Pen Stour dredger? Cargo offloading equipment?

15th January 2012, 14:59
Hi everyone

It feels like I haven't been on the forum for years (which probably is the case).

But here's a new mystery...

My main interest is heavy hydraulic machinery, excavators, bulldozers and the like. Some time ago I picked up an advert for the once great British manufacturer Hymac showing a one-off machine which was used to unload aggregate from the suction dredger Pen Stour around 1972.

I've done a little digging around and the Pen Stour was renamed a few times during its history, the last name was Arco Swale before it was broken up in Belgium in around 1997.

I've seen a few pictures of the dredger under various names but none of which show the hydraulic excavator built by Hymac which is unusual. Does anyone have any pictures of the original Pen Stour? She must have been refitted with conveyor belts instead at some point...

Thank you for your time.

Best regards


15th September 2012, 23:52
you are right the Pen Stour did start with a Hy Mac arm. This was used to lift the gravel from the hold to the conveyor belt.
The whole system was a disaster that is why it was changed.
The dredge pipe was no better, priming the pump was almost impossible. We could not get the equipment to work.
The failure was not the fault of the shipyard, but of the designer of the equipment Paul Penfold.

16th September 2012, 00:35
Thank you for your input. I am aware of the fact that by the time the Hymac 1290 was introduced (the hydraulic machine installed originally on the Pen Stour), the machine was already considerably slower than that of competitive machines being produced at the time.

The only modern equivalents of hydraulic excavators that I've seen being used to discharge cargo in this fashion are far larger than the 33ton Hymac, being mostly 60ton+ designs. Pretty effective for smaller ships really.