Metal Shark has announced several new contracts with Latin American and Caribbean operators, further expanding the company’s presence in the region.

At a recent ceremony with Puerto Rico’s Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla in San Juan, the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) officially commissioned its first three Metal Shark 36' Fearless-class center console patrol boats. The welded-aluminum offshore center console vessels have been designed to operate at speed in the large ocean swells prevalent off the Puerto Rican coastline. Featuring high performance ventilated stepped-bottom running surfaces and powered by triple 300-hp Mercury Verado engines, the PRPD’s new patrol boats achieve speeds up to 55 knots. Additional vessels for the PRPD are currently in production at Metal Shark’s Jeanerette, La., production facility.

A new Metal Shark 33 Relentless patrol boat built for the Colombian National Police. Metal Shark photo

A new Metal Shark 33 Relentless patrol boat built for the Colombian National Police. Metal Shark photo

Metal Shark also announced it has a new customer in the Colombian National Police (CNP). After working closely with the agency through an extensive standardization process, Metal Shark recently delivered to the CNP its first new 33' Relentless-class patrol boat. Special features of this welded aluminum center console vessel include a urethane-sheathed closed-cell foam Wing collar, Shockwave S2-Corbin high-backed shock-mitigating seating for five, and additional fold-away crew seating in the bow. The new patrol boat is powered by twin 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 engines, which propel it to speeds in excess of 50 knots.

In addition, Metal Shark announced that it has been awarded a contract to build 12 38' Defiant-class pilothouse patrol boats for the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard. The production of these vessels will begin in early 2017, with deliveries starting later in the year.

“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with these customers to gain an understanding of their specific needs and deliver custom-tailored boats that easily integrate into each agency’s existing service infrastructure,” Henry Irizarry, Metal Shark’s vice president of international business development said in a statement announcing the Dutch contract and Puerto Rico and Colombian deliveries. “More important than simply gaining new customers, we aim to cultivate long term relationships and to set each Metal Shark customer up for long term success. We’re honored that each of these first-class agencies chose Metal Shark, and we’re excited for what the future will bring as we continue to work closely together.”

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.