On 2 March, 2017 the first two passenger vessels built by Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark for New York’s new Citywide Ferry Service took to the water, after being launched at Metal Shark’s Franklin, Louisiana shipyard.
At 0730 on Friday 24 February operators from Berard Transportation began the elaborate process of moving the first of two 86ft x 26ft 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 1530 both vessels were in he 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 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.
Meanwhile, site preparation was taking place at the yardas Metal Shark 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.