55 Defiant Pilot

Typical Specifications

LOA: 55’
Propulsion: Twin diesel inboard straight shafts, water jets, or pods

For detailed specifications, contact us today.

The Metal Shark 55 Defiant Pilot is a welded aluminum monohull vessel combining Metal Shark’s globally proven Defiant-class hullform with an efficient crew-friendly layout designed specifically for pilots. The 55 Defiant offers enhanced seakeeping, extended range, and large crew capacity, all in a comfortable layout designed to enhance safety and efficiency while reducing fatigue. Like all Metal Sharks, each 55 Defiant Pilot vessel is fully tailored to meet the specific needs of the customer.

Hull Design & Construction

The 55 Defiant Pilot features a proven Metal Shark hull design that has been engineered and built to precise tolerances. To achieve its superior hull life rating, the vessel’s hull, deck, and superstructure are composed entirely of heavy, welded plates of premium 5086 aluminum-magnesium alloy. The Defiant-class running surface has been designed for maximum efficiency and performance. This efficiency, combined with the vessel’s durable construction, results in the lowest possible operating cost while at the same time assuring maximum performance. Thanks to its wide beam, pronounced reverse chines, and ample heft, the 55 Defiant is exceptionally stable while underway, at rest, and most importantly, during pilot transfer maneuvers. To meet specific mission requirements, the 55 Defiant may be equipped with inboards, water jets, or pod propulsion systems. (Metal Shark 55 Defiant shown here configured for port security / fire rescue response and equipped with twin diesel water jets.)

Deck Layout

Metal Shark’s Defiant-class pilot boat layout has been designed to offer maximum functionality and crew comfort. The flush deck layout is configured to eliminate tripping hazards and enable fast transit around the boat. Strategically placed grab rails provide continuous handholds for transiting around the cabin or riding/working on the forward and aft decks. Metal Shark will work with customers to reposition grab rails as needed to suit specific requirements. Nonskid coating on the walking surfaces further enhances crew safety. Large quick-acting hatches provide easy access to the bilges and storage spaces. Pilots exit the cabin through the centerline aft door and walk around the cabin, all flush deck, to the foredeck, always with easy access to handrails. Oversized port and starboard side walkways provide easy access forward and aft. The 55 Defiant may be equipped with the forward bow-mounted boarding platform as shown, or, a rooftop boarding platform with ladders on either side of the house and from the aft deck which enables safe and easy transit from the vessel to ships at sea. Boarding platforms are built to suit and are designed to accommodate the full range of operator needs. A Wing solid foam collar surrounds the craft providing protection during alongside maneuvers, while the low-profile full-width swim platform allows easy access to the water for man overboard situations. A removable Jason’s cradle is included, and an aft deck davit may be added.


Metal Shark’s signature “pillarless” glass pilothouse sets the industry standard for visibility and safety. Proven extensively on Metal Shark’s military and law enforcement patrol boats, Metal Shark has enhanced this technology for its pilot customers by employing reverse-angled glass to reduce solar exposure and the ensuing heat load. Metal Shark’s pillarless glass drastically improves the view from the helm by reducing the dangerous blind spots commonly found on conventional pilothouse vessels. Pilots enjoy a nearly-unobstructed 360-degree view from a Metal Shark pilothouse which greatly enhances safety, especially while on night missions or operating during other periods of reduced visibility. Metal Shark’s extensive use of shock and vibration mitigation technology reduces crew fatigue, further enhancing comfort and safety.

Outstanding Performance

The 55 Defiant hull has been specifically balanced for the cabin and crew layout configuration which assures it will steer a straight course and turn predictably and safely without hooking a chine or exhibiting other unnatural turning behaviors. This design inherently increases the ability of the crew to operate safely during piloting maneuvers. Well-developed running strakes and a warped bottom plate ensure the craft carries the bow well and prevents unnecessary pounding and spray. At all speeds the craft will maintain a steady inboard heel and will come back smartly back to level when returned to a steady course. While the 55 Defiant Pilot is specifically designed for rough water operation and crew safety, she is very capable of shallow water operations and stable at low speeds. The parent craft Defiant series boats have been extensively tested by both the US Coast Guard and US Navy to meet military maneuvering requirements, including ABYC line, Quick Turn and backing trials. (Metal Shark 45 Defiant shown here in military patrol configuration.)

Custom Capability

Metal Shark’s large in-house team of naval architects works directly with pilot associations to tailor each Metal Shark pilot boat to meet the challenges and demands of its intended operating environment. Whether the job calls for straight-shaft inboards, water jets, or pods, Metal Shark can deliver an efficient and reliable solution. We work with virtually all major marine industry OEMs and offer many equipment choices. Our pilot boats are available with a wide range of fendering solutions. Boarding platforms are configured per customer spec, and all railings are pilot specific. Crew accommodations such as galleys, heads, and dinettes are all built to suit. Pilot boats may be equipped with the full range of available fire fighting systems, CBRNE crew protection systems, or other integrated technology for fire rescue response, port security, or other multi-purpose use. We invite you to contact Metal Shark today to begin the process of designing a Metal Shark pilot boat for your team.