Metal Shark Bags Pilot Boat Build Contracts
Metal Shark said it has its sights locked on the pilot boat market, with two new vessels from its range of custom-configurable pilot boat offering currently under construction.
The Louisiana-based shipbuilder is building a 45-foot Defiant Pilot Boat for the Virgin Islands Port Authority at its Jeanerette, La. production facility. At its shipyard in nearby Franklin, La., Metal Shark is building a 64-foot Defiant Pilot Boat for the Brazos Pilots Association of Freeport, Texas. Both vessels will be delivered in 2018.
The next-generation pilot boats were designed by Metal Shark’s in-house design team and combine proven running surfaces with modern, crew-friendly, pilot-focused features including flush decks, pilot boarding platforms and multiple fendering options, the builder said. In addition to the 45-foot and 64-foot models now in production, a 55-foot Defiant Pilot Boat is also available.
The vessels feature Metal Shark’s signature Pillarless Glass pilothouses, which offer greatly improved visibility by reducing blind spots. The forward-raked, automotive-style frameless glass allows for nearly unimpeded view from the vessels’ elevated helm stations.
Metal Shark said its Defiant-class pilot boats can be completely custom configured, from the type and location of platforms and rails, to various propulsion types and fendering systems.
“We looked at all of our options nationally and visited several boat builders along the Gulf Coast,” said Captain Daniel Blanton, President of the Brazos Pilots Association. “We chose Metal Shark because of their state of the art facilities and their ability to customize and built to our specifications at a competitive cost.”
“Metal Shark has built and delivered over 500 boats in the past three years alone,” said the company’s Vice President of Commercial Sales, Carl Wegener. “We have an enviable track record of on-time, high quality deliveries to our military, government and passenger vessel customers, with proven reliability in the harshest environments to be found. Today we’re bringing Metal Shark’s military-honed quality to pilots, too.”