Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark is once again building multiple high-speed aluminum catamarans for passenger vessel operator Hornblower. Metal Shark operates facilities in Franklin and Jeanerette.
In early August, Metal Shark received orders from Hornblower for four 97’ x 28’, 350-passenger USCG Subchapter K vessels. An additional 85’, 150-passenger USCG Subchapter T vessel has also been ordered. All of the new vessels are currently in production at Metal Shark’s Franklin, Louisiana waterfront shipyard, with accelerated delivery timelines calling for all five vessels to complete and deliver in 2018. It has been announced that three of the new vessels will be upgrades to the NYC Ferry fleet, which is operated by Hornblower.
The new USCG Subchapter K vessels are designed by Incat Crowther and powered by twin twelve-cylinder, 1,400-horsepower Baudouin 12M26.3 diesel engines, coupled to ZF Marine ZF3050 gearboxes and turning custom five-blade Michigan Wheel propellers. These larger “Rockaway Class” vessels boast an operating speed of 24 knots.
These new orders represent a continuation of Metal Shark’s relationship with Hornblower and NYC Ferry. In July of 2016, Metal Shark was selected to build six 85’, 150-passenger, Incat Crowther-designed aluminum catamaran ferries for the NYC Ferry System. Between April and June of this year, Metal Shark delivered all six vessels on time, with an average per-unit build time of ten months.
“As proud as we are of our previous record of on-time deliveries to Hornblower, it’s even more of an honor that the client returned to us to produce these significantly larger vessels under even more challenging timelines,” said Chris Allard, CEO of Metal Shark. “Over the past few months we have been working closely with Hornblower to meet the demands of these accelerated-delivery orders. Our client’s confidence in us speaks volumes, and our team is one hundred percent up to the task. Metal Shark looks forward to delivering these new, state-of-the-art passenger vessels to Hornblower, NYC Ferry, and to the people of New York.”
Established in 1986, Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC, and its government/commercial boat entity Metal Shark Boats are leading suppliers of custom boats for defense, law enforcement, and commercial entities. Key customers include the United States Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, foreign militaries, law enforcement agencies, passenger vessel operators, pilot associations, fire departments, and other operators worldwide. Under the direction of its owner/operator Allard and Gravois families, Metal Shark has produced over 500 vessels in the past three years at its two fully self-contained South Louisiana production facilities. Metal Shark produces a wide range of custom monohull and catamaran vessels up to 250’. www.metalsharkboats.com.