RIBS: AMBAR's RIBS Have Silver Linings

Thursday, May 15, 2003

With the demand for aluminum boats hitting an all-time high within recent months, Silver Ships/AMBAR Marine has risen to the occasion to meet the stringent requirements of its customers, most of whom are government and/or security agencies on some level. With customers ranging from the U.S. Navy to the Jamaica Coast Guard, the U.S. National Park Service, and various City and State Police, Fire and Rescue departments, Silver Ships - with 18 years experience - is no stranger to the aluminum boat industry.

Most recently, the organization, based in Theodore, La., delivered a trio of 44-ft. (13.4-m) twin engine, water jet propelled Fast Patrol Boats to the Jamaican Coast Guard. Equipped with Caterpillar marine diesels driven by Twin Disc water jets, the boats can move at speeds up to 40 knots. Silver Ships also completed a selection of specialty boats for NAVSEA, and an 11-m Patrol Boat for a security organization. This vessel, which boasts twin 225-hp Mercury four-stroke outboard motors, has a maximum speed of 38 knots, and a full suite of electronics and communications equipment. Some of the other features onboard include: shock mitigating seats, weapons storage, a 5 kW Generator, air conditioning, two bunks and refrigerator. These deliveries are just some of many (more than 1,000 total), welded aluminum boats that Silver Ships has completed since its inception.

With the exception of sand blasting, all work is completed at the company's 25,000 sq. ft. facility; sea trials follow in nearby Mobile Bay. Every single RHIB hull that leaves Silver Ships is non-sinkable and is filled with foam below the walking flat. Each hull also complies with the SOLAS self bailing requirement.

Having built more than 200 RHIB's, the company, which built an average of 43 RHIB's just in the last three years, contends that in addition to its RHIB's, approximately 20 percent of its business focuses on Patrol/Security boats and workboats - ranging in sizes from 23 to 48 ft. (7 to 14.6 m).

Despite a fluctuation in its end market over the last year in direct relation with the overall economy, Silver Ships notes that the commercial end of its business has been far more stable than its recreational sector. With issues, such as the price of oil and security concerns, (as well as the overall economy), driving its product, Silver Ships will continue to build upon its current market status within the commercial sector, as a small, flexible custom aluminum boat builder.

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