Update An aerial view of Metal Shark’s 25-acre Franklin, LA, yard
Metal Shark continues expansion at Franklin yard A day before the kickoff of the International Workboat Show, Marine Log had the opportunity to witness first hand the power of Metal Shark’s building capabilities. The boat builder is currently in the process of building a number of vessels in series, including the highly anticipated ferries for New York’s Citywide Ferry Service, which will be operated by Hornblower NY. Back in 2014, in order to make way for its growing business and the diversification of its portfolio, Metal Shark invested in a facility a few miles down from its Jeanerette, LA, complex in Franklin, LA. The plan for the Franklin yard has always been to help Metal Shark grow and produce larger vessels more efficiently and at a faster rate—and to date, its been doing the job, but now its time for more, with Metal Shark announcing that the Franklin yard will undergo additional expansion. Just this past October, a new 150 ft x 80 ft auxiliary structure for final assembly was built and is already fully operational. Beyond that, a new 160-ton Marine Lift transporter will arrive next month (January) to help facilitate the movement of boats on the 25-acre yard. Both were funded in part by a Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) Small Shipyard grant awarded this past April. Further expansion plans include erecting a fully enclosed 200 ft x 80 ft large vessel assembly building to enable weather-independent construction of vessels up to 180 ft in length. Additionally, a new stand-alone
office will be erected, providing over 4,000 square ft of office space for the yard’s executive team, engineering, project management, and administrative personnel. Both new buildings are expected to be complete and operational by the second quarter of 2017. The workforce too, will benefit from the expansion, with Metal Shark expected to grow its Franklin workforce from approximately 65 full-time onsite employees to over 100 by the second quarter of 2017. “We’ve grown our Franklin business significantly since opening the facility in 2014,” says Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard. “Currently we’re in the middle of an 18-unit order for 45 ft foreign military patrol boats, we’ve got the first four of our New York Citywide Ferry builds underway with the first two vessels 100% welded and entering the rigging phase, and we’re finishing out a 60 ft DSV for a government customer.” The first of the Citywide Ferry vessels (a total of 19 will be built between Metal Shark and Horizon) is expected to be delivered by Metal Shark to Hornblower, Spring 2017. Next year will also see the construction of a 45 ft pilot boat for a Caribbean operator, a multi-boat Navy contract for 50 ft high-speed vessels, a 64 ft survey boat for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a 70 ft supply boat for a Northeast operator, and a 158 ft Incat Crowther-designed catamaran for a private client. “With a full slate of new projects scheduled, Franklin will be even busier in 2017 and 2018,” says Allard.
BIZ NOTES Bay Maritime Corp. acquires Svendsen’s Boat Works Bay Maritime Corp., Alameda, CA, parent company to Bay Marine Boat wor k s, Bay Ship & Yacht and its af filiates, has acquired Svendsen’s Boat Works and its divisions of Svendsen’s Marine Distributing, Svendsen’s Metal Works, Svendsen’s Chandlery and Svendsen’s Marine International. Under the agreement, Svendsen will continue to operate under its’ name and provide full-service boat repair at its boatyard located at the Alameda Marina. Additionally, Svendsen will supply marine products to customers through its established distribution network and Chandlery. Bay Mar itime President Bill Elliot t s ai d, “Sve n d s e n’s has been one of our chief produc t suppliers for decades, so we know the company and its employees well, and intend to continue the innovative path established by the Svendsen family for the past five-plus decades.”
December 2016 // Marine Log 9