Metal Shark Puts First Two Citywide Ferries on the Water

Posted by Eric Haun

Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark said it has put the first
two passenger vessels for New York's new Citywide Ferry Service
on the water, having splashed the new builds at its Franklin, La.
shipyard late last week.

At 7:30 a.m. on February 24, operators from Berard Transportation
began the process of moving the first of two 86' x 26'
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-water with
Metal Shark crews resuming work on vessel fitout.

Meanwhile, two more Citywide Ferries were being prepared for
paint, and two others were taking shape in the welding shop, as
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.

"Today with the launch of these first two vessels we reached an
important milestone on the Citywide Ferry project, which we
commenced in July," said Metal Shark CEO, Chris Allard. "We're on
a rigorous schedule to get these boats completed and delivered on
time. Fortunately we had planned the bulk of the logistics prior
to the award of the contract, and we're happy to say we're right
on schedule."

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," noted 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."

In addition to Metal Shark's six ferries, Horizon Shipbuilding is
also building 13 Citywide ferries at its shipyard in Bayou La
Batre, Ala., with the first deliveries planned for spring 2017.

Meanwhile, site preparation is taking place at the Metal Shark
yard as the builder expands its operations to accommodate
increased activity. The foundation for a new 200' x 80' 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' passenger vessels for the Potomac Riverboat Company division
of Entertainment Cruises, and a two-boat order of 105' 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' patrol boats, a 45'
pilot boat, a multi-boat US Navy contract for 50' high-speed
vessels, a 70' supply boat, and a 158' catamaran.

Mar 2, 2017

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