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četvrtak, 7. rujna 2017.

Croatian Shipyard Uljanik Launches World’s Most Powerful Dredger

Here's a quick post just for the hell of it, and it will probably be mainly of interest to those types who are really into ships technology, capabilities, knots, tonnage and specs etc. (there's more exciting things going on in Croatia right now but if I mentioned them it would probably depress the reader, and then next time at the store line up you'll blame me for even mentioning it). Now sure a dredging ship is perhaps not as glamorous or interesting as my previous luxury super yachts, Croatian Navy and Coast Guard patrol boats posts, but still (those links are below). It's just good to know that Croatia is doing it's part for progress, civilization and in this case, for cleaner and better seas and waterways, boats and ships are still very useful as long as there's still oceans so that gets a 2 thumbs up from me the way I see it. Because after all, we're not exporting any sort of weird or crappy foods, fashions or clothing, fundamentals, terrorism or strange theologies, books, cults, dances etc, not even any cartels contributing to crime rates and that's all a good thing I say (you simply can't blame us for exporting that kind of stuff because we're too busy making ships, so it's also a good thing for this overpopulated spinning dirtball in space we call the world's largest round 3D hi-def holographic television, aka the planet with the various mammals and creepy-crawlies). And besides, once in a while I like to show that we manufacture and export things other than soccer players, a country can't just be all about exporting soccer players all the time I say. (the Scenic Eclipse passenger luxury mega-yacht is another prestigious and cool kick-ass boat project currently going on at the same shipyard).

Another thing I like about this story that just occurred to me, is that the mentioned Croatian shipbuilding companies have already for a while been building ships and vessels for the Croatian Navy, Coast Guard and Police, mainly various class missile boats, landing/assault ships, minelayers and various patrol ships. But if they really had to they have the means and technological capability to easily build the much larger ships, battleships, destroyers and heck even aircraft carriers. However, I think the chances are pretty well zilch that Slovenia, Montenegro, Italy across the Adriatic or even Greece down the way will attempt a naval attack or amphibious assault on the Croatian coast and vice versa, so it's just mainly national territorial maritime border security ships and as part of Nato, EU maritime forces (besides the inland variable yield nuclear tipped missiles will take care of that anyway).

Basically I think there's a lot worse and pointless absurd things to be exporting around the world these days, so this world's most powerful cutter dredger ship gets my official stamp of approval for that reason. Most of the text below I just added from a previous post for some supplementary probably less well known information about shipbuilding history in Croatia...


I touched upon Croatia's long naval and shipbuilding history in a few posts before in case the reader didn't know (those links are below), Croatia's current shipbuilding sector slowed down a little after the world economic crisis a few years ago, but recently it has been steadily growing and getting back to previous production numbers. (Which all makes sense, being that Croatian shipbuilding history actually goes back through the centuries to the Early Middle Ages and it's not just something recent. The history of the Croatian Navy also goes back to the same times to at least the 8th century, Croatia is actually one of the few white countries in the world that has such a documented and "continuous" shipbuilding history, and interestingly Croatian ships were never at any time used in transporting slaves but were instead mainly military and/or merchant ships, that's another topic I touched upon at croatian-navy-25th-anniversary and added an excerpt of at the bottom).

For instance, Brodogradilište Split, aka Brodosplit shipyards, ( is based in the city of Split, (obviously) a merger of shipyards in the area that date back to 1831 and later 19th century, has already for years been building super-large container ships, ferries, passenger ships, oil tankers, (example) as well as the Croatian Navy warships/police boats mentioned earlier and other marine transport vehicles, but this shows that Croatian shipyards can still make top notch quality fast response Croatian Navy/military ships today. There is also the city of Pula based Tehnomont Brodogradilište which also makes large ships and boats for export, especially lately for the Croatian Coast Guard and the Police Patrol Boats mentioned. (Interestingly Brodosplit even won a contract last year to complete the ‘Save Venice From Flooding’ Project, a system including 63 huge steel gates and one of the biggest construction projects in Italian history, they're practically saving Venice basically, how's that for interesting? (you know, Venice like that gondola guy on those Ragu spaghetti sauce labels, that's in Venice and not just some guy on a boat probably many people don't realize). The gates will also thwart any future shore landing attempts by Ra's al Ghul and his minions if necessary, intelligence reports last year reported his dastardly plan is to transfer the entire populations of Egypt, Libya, Algeria and the whole Middle East into Italy and Greece by 2030 before then taking over North America, China and Japan, he's just plain diabolically evil that guy, so those steel gates will probably have spikes on them).

3Maj Shipyard (Treći Maj Brodogradilište) in the city of Rijeka is another one that has a long history of building all kinds of large ships, oil tankers, container ships, ferries, passenger ships and not just oyster, lobster/crab and shrimp catching boats or just those touristy river rafts like some people think (example). The first docks were erected in 1892 at first as an affiliate to the German Howaldtswerke from Kiel. 3Maj was recently incorporated into Uljanik which are based in the town of Pula. This saved a lot of jobs and costs and combined their shipbuilding know how technologies, streamlining operations to make a more efficient and productive shipbuilding company. Case in point, Uljanik Group Shipyard was chosen to make the Katina luxury yacht and the Scenic Eclipse super-luxury passenger yacht not that long ago.

A few other ones I should mention since on the topic are the Dalmont Brodogradilište Kraljevica (aka Kraljevica Shipyards) in Kraljevica near the city of Rijeka, which has a history of shipbuilding since being founded in 1729, these days including building commercial ships, military vessels, and superyachts. The Viktor Lenac Shipyard (Croatian: Brodogradilište Viktor Lenac) was founded in 1896 near the city of Rijeka, it at first specialized mainly in ship repairs and lengthenings, today it has three floating drydocks, a large offshore construction site and it specializes in ship conversions and gas platform construction. Over the years it has even signed a number of contracts to repair and overhaul various US Navy ships (including the US Navy's 6th Fleet flagship USS Mount Whitney). And the Brodotrogir Shipyards in the town of Trogir near Split is another one building large container ships, ferries, passenger ships and oil tankers etc, with even documented historical mentions of shipbuilding in the town going back to the Middle Ages, so nothing new there.

I also found out that not long ago this same Uljanik Group shipyard signed a contract to build three 740 foot Seaway Max self-unloading bulk freighters for the Algoma Central Corporation shipping company in St. Catherines Ontario, more on that at and Good news for Croatian shipbuilding again as well as their customers world-wide, Croatian shipbuilding saving jobs and lives and even saving Venice while making the world a progressive and better less absurd place, and top notch beers and pastries too.

Related previous posts: first-of-5-new-croatian-coast-guard








Croatian Shipyard Launches World’s Most Powerful Dredger

Croatian shipbuilder Uljanik has launched the world’s most powerful cutter dredger (Photo: Uljanik)


Croatian shipbuilder Uljanik has launched the world’s most powerful cutter dredger over the weekend at its shipyard in Pula.

Uljanik built the 151.3 m long vessel named Willem Van Rubroeck for Luxemburg-based Jan De Nul Group.

The self-propelled cutter suction dredger, named after the great Flemish missionary and naval explorers of Medieval times, is 36 metres wide and is able to dredge material up to 45 metres deep.

Footage from the official ship launching.

Willem Van Rubroeck is 10 metres high and can develop a speed of 12 knots. It has installed power of 40.975 kW, three dredging pumps with a total power of 25.500 kW, two of which located in the pump room and one in the cutter ladder, and 2 retractable thrusters with a total power of 6000 kW.

The launch of the world’s most powerful dredger in Pula (Photo: Uljanik)

“This vessel, the world’s most powerful dredger, will have a cutter power of 8,500kW and it will be able to dredge compact sand, clay and rocks up to 45m deep, while the operation will be controlled from a central station and is almost completely automated. Also, it will be able to receive 67 crew members in a comfortable and high standard accommodation,” Uljanik said.

Uljanik said on Monday that they have also signed a deal with Norwegian company Nexans Subsea Operations to build a cable laying ship. That ship will be 149.9 metres long and 31 metres wide.

.....Like I said, interestingly for those not in the know, and since already on the topic of ships, sailors and the Adriatic sea, I should briefly highlight again with an excerpt about the early Croatian Navy, shipbuilding and coastal maritime activities and history that extends from well before the 21st century, stuff many probably didn't know...

Movie screenshots from "Croatian Kings" (Hrvatski Kraljevi), a Croatian Television (HRT) produced 7-part documentary series viewed by millions and broadcast to over 30 countries by the Swedish "History Channel" on the Viasat World satellite television network. More information at and viasat-history-channel-to-broadcast-documentary.

...Croatia's early political and so maritime history also, has particularly been influenced by its geographical location along the Adriatic sea, a strategically and economically important placement between the Franks, Venice and Carolingian empire to the west and the Byzantine and Bulgarian empires to the east during the Middle Ages, and so the center of mutual struggles for control of the eastern shores of the Adriatic sea. From the time of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV around 1066 the Croatian Navy was still an integral part of the overall Croatian military forces and might, during King Petar Krešimir's reign there was a duke Rusin mentioned who assisted with the coordination and activities of the Croatian Navy, some other local dukes and admirals before and after from 835 to 1089 were Družac, Božidar, Berigoj, Jakov, and the fact that the very title of Duke could be borne only by governmental dignitaries and bestowed by the King is proof of the navy importance. In 1069, when he donated the island of Maun to the city of Zadar, in the surviving royal charter document King Krešimir did not fail to point out that ancient Dalmatia was rightfully part of the Croatian Kingdom and that it was "...our own island that lies on our Dalmatian sea...". (Latin: nostram propriam insulam in nostro Dalmatico mari sitam) ie: the eastern Adriatic of the Croatian Kingdom, even the Byzantine empire recognized him, along with his maritime naval fleet, as the supreme ruler of the coastal areas and eastern Adriatic Sea. However well before this and already from the year 642 the early Croats are recorded by the Longobard historian Paul the Deacon as having many ships at the city of Siponto across the Adriatic Sea. The same sources speak about Croats as successful ship builders. At the time of Duke Vladislav (821- 835) sources mention a strong navy. Thanks to the Croatian maritime power of Duke Mislav (835-845), he signed a treaty with Pietro Tradonico, Doge of the Venetian Republic in 839, which led to the further growth of Croatian sea power and control of the eastern Adriatic. During the rule of Duke Trpimir (845-864) Croats broke through to Furlania and in front of Venice itself. In 871 as an ally of the Frankish Carolingian Emperor and King of Italy Louis II, the Croatian Navy under Duke Domagoj distinguished itself in the liberation of Bari, Taranto and southern Italy from the Arab Saracens occupation. Interestingly, during the reign of Duke Branimir (879-892) the Venetians were defeated and were even obligated to pay tribute to the Croatians for the freedom of sailing on the eastern Adriatic, the taxes ensured a safe passage preventing attacks or conflict from the Croatian ships, (so besides being independent of not only the Frankish Empire but also the Byzantine Empire and Venice as well, then it also shows that a well organized under command royal maritime naval force existed). In the work of the domestic and foreign policy manual De Administrando Imperio by eastern Roman Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus VII from circa. the year 950, he wrote that after King Tomislav secured peace with the Bulgarian Empire who bordered the Croatian Kingdom to the east, and the Frankish Empire to our west, we had a military of 60,000 cavalry, 100,000 foot soldiers as well as 80 galleys (larger ships with 40 sailors) and 100 cutters (konduras - smaller ships with 10 to 20 sailors), not even counting the oarsmen this would then amount to over 5000 sailors...

Movie screenshot.

...Later during the times of Croatian Kings Michael Krešimir II (reign 949-969) and Stephen Držislav (reign 969–997) as well as their powerful Bans/Viceroys Pribina and Godemir, Croatian Navy ships were victorious when in conflict with the fleets of Saracens and Muslim Arabs attempting to cross and invade from the Italian peninsula of Gargano in 968-969. A number of Croatian Navy conflicts during these centuries successfully repelled Muslim Saracen and Moorish pirate raids arriving from Italy whose primary aim was to attempt to carry off women and children as sex slaves. Later the era of King Stjepan Držislav (969-996) was also marked with successful maritime trade and safekeeping of maritime routes and domination of Croatia on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. King Stephen I Krešimirović (988-1058) is known in sources for solidifying the Croatian Kingdom domains of the formerly named Pannonia and Dalmatia, but also for strengthening the military and especially ensuring the coastal defence and rule with the aid of his Croatian Navy fleet, with trade and commerce flourishing afterwards. Later in 1084, when the Normans under Robert Guiscard Duke of Apulia and Calabria conquered southern Italy and Sicily, he invaded the Adriatic Sea and western Balkan provinces of the Byzantine empire, and King Dmitar Zvonimir (1074-1089) even helped by sending troops as well as ships from the Croatian fleet to his aid. It is even precisely for these reasons that the medieval Croatian Kings with their royal courts, Viceroys/Bans and many of their nobility kept their seats and official royal residences near the strategic coastal areas, to much easier personally oversee and direct their maritime fleets. (Nin, Šibenik, Zadar, Biograd, Split, Klis, Knin, Trogir, Solin, Kaštela etc). Even later during the westward Muslim jihads along with their newly acquired Serb allies collaborators when spreading their occuption and havoc into various parts of Europe in the 14th century onwards, Croatian shipbuilding still continued even if interrupted at times while defending coastal towns and cities. In 1885, when the Croatian crown lands were a part of the Habsburg crown, 45% of sailors and NCOs and 10-15% of naval officers were ethnically Croatian. Between 1857 and 1918 an Austro-Hungarian naval officer academy was located in Rijeka with a NCO training school in Šibenik. Without getting into the maritime tradition and history including Dubrovnik, events after union with Hungary and the Habsburg Empire, the thousands of Croat sailors who took part in the epic historic Battle of Leponto defeating the Ottoman Empire fleet etc, these are just a few examples of the early Croatian Navy presence and maritime naval history from well over a thousand years ago. Basically in a nutshell, like I said at a previous croatian-navy-25th-anniversary post, the Croatian Navy and maritime shipbuilding tradition and history is then actually much, much longer than just 25 years, which is good to know.

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