Metal Shark Reaches Milestone with Latest Passenger Vessel Delivery

Louisiana, USA-based shipbuilder, Metal Shark, is eating up the waves. In November, the diversified boat construction company known for its welded aluminum and steel vessels from 16’ to over 300’ for defense, law enforcement and commercial operators, delivered its 30th passenger vessel since June of 2017. The company’s newest ferry, a 97-foot, 350-passenger, USCG Subchapter “K,” welded-aluminum, high-speed, low-wake catamaran, was handed off to its operator and quickly entered service. The new vessel is the latest from Metal Shark’s Franklin, Louisiana shipyard, where five new 150-passenger catamaran ferries are currently in various stages of construction.

“Without fanfare, our company’s passenger vessels have been entering revenue service with America’s leading operators at the rate of approximately one per month,” says Carl Wegener, vice president of commercial sales. “With 24 catamarans between 85’ and 105’ and six monohull vessels larger than 45’ delivered in the past three years, we have become America’s leading passenger vessel builder.”

To achieve this extraordinarily high volume production of passenger vessels, Metal Shark adapted and incorporated its now-proven serialized production methods initially developed to build patrol boat fleets for the U.S. military.

“Today, our passenger vessel customers enjoy the benefits of our military-honed quality, formidable engineering strength, large and highly skilled work force, and unmatched economies of scale. We leverage these resources to assure the repeatable on-time delivery of high quality passenger vessels to our customers,” says Chris Allard, chief executive officer. 

Metal Shark’s vessel are no stranger to the Caribbean. In January 2019, the shipbuilder delivered four new high speed patrol boats to the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard on the island of Aruba. The year prior, Metal Shark supplied a 35’ pilothouse patrol vessel to the Puerto Rico Police Department. www.metalshark boats.com

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