Rose City Yacht Club, a long-standing private marina and social club along the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon, recently took delivery and startup of a new 8-inch Badger Class dredge from Reserve, Louisiana-based DSC Dredge, LLC. The Badger dredge was a much-needed replacement for an older dredge the club had purchased used and had operated for more than 20 years. After extensive research into its options, the yacht club’s members decided in early 2015 to order the Badger Class dredge, which is manufactured at DSC’s Greenbush, Michigan, facility. The Badger is an 8-inch cutter suction conventional-style dredge. The Badger dredge’s compact size and maneuverability are ideally suited to marina operations, and its 8-inch Metso pump produces more than enough volume of material and static head to accommodate the dredging parameters required by the marina.
With a working width of just under 10 feet and an overall length of 54 feet, including the ladder, the Badger dredge can be maneuvered into harder-to-reach waterways not accessible by larger crafts, yet it can still dig to a depth of 20 feet at a 60-degree down angle on the ladder. The lateral cut achieved by the Badger dredge at maximum depth is approximately 50 feet. At Rose City Yacht Club, the Badger dredge removes and pumps material from the marina’s slips and fairways to a holding pond, where the water is decanted off. The remaining spoils are mixed and used for landscaping fill.
As with most marinas, siltation and sanding at Rose City Yacht Club becomes a never-ending point of concern. Members’ boats must have bottom clearance for navigation into and out of the marina. For Rose City Yacht Club, which traces its heritage back to 1932, the nature of the spring runoffs on the Columbia River causes the majority of its siltation challenges. The Columbia is the largest river on the West Coast of North America. Because it cuts through the Cascade Mountains, it brings a large quantity of sand and silt with it as it nears the Pacific Ocean. Dredging the siltation is the answer.
Many marinas choose to contract their dredging requirements on an as-needed basis, but this option can be costly. Since 1988, when the marina purchased its original used dredge, Rose City Yacht Club’s members have conducted their own dredging on a volunteer basis. This tradition of self-conducted maintenance dredging is unusual in the world for non-commercial marinas. Although not unheard of, most private yacht basins do not own their own dredge—and in particular, they do not usually purchase a brand new dredge. But with its original dredge showing signs of age, including the need in recent years for major repairs, Rose City Yacht Club members considered their options and determined the annualized cost of a new dredge was actually 90 percent less than that of hiring out just one year of dredging services—and it was a better long-term alternative than refurbishing a used dredge or rebuilding or repairing the existing dredge.
Rose City Yacht Club operates its dredging activities every year, from November through February, and DSC delivered the club’s Badger dredge in early November 2015, just in time to provide a week of hands-on training at the start of the dredging season. The dredge was named the “J. Randall” in honor of club member Jerry Randall, who convinced members more than 20 years ago that dredging was necessary for the site, and that member-conducted dredging was the best option. The club’s dredging team comprises approximately 20 members, many of whom have more than 20 years of dredging experience. They take pride in their performance, and they fully understand the nuances of working within their site. The addition of the new DSC Badger dredge allowed this marina’s dredging team to dig in and complete the 2015-2016 dredging operation without a hitch. Rose City Yacht Club will be able to continue its tradition of self-conducted maintenance dredging for many years to come.
Photo Credits: Ethan VanMatre of Rose City Yacht Club