Dredging is the activity of excavating soil or other sediments from the bottom of a water body such as a lake or sea. The purpose of dredging varies: e.g. maintaining the depth of waterways or obtaining material for beach nourishment. Most ‘dredgers’ are composed of a floating structure (ship or pontoon) on which the dredging equipment that is used to excavate at the seabed is installed.
Dredging at open sea, offshore dredging, becomes a more common operating condition. This means that dredgers will have to be designed with surface wave induced motions and forces in mind. Therefore simulating the motions of dredgers due to surface waves coupled with the motion of the dredging equipment is an important design analysis step. This requires a tool that can simulate a coupled sea keeping and multibody dynamic problem. In this work the theory, development and validation of such a simulation tool are discussed.