Metal Shark marks ferry construction milestone

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Metal Shark's Franklin, La., shipyard

Jeanerette, La., headquartered shipbuilder Metal Shark has delivered its thirtieth passenger vessel since June of 2017. Its latest ferry delivery, a 97-foot, 350-passenger, USCG Subchapter “K,” welded-aluminum, high-speed, low-wake catamaran, was handed off to its operator last week and will soon enter service.

The vessel is the latest from Metal Shark’s Franklin, La., shipyard, where production of passenger vessels continues at a rapid pace. Five 150-passenger catamaran ferries are currently in various stages of construction at the yard on their own dedicated assembly line.

In the past three years, passenger vessels built by Metal Shark have been delivered to Washington D.C., Florida, New Orleans, and multiple operators in the state of New York.

“Without fanfare, Metal Shark passenger vessels have been entering revenue service with America’s leading operators at the rate of approximately one per month,” said Metal Shark’s Vice President of Commercial Sales, Carl Wegener. “With 24 catamarans between 85′ and 105′ and six monohull vessels larger than 45′ delivered in the past three years, Metal Shark has become America’s leading passenger vessel builder.”


“To achieve this extraordinarily high volume production of passenger vessels, we adapted and incorporated the now-proven serialized production methods that we initially developed to build patrol boat fleets for the US military,” said Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard. “Today, Metal Shark’s 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.”

Metal Shark specializes in the design and construction of welded aluminum and steel vessels from 16′ to over 300′ for defense, law enforcement, and commercial operators. With three fully self-contained shipbuilding facilities in Alabama and Louisiana plus a dedicated engineering facility in Croatia, Metal Shark’s 500+ employees produce over 200 vessels per year with a track record of high quality, on time deliveries.

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