Passenger Vessels

Metal Shark Announces Passenger Partnership With Incat Crowther

Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark announced in February that it has partnered with design firm Incat Crowther to develop an entirely new line of passenger vessels.

At the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) Maritrends Conference in Savannah, Ga., Metal Shark introduced its new “Endurance PV-X” passenger vessel lineup, with 26-meter (150-passenger) and 32-meter (350-passenger) models now available and additional offerings to follow.

The welded-aluminum, high-speed, low-wake, catamaran Endurance PV-X models are touted by Metal Shark as “next-generation passenger vessels” and feature proven Incat Crowther hull designs.

Metal Shark said the new models have been “optimized for comfort, safety, and operational efficiency, offering a range of configurations and optional features designed to suit individual operator requirements.”

The Endurance PV-X vessels feature lines derived from Metal Shark’s latest military patrol boat designs. Large windows create a sense of openness while enhancing the view from within. Amenities such as LED screens, charging stations for electronic devices, onboard Wi-Fi, and bicycle racks are all available. Metal Shark’s signature pillarless glass pilothouse offers high visibility from the elevated helm station.

Initially shown in a conventional forward-facing passenger ferry layout, alternate arrangements have been designed for whale watch or dinner boat operators, with convertible seating available in select arrangements for maximum versatility.

Metal Shark is stressing its quick turnaround time to potential customers.  “The development of the Endurance PV-X line is the latest step in our ongoing quest to support clients with high-quality vessels delivered in the shortest timeframe possible,” said Metal Shark’s CEO Chris Allard. “We offer a smart alternative for operators who do not want to wait for two years or more for a new passenger vessel. With these standardized production-ready platforms, combined with our proven serialized production methodologies, we can deliver the 150-passenger vessel in eight months and the 350-passenger vessel in 10 months from contract signing.”

Metal Shark is currently slated to deliver nine passenger vessels this year, with “numerous” 150 and 350-passenger vessels currently under construction at its Franklin, La., shipyard for markets including New York; Washington, D.C.; and New Orleans.

However, company executives stress that production slot availability is not a problem. “Thanks to the large number of contracts we’ve announced over the past year, a few clients have gotten the mistaken impression that we’re too busy to take on additional work,” said Carl Wegener, Metal Shark’s vice president-commercial sales. “We’re definitely busy at both of our facilities but thanks to efficient engineering and production management our operations are optimized for volume. We don’t need to ramp up to take on additional projects; we just keep feeding the machine.”

Established in 1986, Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC and its government/commercial boat entity Metal Shark are leading suppliers of custom boats for defense, law enforcement, and commercial entities. Key customers include the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, foreign militaries, law enforcement agencies, passenger vessel operators, pilot associations, fire departments and other operators worldwide.

From its two fully self-contained facilities in South Louisiana, Metal Shark produces a wide range of custom monohull and catamaran vessels up to 250 feet long.