Metal Shark delivers multi-task fireboat for Louisiana port (with VIDEO)

Metal Shark 55 Defiant Aluminum Pilothouse Patrol Boat Fire Boat Fireboat Fire Rescue

The following is the text of a news release from Metal Shark Aluminum Boats:

(JEANERETTE, La.) — Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has delivered a 55-foot multipurpose port security vessel to the Plaquemines Port  Harbor and Terminal District in Louisiana.

Based on Metal Shark’s Defiant-class monohull pilothouse design, this welded aluminum vessel is designed to support port security efforts and firefighting missions at the port district, located 20 miles south of New Orleans at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

For this application, Metal Shark equipped the vessel with twin Cat C-18 diesel engines mated to Hamilton waterjets. The 55 Defiant is also available with straight shaft inboards or pods.

To meet the customer’s firefighting requirements, Metal Shark employed twin Darley fire pumps driven by PTO from the 55 Defiant’s main engines. Water is pumped to an oversized main where it is distributed via electronic valves to three radio frequency-controlled monitors — one on the bow and two mounted on the roof of the vessel. In this configuration, the 55 Defiant delivers water flow of up to 10,000 gallons per minute. Two 5-inch hydrant outlet locations, an additional 2.5-inch hydrant outlet, and a 300-gallon foam reservoir provide maximum flexibility across the widest possible range of tactical firefighting scenarios.

Thanks to Metal Shark’s use of “pillarless” pilothouse glass, the 55 Defiant’s roomy wheelhouse boasts substantially increased visibility compared to pilothouse vessels of conventional design. With belowdecks quarters offering enclosed head, galley, and bunking capacity for a crew of four, the 55 Defiant is equipped to stay on station for extended periods and to accommodate crews during lengthy patrols. A state of the art, positive-pressure chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) ventilation system provides crew protection in disaster response situations.

“Metal Shark has worked closely with fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and the military to develop what we feel are the most advanced and crew-friendly fire rescue patrol vessels available today,” said Metal Shark President Chris Allard. “It was an honor to be selected by the Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District for this project and we are pleased to add them to the growing list of Metal Shark customers.”

A product of Metal Shark’s Franklin, La., shipyard, the 55 Defiant can be custom-configured to suit a wide range of mission profiles. Metal Shark offers the vessel with a wide range of power and propulsion systems to meet various performance requirements. Virtually every vessel feature, from firefighting equipment and capacity, onboard systems, general arrangement, berth capacity, etc., can be adapted to suit the needs of individual customers and agencies. In addition to port security and fire rescue, the 55 Defiant may be configured for dive support, law enforcement, defense, pilot operations, and numerous commercial markets. Defiant-class vessels are available in a wide range of sizes for inshore, near-shore, and offshore patrol.

Established in 1986, Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC, and its government/commercial boat entity Metal Shark Boats are leading suppliers of custom boats for defense, law enforcement and commercial entities. Key customers include the United States Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, foreign militaries, port operators and pilot associations, fire departments, and commercial entities worldwide. From its two fully self-contained facilities in south Louisiana, Metal Shark produces a wide range of custom monohull and catamaran center console and pilothouse patrol boats, fireboats, pilot boats, passenger vessels, and other specialty vessels up to 250 feet. For more information, visit

To view a video of the 55 Defiant underway, click here.

By Professional Mariner Staff