Boat builder Metal shark delivered a 55’x17 ‘welded aluminum pilot boat to the Pascagoula Bar Pilots Association in Mississippi.

The second Metal Shark pilot boat to join the fleet of pilots at Pascagoula, the new Singing River Island represents the latest evolution of the Louisiana-based builder’s growing line of Defiant-class pilot boats. Designed by Metal Shark’s in-house engineering team and built at the Franklin, Louisiana Shipyard, the new 55 Defiant Pilot combines a proven hull shape with a modern, user-friendly layout designed to provide comfort, safety and a top-notch efficiency. , and performance, said the shipbuilder.

Metal Shark has equipped the Singing River island with twin 803 hp caterpillar C18 engines are running Michigan wheel Nibral four-bladed 34 “through diameter propellers Double disc MGX5146A 1.961 speed. This combination offers a cruising speed of around 25 knots and a top speed approaching 30 knots. An 800 gallon. the fuel capacity allows for a cruising speed range of approximately 280 nautical miles.

“Metal Shark has succeeded in combining quality and comfort,” said Captain Walter Gautier of the Pascagoula Bar Pilots Association in a statement announcing the delivery. “This vessel proves daily to be a safe and user-friendly platform for pilots for transfers at sea.”

Metal Shark’s military-proven Defiant-class monohull pilot ships are popular in a wide range of markets, with hundreds of mother-class ships in service around the world, the shipbuilder said.

For its pilot boat customers, Metal Shark combines the Defiant hull shape with a bespoke layout specifically designed for piloting. Flat, non-slip decks run from bow to stern and allow pilots to move quickly and safely around the ship, rugged pilot-specific defense systems absorb impact, and stern and bow corners feature a smooth radius to allow easy separation underway of vessels following the transfer pilot. Safety rails and grab handles are carefully placed and pilot boarding platforms are configured to meet the requirements of each operator.

For Pascagoula, a forward deck transfer area includes integrated port, starboard and bow stairs leading to two deployable platforms, allowing pilots to board quickly and safely from both sides of the ship.

The 55 Defiant Pilot has a cockpit designed to provide best-in-class visibility. Using Metal Shark’s signature “pillarless glass” with a reverse-tilt windshield dramatically reduces blind spots compared to the industry’s legacy pilot boat models, which typically feature smaller, framed windows. A two-level side window arrangement, with a second row of windows below the waistline, provides downward sloping visibility from the helm during side maneuvers or man overboard recovery. Panoramic skylights provide a clear upward view while operating alongside vessels during pilot transfer.

As built for the pilots of Pascagoula, the air-conditioned cabin of the 55 Defiant is equipped with four Dometic HVAC units and offers seating for seven people, accommodating a single forward operator and six pilot passengers. For added comfort and convenience, each swivel seat is equipped with a footrest, adjustable armrests, white / red LED lighting, a cup holder and two 12-volt USB sockets.

A complete electronic suite includes Furuno TZtouch2 multifunction black box system with GPS, radar, depth sounder and a premium FLIR M 364C series thermal imaging system for nighttime operations. Five closed circuit cameras allow the vessel operator to monitor the engine room and aft deck from multiple angles at a glance while maintaining watch. All these features are displayed on three 19 ” Nauticomp GB Elite Series multi-touch displays.

Accommodations on the lower decks include an enclosed main compartment with a freshwater sink, berths and individual storage lockers for crew members’ personal items. Sound insulation and flooring are used throughout the ship to reduce noise and vibration.

The new vessel is the latest result of Metal Shark’s continued expansion into the pilot boat market, following the delivery of two 45-foot Defiant pilot boats to Beautiful Hunting Marine Transport at the end of 2019, and 45-foot and 64-foot Defiant pilot boats delivered in 2018.

“With an unwavering commitment to product improvement and a significant investment in engineering, we continue to expand and evolve our portfolio,” said Chris Allard, CEO of Metal Shark. “Over the past two years, we’ve delivered entirely new 32 ‘, 38’, 40 ‘, 50’, 55 ‘and 70’ Defiant models, each using a widely proven hull shape optimized for its specific mission. By working closely with our customers and constantly monitoring market trends, we strive to be predictive rather than reactive, designing and building increasingly modern, capable and crew-friendly vessels and by delivering them earlier.

“I would like to thank the Pascagoula Bar Pilots Association for allowing us to build their second Metal Shark pilot boat,” said Metal Shark Vice President of Commercial Sales Carl Wegener. “We recognize that our customers have choices, and this is a true validation of our continued efforts in the pilot boat industry to gain a loyal customer; the one we hope to keep in the Metal Shark family for years to come. We invite all pilot groups to experience the many benefits of a new generation Metal Shark pilot boat.