Metal Shark to build more cats for NYC Ferry

NYC Ferries under construction at Metal Shark's Franklin shipyard NYC Ferries under construction at Metal Shark's Franklin shipyard

SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 — Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark is to again build multiple high-speed aluminum catamaran passenger vessels for NYC Ferry.

Metal Shark reports that, in early August, it received orders from Hornblower, which operates the service for New York City, for four 97' x 28', 350-passenger USCG Subchapter K vessels. These are a new and larger platform than the fleet of 150-passenger vessels NYC Ferry currently operates. 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.

NYC Ferry's 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 have 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 NYC Ferry and to the people of New York."

As we reported earlier, the story at the other shipyard involved in building the initial NY Ferry fleet, Horizon Shipbuilding, of Bayou La Batre, AL, is less happy. It said last week that it was "reorganizing its current projects" as that project revenues from its major NYC Ferry newbuilding project were insufficient for it to continue normal day to day operations (see story).