Pilot boats under construction at Louisiana shipyards

Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has turned its attention to the pilot boat market, with two new vessels under construction.

Metal Shark is building a 13.7-metre “Defiant” pilot boat for the Virgin Islands Port Authority at its Jeanerette, Louisiana production facility.

In nearby Franklin, Louisiana, the company is also building a 19.5-metre Defiant pilot boat for the Brazos Pilots Association of Freeport, Texas.

The next-generation pilot boats were designed by Metal Shark’s design team.

They combine proven running surfaces with crew-friendly and pilot-focused features, such as flush decks, pilot boarding platforms, and multiple fendering options.

The vessels include the company’s pillarless glass pilothouses that allow for an almost unimpeded view from the elevated helm stations.

Both new vessels will be delivered in 2018.

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