Louisiana-based aluminum boat builder Metal Shark has delivered its first steel-hulled inland towboat from the company’s shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.
The four-decked, welded-steel, USCG Subchapter “M”-compliant towboat, named Stephanie Pasentine, was delivered to Florida Marine Transporters of Mandeville, Louisiana. The 120’ x 35’ vessel was designed by by John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc.
The Stephanie Pasentine bears the distinction of being Metal Shark’s first-ever steel newbuild and also its first inland towboat.
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.
Since the acquisition, Metal Shark has grown the yard from 23 original employees to over 150 today. Multiple steel vessels are currently under construction at the yard, including two additional 120’ x 35’ towboats for FMT, as well as a 70-foot steel Z-drive tugboat for North Carolina Department of Transportation, plus additional refit and repair projects.
“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,” said Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard.
The Stephanie Pasentine is built with twin Cat 3512C marine diesel engines delivering 2,011 HP each at 1,600 RPM and turn 100” x 69” stainless steel propellers through Twin Disc reverse reduction gears with a 6.56:1 ratio. Sleeping accommodations and facilities have been provided for a nine-person crew.