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Metal Shark's Alabama yard delivers first newbuild

May 4, 2020 11:27 AM

Stephanie Pasentine will be followed by two more 120-foot towboats for Florida Marine Transporters

Courtesy Metal Shark

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

(BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala.) — Metal Shark’s Bayou La Batre, Ala., shipyard has delivered its first newbuild, a 120-by-35-foot river towboat for Florida Marine Transporters Inc. (FMT) of Mandeville, La.

The four-decked, welded-steel, Coast Guard Subchapter  M-compliant towboat Stephanie Pasentine, which bears the distinction of being Louisiana-based Metal Shark’s first-ever steel newbuild and also its first inland towboat, was designed by John W. Gilbert Associates Inc.

The vessel’s twin Caterpillar 3512C marine diesel engines deliver 2,011 horsepower each at 1,600 rpm and turn 100-by-69-inch stainless-steel propellers through Twin Disc model MGX5600DR reverse reduction gears with a 6.56:1 ratio. Sleeping accommodations and facilities have been provided for a nine-person crew.

The new towboat is the first delivery in a three-vessel contract with FMT announced in late 2018, signaling Metal Shark’s entry into the inland towboat market following its acquisition of the assets of Horizon Shipbuilding earlier that year. With the purchase, Metal Shark, best known as a builder of welded aluminum vessels, assumed ownership of a fully developed 35-acre Alabama shipyard and began to expand into steel shipbuilding.

Multiple steel vessels are currently under construction at the yard, including two additional 120-by-35-foot towboats for FMT, as well as a 70-foot steel z-drive tugboat for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Metal Shark Alabama is also highly active in the vessel refit and repair sector, with several projects typically underway at any given time.

“Since 2018 we have invested in our Alabama operations by growing our workforce, engaging new clients, and implementing Metal Shark’s well-proven serialized construction methodologies,” explained Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard. “Today as we celebrate the delivery of our first Alabama-built vessel, our first steel newbuild, and our first inland towboat, I’d like to thank our employees, and particularly our customer Mr. Dennis Pasentine, owner of Florida Marine Transporters. We were fortunate to earn his business and I am proud of our relationship, which is one I hope to continue well into the future.”

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