the Corps of Engineers, built by Almar in Tacoma, Wash., and christened in 2001. She is based in Coos Bay, Ore., and provides hydrosurvey data for areas along the Oregon and northern California coasts.

A legacy of excellence
The K.H. Patterson was named for Ken Patterson, whose inspiration and leadership strengthened the District’s navigation mission.

Ken was an active duty and reserve U.S. Naval officer who captained a deepwater sailboat off the Oregon and Washington coasts in his off-duty time. He believed navigation was as important to the Northwest as hydropower generation. Ken led the Portland District navigation and hydrographic survey missions for several years, eventually becoming the Chief of Operations. The vessel that bears his name is a memorial to his contributions to the Corps of Engineers and the navigation community.

Click here for more about the K.H. Patterson

Specifications
Length: 27' 0"
Beam: 8' 6"
Draft: 4'
Max speed: 30 knots
Fuel capacity: 130 gallons
Engines: twin Honda outboards, 130 horsepower

Redlinger

The Redlinger is based in Portland, Ore., and provides hydrosurvey data for areas along the Columbia and lower Willamette rivers. She is part of a new generation of survey boats, with a hydrofoil-assisted catamaran design that provides a stable platform to monitor channel and harbor conditions and provide high quality, precise surveys of areas in need of dredging.  The vessel is designed for exceptional maneuverability. Her hulls are coated with a paint that makes it impossible for sea-life to adhere. The Redlinger’s diesel engines fewer harmful emissions, and her fuel tanks stand alone inside the hulls, providing an additional layer of protection in the event of a fuel spill.

A legacy of excellence
Survey vessel Redlinger is named for Jake Redlinger, a Corps leader who was well respected for his expertise and ability to get things done.

Jake Redlinger was an active proponent of dredging and dredging issues. He began working for Portland District in 1966 after earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Kansas State University. In 1989, Jake went to Alaska with the dredge Essayons to take part in clean-up efforts following a devastating oil spill in Prince William Sound. He was a member of the Society of American Military Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Professional Engineers of Oregon.

Jake was the navigation manager at the Northwestern Division before he passed away on Dec. 1, 1997.

Click here for more about the Redlinger

Specifications
Body: Foil-assisted catamaran, 5083-H116 aluminum hull, w/ stainless steel hydro foils
Length: 59’ 5”
Breadth: 23” 6’
Hull depth: 9’ 2”
Light draft: 3’ 3”
Max speed: 36 knots
Fuel capacity: 1,328 gallons
Engines: MTU Series 60, 825 horsepower @ 2300 RPM
Propulsion system: Hamilton 403 Jets
Engine controls: Hamilton Blue Arrow
Multi-beam transducer: Kongsberg EM3002 on deployable strut
Single-beam transducer: Odom SMBB200-3 on deployable strut arm
Generators: Northern Lights – 12 kW, 120/240V
Anchor winch: Kinematic Marine, 16x24 W8 with S/S drum
Accommodations: Galley, head, two survey stations

Green specs:
Intersleek 900 Foul Release bottom paint
UCON Trident AW hydraulic fluid

West Mark

The West Mark was designed by the Corps of Engineers and built by Almar in Tacoma, Wash. She was christened in 1995 and her name is a reflection of her mission and area of operations. The West Mark is based in Portland, Ore.; she and her crew survey the Western most waters of the continental United States, providing hydrosurvey data for areas along the Columbia and lower Willamette rivers.

Click here for more about the West Mark

Specifications
Length: 26' 0''
Beam: 8' 6''
Draft: 4'
Max speed: 30 knots
Fuel capacity: 90 gallons
Engine: Volvo diesel


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