Shipbuilder Metal Shark is significantly expanding its presence in the fireboat market with a diverse range of fireboats currently in production for multiple customers. Most notably, the company has announced a custom 70 Defiant fireboat to be built for Canaveral Fire Rescue, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The new Canaveral fireboat is a 70'x22' welded aluminum monohull pilothouse vessel designed by Metal Shark’s in-house engineering team utilizing a military-proven hull form. The vessel features a specialized layout designed for firefighters and optimized to enhance the department’s operational readiness across the full spectrum of response scenarios.
The vessel’s design incorporates a positive-pressure Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) system to provide crew protection during disaster response scenarios. A complete suite of electronics including an M400XR FLIR thermal imaging system with fire fighting software will provide next-level situational awareness.
Client-driven firefighting particulars include twin Darley fire pumps rated at 3,000 gpm each feeding two 2,000 gpm remote operated bow monitors, a 5,000 gpm remote operated rooftop monitor, two 1,250 gpm manually operated aft deck monitors, two aft deck risers with dual 2.5" hand line connections, and dual 5" Storz hydrant outlets. The vessel is equipped with a 500-gallon foam tank with gravity fast feed capability and integrated Purple K system. Total expected flow rate is in excess of 8,500 gpm.
“The 70 Defiant is the result of the latest thinking in fireboat design and will provide a significant capability boost for Canaveral Fire,” Dean Jones, Metal Shark’s vice president of sales for law enforcement, fire rescue, and specialty markets, said in a statement announcing the newbuild. “From the selection and integration of firefighting systems to the layout of the vessel’s fire control center, operator input was vital and significantly influenced the vessel’s configuration. Heavy emphasis was placed on accessibility and overall ease of use, and the result is a purpose-built fire fighting machine with next-level capabilities and a crew-friendly layout that fire fighters will love.”
Metal Shark offers the 70 Defiant with a range of propulsion packages enabling the vessel to achieve top speeds of 45+ knots. Canaveral’s vessel will be powered by quad 800-hp Man diesel engines mated to quad HamiltonJet waterjets. This configuration will deliver a cruise speed in the 30-knot range and a top speed of 35 knots.
The Canaveral order comes amid an expansion by Metal Shark into the U.S. fireboat market. In April, Metal Shark announced that it had been selected to build the next generation of fireboats for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue department, with a multi-boat order for 50’ Defiant-class pilothouse fireboats currently in production.
The new Miami-Dade fireboats are being built alongside a diverse assortment of custom fireboats for other operators including 27', 29', 32', and 38' pilothouse vessels as well as 23' and 26' center console vessels.
In addition to Canaveral and Miami-Dade, notable new and recent Metal Shark fireboat customers include Captiva Fire Department (Florida), City of Punta Gorda Fire Department (Florida), Fairfax County Fire Rescue (Virginia), Grand Isle Volunteer Fire Department (Louisiana), Greater Naples Fire Department (Florida), Harrods Creek Fire Department (Kentucky), Miami Beach Fire Department (Florida), Newport News Fire Department (Virginia), South Bowers Volunteer Fire Department (Delaware), St. Petersburg Beach Fire Department (Florida), and West Manatee Fire and Rescue (Florida).
“Metal Shark is winning new fire rescue customers with a broad portfolio of fully custom fireboat platforms that allow firefighters to respond faster and do their jobs more safely,” said Metal Shark’s CEO Chris Allard. “We welcome all fire rescue agencies to see for themselves the many advantages our proven fireboats have to offer.”