The Port of Dover is currently undergoing development as part of its Dover Western Docks Revival project and Jenkins Marine have been tasked with dredging roughly 20,000m3 of silts from the Wellington Dock Marina, down to harder chalk bed material at roughly +1.8m Chart Datum
The marina has not been dredged in several years, and this dredging will restore previous depths for marina users. The port has recently built a new marina outside wellington dock, which has been used to move all existing marina users from Wellington Dock Marina into, to clear it for dredging operations.
The Wellington Dock in its originl form was constructed in 1844 and officially opened by the great Duke. It is essentially a man-made reservoir with lock gates maintaining water levels within the marina at around 5m above Chart Datum. The lock has a width of just 10m, and a length of approximately 28m, meaning that the choice of dredging vessel to complete the works was very limited. Jenkins Marine’s hopper dredger C H Horn was the ideal choice, as her 8.6m beam and 26m length just squeeze into the lock (very snug!), making careful navigation a challenge. Our skippers have excelled at this and continue to practice several times a day(!) making full use of CH Horn’s 360 degree azimuth propulsion unit, self-elevating spud legs and shallow draft.
Tidal currents are also famously strong around Dover and skilled navigation is required working around the tidal flows. Dover is a very busy International Port, with Ferries to Calais coming and going every few minutes! Thankfully Ferry traffic generally uses the Eastern breakwater entrance, leaving the southern breakwater entrance largely clear for the smaller vessels, including our dredger heading out to the sea disposal site, just 2km outside the breakwater.
The new marina opens into the main harbour via another narrow entrance on an angle, requiring more skilled navigation. This has recently been made even more challenging by Piling works just outside the entrance causing further restrictions! Permission to traverse the port and harbour is carefully controlled by the Port Authority to manage safety of navigation.
Wellington Dock’s Dover Marina is one of the best-known marinas on the South Coast. It is incredibly convenient for cross-Channel sailing and there is no marina closer to France with just 20 miles separating the cliffs of England and France.
Works commenced in early July 2022 and are expected to be completed in the next few months.
Hopper Dredger CH Horn in action at Dover’s Wellington Docks.
If you have a requirement for marine operations in shallow or near shore projects, please feel free to get in touch to see where we can help. Alternatively, you can find out more about our dredging operations here: Dredging Services