Franklin Shipyard

Facilities Overview

In January 2014, Metal Shark acquired a 25-acre waterfront parcel in Franklin, Louisiana, and announced the construction of a new shipyard with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. Starting from a blank slate, Metal Shark designed this new facility from the ground up to accommodate the latest serialized production methodologies, with flexibility and future expansion in mind. Operations at Franklin commenced in July, 2014 in a new 60,000 square foot assembly building featuring four assembly bays equipped with overhead cranes. Additional amenities included protected deepwater berths, crane-in / crane-out launch capabilities, onsite offices for engineering and production management, and ample room for storage and staging. In April 2016, Metal Shark was awarded a small shipyard grand by the United States Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD). In October 2016, Metal Shark installed a new 150’ x 80’ auxiliary structure for final assembly which was funded in part by the MARAD Grant. A new 160-ton Marine Lift transporter arrived in early 2017 to facilitate the movement of boats around the yard and to water for launch. 

A Proven Track Record

Since its opening, Metal Shark’s Franklin yard has produced and delivered a wide range of monohull and catamaran dive support vessels, fireboats, patrol boats for US and foreign militaries, response vessels for state and local law enforcement agencies, passenger ferries and commercial head boats, pilot boats, port security vessels, and other custom-built platforms for numerous commercial operators. Vessels offered and constructed at Franklin include a wide range of Metal Shark’s Defiant and Endurance-class designs, as well as designs by leading independent design firms. Expansion is currently underway at Franklin to accommodate the wide range of construction projects slated for 2017, 2018, and beyond.

Industry Leadership in Passenger Vessel Construction


In July of 2016, Metal Shark was chosen by Hornblower New York to build passenger vessels for New York’s CityWide Ferry System. Six of the Incat Crowther-designed, 149-passenger, high-speed / low-wake aluminum catamaran ferries are currently being built at Franklin. Metal Shark’s proven track record in the serialized production of complex vessels played a key role in landing the contract. In early 2017, Metal Shark will begin delivering a passenger ferry to Hornblower approximately every two weeks. Metal Shark has used its role in one of the largest domestic ferry builds in history to showcase its impressive capabilities to a global audience. In January, 2017, Metal Shark was awarded a contract to build passenger vessels for Entertainment Cruises’ Potomac Riverboats division. Four of the 26-meter, 149-passenger ferries, which were designed by BMT Designers & Planners, will be built by Metal Shark at Franklin. Click here to learn more about Franklin’s passenger vessel construction capabilities

Engineering & Project Management


Metal Shark’s Franklin yard offers the unmatched benefits of an in-house engineering team composed of over a dozen naval architects and marine engineers. Metal Shark leverages this formidable resource to create its own highly specialized and thoroughly engineered vessel designs and also to interface seamlessly with outside engineering firms to assure precision results. Metal Shark works with leading design firms including Incat Crowther, BMT Designers and Planners, BMT Nigel Gee, One2Three Designs, Marine Design, Jutson DesignDamen Shipyards and others to offer technologically advanced vessels that are custom-tailored to meet exacting customer requirements. Metal Shark goes above and beyond, utilizing extensive 3D modeling to allow the project to be realized in advance, greatly facilitating planning, resource allocation, and an exact interpretation of each vessel’s design for precision, quality results. Metal Shark backs up this engineering strength with the support of highly capable, industry veteran project managers who are tasked with keeping each project on time and on budget. 

2017 Expansion


To meet growing needs, Metal Shark has commenced construction of a fully enclosed, 200’ x 80’ large vessel assembly building enabling weather-independent construction of vessels up to 180 feet in length. Additionally, a new stand-alone office building with over 8,000 sf of space for Franklin executive, engineering, project management, and administrative personnel is being built. Both buildings will be up and running by Q2 2017.

Situated on the Charenton canal, Metal Shark’s Franklin shipyard offers direct unobstructed deepwater access to the Gulf of Mexico. The yard is located immediately off Louisiana Highway 90 for easy over-the-road transport of large components, and the site plan offers ample room for future growth. Franklin currently supports aluminum, steel, and composite shipbuilding for vessels up to 250’.

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