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HomeBoatMetal Shark Expands into High-Speed, Long-Range, Expedition Catamarans

Metal Shark Expands into High-Speed, Long-Range, Expedition Catamarans

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Best known today for its high-end aluminum vessels for the military and commercial enterprises, Metal Shark is expanding its business with a nod to its roots and launching a new line. Specifically, the Jeanerette, LA-based shipbuilder has introduced a 158-foot aluminum catamaran expedition yacht. The new Metal Shark M48, named ‘Magnet’, is the first build of the company’s ‘Metal Shark Yachts’ portfolio of high-speed, long-range, catamaran, expedition yachts. The new lineup will also include the M30 (100-foot) and M70 (231-foot).

Metal Shark’s origins are in the recreational boat business and we’ve always built high-end aluminum vessels for civilians,” says Chris Allard, Metal Shark’s chief executive officer. “As we’ve grown the company by entering new markets and adding new facilities, the average size of the vessels we produce has continued to increase. Catamarans are quickly gaining favor in recreational markets due to their efficiency, aluminum construction has become far more popular, and, serendipitously, we happen to build a lot of large aluminum catamarans, with over 30 of them delivered in the past few years. The increasing popularity of explorer or expedition-style yachts has steered us closer to the yachting world because suddenly capability and durability matter more than on traditional yachts, where the primary focus is on interior design, décor, and luxury. We have closely watched the emergence of the ‘shadow yacht,’ which is essentially a commercial-grade yacht, a concept that aligns very nicely with large vessels we routinely produce today.” 

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Magnet is a three-decked welded-aluminum craft that features design work completed by the company’s in-house engineering team, utilizing an Incat Crowther catamaran hull form optimized for maximum speed and range. The vessel weighs in with a lightship displacement of 275 metric tons and can carry up to 29,000 US gallons (110,000 liters) of fuel. Powered by twin 2,600-BHP (1,939 kW) MTU IMO Tier III diesel engines, Magnet boasts a globe-spanning 11,000 nautical mile range at a 10-knot cruise, with reserve. In sea trials, the new craft has reached a top speed of 27 knots.

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Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.


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