Louisiana shipbuilder Metal Shark has delivered a new excursion vessel to Southwest Florida tour and charter boat operator Pure Florida.
Sea Flight is a custom built 40’x14′ welded aluminum foil-assisted catamaran designed and built to USCG Subchapter “T” standards and configured to carry up to 33 passengers.
Fort Myers, Fla.-based Pure Florida operates a fleet of 20 vessels at its locations in Naples and Fort Myers, offering a wide range of sightseeing, river and sunset cruises, jet ski and boat rentals, jet boat thrill rides, fishing trips and charters, dolphin watch, eco and shelling tours, marine science educational field trips, and private family and corporate cruises. The new Metal Shark vessel will operate out of Pure Florida’s Naples location at the historic Tin City boardwalk.
Designed by Jutson Marine Design, the vessel features an foil-assisted catamaran hull designed to deliver enhanced performance, economy, and ride comfort. Specially engineered forward and aft transverse hydrofoils elevate the hull at planing speeds to substantially reduce drag, resulting in significantly increased performance and fuel economy with modest power requirements.
Powered by twin 440-hp Yanmar 6LY440 diesel engines coupled to HamiltonJet HJ292 waterjets via ZF Marine 280-1 transmissions, Sea Flight cruises at speeds in excess of 30 knots, and boasts a top speed of 40+ knots.
The second Jutson-designed vessel of its type to be built by Metal Shark, Sea Flight’s layout has been optimized to accommodate a range of Pure Florida’s eco tours, dolphin watching cruises, and offshore fishing trips while offering a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable passenger experience.
The vessel has been equipped with bench seating for up to 33 passengers beneath a large aluminum-skinned canopy with roll-up curtain package for weather protection, along with well-placed grab rails, rod holders, beverage holders, tackle storage, live wells, fish boxes, and coolers. For night trips, white/red LED lighting has been provided throughout. The vessel has also been equipped with an enclosed head with a fresh water sink.
A forward-positioned elevated helm station enclosed within a hybrid pilothouse offers full weather protection and a birds-eye view for the captain while still facilitating access to the passenger deck.
“Throughout the course of this project the enthusiasm of the Pure Florida team has been contagious and their desire to deliver the very best experience to their customers has been evident,” Dean Jones, Metal Shark’s vice president of sales for law enforcement, fire rescue, and specialty projects, said in a prepared statement. “We share in their enthusiasm and we’re proud to deliver this advanced and efficient vessel to such a high profile and well respected operator.”
Metal Shark also announced that the company is expanding into Peru, with a new patrol boat order now in production, and a multiyear co-production agreement recently established with the state-operated Peruvian shipyard Servicios Industriales de la Marina (SIMA-PERU SA).
The first round of Peruvian navy maritime interdiction vessels are now being built by Metal Shark in the U.S. Under a co-production agreement with SIMA, Metal Shark plans to deliver multiple similar vessels to Peruvian interests through training and the transfer of designs, technological resources, and production methodologies to SIMA.
“This agreement represents a cooperative commitment by Metal Shark and SIMA, Peru’s national shipyard, to dramatically expand Metal Shark’s influence in Peru,” Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard, said in a statement announcing the agreement. “This strategic move will further bolster Metal Shark’s presence in Latin America while allowing Peruvian military and commercial operators expedited access to Metal Shark’s engineering and technological resources, as well as our extensive portfolio of proven vessel designs.”
Production of 45-foot Defiant-class patrol boats for the Peruvian navy recently began at Metal Shark’s Jeanerette, La., production facility. Designed in-house by Metal Shark, the 45 Defiant is in service with multiple operators in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Asia.
The standardized 45 Defiant patrol craft platform has been customized to suit the Peruvian navy’s maritime interdiction mission requirements. Powered by twin inboard Caterpillar diesel engines coupled with HamiltonJet waterjets, the vessel will reach speeds well in excess of 40 knots.