Dredge Boat vs. Hand Dredging

For homeowners’ associations as well as golf courses, local governments and farms, there’s a debate on how best to maintain and clean sources of water or waste, such as a lake or containment pond. While dredging is the preferred method, it’s the type of dredge that sparks different opinions.

So which is better: a dredge boat or hand dredging?

What Is a Dredge Barge?

A dredge barge is a sediment removal system. It features a barge with an installed dredge system for removing sediment, trash, dead vegetation and other debris from the bottom of ponds, lakes and other bodies of water. The Dino 6 is an example of a dredge boat.

What Is Hand Dredging?

A hand dredge, or a do-it-yourself (DIY) dredge, is also a sediment removal system. Unlike a dredge barge, however, it only includes the dredge system, which means users must equip a hand dredge to an existing raft, boat or barge.

Pros and Cons of DIY Dredging

With any application, including DIY dredging, there are drawbacks and benefits:

  • Pros: For many organizations and institutions, the cost of hand dredging is a significant benefit. All you have to purchase is the dredging system, which features an engine, pump, hose and It also lets you reuse existing boats and equip them with the system.
  • Cons: While prices are lower than dredge boats, DIY dredges are prone to breaking and require maintenance on a frequent basis. Because of their design, they’re limited in their engine and suction power, too, which can lead to longer dredging times and ineffective performance. If you build a dredge at home, you’re also restricted when it comes to its parts. Most pumps used for DIY dredging projects are designed to pump water and not hard, abrasive materials commonly found when dredging.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dredge Boats

Like hand dredging, dredge boats also have pros and cons:

  • Advantages: Many of DIY dredging’s drawbacks are a dredge barge’s benefits. They feature high-quality materials, like stainless-steel. They’re also capable of delivering more power, which makes sediment removal hassle- and clog-free. Some, like the Dino 6, are portable and lightweight, too, which prevents damage to recovery sites. Most manufacturers stock replacement parts as well, which ensures long-term use of your barge. Another benefit of dredge boats is they’re designed from the ground up using materials designed to withstand the harsh conditions of dredging in varying environments.
  • Disadvantages: A disadvantage many people note about dredge boats is their price. While more expensive than DIY dredges, they’re also more reliable and durable, which is why they’re possibly more cost-effective in the long-term. These dredges are safer than hand dredging, too, which supports the idea that these sediment removal systems are an investment for liability prevention and property maintenance.     

Learn More about Dredge Barges

At GeoForm International, we know dredges. For more than 20 years, our team has manufactured American-made dredge barge boats for organizations all over the world, from mining facilities to homeowners’ associations. Learn more about our dredges by contacting us today!

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