Metal Shark launches first two boats for Citywide Ferry


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

(JEANERETTE, La.) — The first two passenger vessels built by Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark for New York's new Citywide Ferry Service are now on the water, after being splashed at Metal Shark's Franklin, La., shipyard late last week.

At 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 24, operators from Berard Transportation began the elaborate process of moving the first of two 86-by-26-foot catamaran-hulled aluminum passenger vessels from Metal Shark's final assembly building to the waiting cranes from H. Brown Crane Service, which hoisted the vessel and placed it into the adjacent Charenton Canal. By 3:30 p.m., both vessels were in the water with Metal Shark crews resuming work on vessel fit-out. Meanwhile, two more Citywide Ferry vessels were being prepared for paint, and two others were taking shape in the welding shop, as work on the project continues.

Metal Shark is currently building six of the Incat Crowther-designed, 149-passenger, USCG Subchapter T passenger ferries for HNY Ferry Fleet LLC (a Hornblower company), operator of New York's Citywide Ferry Service.

Metal Shark plans to deliver two of the New York ferries per month from March through May.

“It is a massive undertaking and Metal Shark has and continues to showcase their experience and expertise in the craft of vessel construction,” said Junior Volpe, director of special projects for Hornblower. “The vessels constructed will become part of an impressive fleet operating on the East River in New York this coming summer.”

Meanwhile, site preparation was taking place at the yard as Metal Shark expands its operations to accommodate increased activity. The foundation for a new 200-by-80-foot fully enclosed large vessel assembly building will be poured within the next few weeks, along with a stand-alone, two-story office building with over 8,000 square feet of space for Franklin's engineering, program management, and administrative staff.

With Citywide Ferry construction now well underway and portion of an 18-boat foreign military patrol boat order recently completed, Metal Shark is preparing to commence work on a four-boat order of 88-foot passenger vessels for the Potomac Riverboat Company division of Entertainment Cruises, and a two-boat order of 105-foot passenger vessels for the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. Beyond the passenger vessel market, the Franklin yard will be producing a range of orders including additional 45-foot patrol boats, a 45-foot pilot boat, a multi-boat U.S. Navy contract for 50-foot high-speed vessels, a 70-foot supply boat and a 158-foot catamaran.

By Professional Mariner Staff