Four new high-speed patrol boats manufactured by Louisiana, USA-based shipbuilder Metal Shark for the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) have been commissioned on the island of Curaçao. The vessels are the first to be delivered to the DCCG under a 12-boat order announced last year.
The 38 Defiant patrol boats are the result of a multi-year effort by the DCCG to procure a replacement for its fleet of open-cockpit RIBs. The new vessels will serve as the DCCG’s main interceptors, patrolling the territorial waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba.
Powered by twin Cummins Marine QSB6.7 diesel engines coupled with Konrad 680B counter-rotating dual-prop stern drives, the 38 Defiant reaches top speeds in excess of 45 knots.
“Metal Shark collaborated extensively with the Dutch Ministry of Defense as well as the end users in Aruba, Curaçao, and St. Maarten to optimize our design to accommodate a very challenging mission set,” explained Henry Irizarry, Metal Shark’s Vice President of International Business Development. “From adapting a stern drive propulsion system for crew familiarity and fleet commonality, to altering the vessels’ physical dimensions to clear low bridges while preserving pilothouse headroom, all with the demands of high speed, open-ocean operation in mind, these boats have been specifically tailored for the DCCG.”
Additional Metal Shark vessels for the islands of Aruba and St. Maarten are currently in production, with deliveries slated for later this year. www.metalsharkboats.com