A Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD) is equipped with a rotating cutter head, for cutting and fragmenting hard soils. The soil is sucked up by means of dredge pumps, and discharged through a floating pipeline and pipes on shore, to a deposit area. In some cases, the material is discharged into split hopper barges that are moored alongside the Cutter Suction Dredger. These split hopper barges unload the soil at the deposit area.
A CSD is a stationary dredger, i.e. it does not ‘sail’ when dredging. During dredging the vessel remains on the same location, secured by a spud lowered in the seabed ; by means of winches and anchors, the dredger swings sideways and the cutter head cuts and removes the soil.
Larger CSD are self-propelled. This enables the vessel to sail by its own means to a new job location.