Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has partnered with design firm Incat Crowther to develop an entirely new line of passenger vessels.
At the recent Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) Maritrends Conference in Savannah, Ga., Metal Shark introduced its new Endurance PV-X aluminum passenger vessel lineup, with 26-meter (86.59′) 150-passenger and 32-meter (106.27′) 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 thoroughly proven Incat Crowther hull designs well-regarded among passenger vessel operators for their efficiency and performance. 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 stand out with chiseled, modern lines derived from Metal Shark’s latest military patrol boat designs. Large windows create a sense of openness while enhancing the view from within. Comfortable seating arrangements, wide aisles, and roomy head compartments combine to enhance the overall passenger experience. Amenities such as LED infotainment screens, charging stations for electronic devices, onboard wifi, and bicycle racks are all available. Metal Shark’s signature pillarless glass pilothouse offers best-in-class 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.
In addition to a design that enhances comfort, efficiency, performance, and safety, one of the Endurance PV-X’s most important benefits to customers is availability.
Metal Shark showcased its ability to quickly and efficiently produce passenger vessels in 2017, delivering a total of eight 150-passenger vessels on or ahead of schedule. The new Endurance PV-X models are intended to allow the company to deliver passenger vessels even faster than before.
Tankage for the 150-passenger vessel will include 2,000 gals. of fuel oil and 525 gals. fresh water while capacities for the 350-passenger boats will include 1,425 gals. fuel oil and 660 gals. fresh water.
The 150-passenger boats will be powered by pairs of Caterpillar C18 ACERT diesel engines, producing 803 hp at 2,100 rpm each. The engine package for the 3450-passenger boats was not announced.
“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,” explained 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-pax vessel in eight months and the 350-pax vessel in ten 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 DC, 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 Metal Shark’s vice president of commercial sales, Carl Wegener. “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′.