Metal Shark's Alabama Shipyard

13980 Shell Belt Road | Bayou La Batre, AL 36509

Facilities Overview: Alabama Yard

In June 2018, Metal Shark acquired the assets of Horizon Shipbuilding bringing a fully developed Alabama shipyard into Metal Shark’s growing portfolio of facilities. Metal Shark – Alabama is located in the Mobile Bay region and offers a full range of shipbuilding and repair services to operators in the Central Gulf and beyond.
Metal Shark – Alabama is a fully developed shipbuilding facility fronting a dredged deepwater inlet. The facility boasts a total of five assembly buildings and over 500′ of waterfront; a 660-ton Travelift; multiple cranes, CNC plasma cutters, welders, and other fixtures supporting the construction of steel and aluminum vessels up to 300’ in length and 1,500 tons launch weight. Our Alabama yard is situated just minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Extensive Steel Shipbuilding Capacilities

Metal Shark – Alabama specializes in the design and construction of steel vessels for multiple markets. With its in-house design team of over 60 naval architects and maritime engineers, Metal Shark offers its own portfolio of proven designs and also works with leading independent design firms to offer a full range of custom vessels. The yard has been laid out and specifically equipped to support the fabrication, construction, and launch of high quality vessels up to 300′ in length. Metal Shark’s industry-leading serialized building methodologies, program and project management, and quality assurance practices – all honed over the delivery of over 1,000 boats to U.S. and foreign militaries – assures top quality, on-time completion and consistent results.

Full Range of Refit, Repair, and Conversion Services


Metal Shark – Alabama offers high-quality maintenance, repair, and conversion services to government, commercial, and recreational operators. With an easily accessible Central Gulf location fully equipped to serve as a “one stop shop,” Metal Shark provides a full range of custom-tailored services; everything from haul-outs for surveys, bottom paint, prop and shaft service, to complete overhauls, upgrades, repowers, conversions, and structural repairs for steel, aluminum, and composite vessels. More than just another shipyard, this facility is supported by Metal Shark’s vast resources and military-proven project management systems. With a 660-ton Marine Travelift, crane service, and ample vessel storage space, Metal Shark – Alabama has the capacity to handle multiple simultaneous jobs, delivering military-grade quality and on-time results for guaranteed customer satisfaction. 

Unmatched Engineering & Project Management Resources


Metal Shark’s Alabama shipyard offers the unmatched benefits of an in-house engineering team composed of over 40 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 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. 

Recent Builds: Florida Marine Transporters, Inc. (FMT)


In late 2018, Metal Shark was awarded a contract to build three 120′ x 35′ inland towboats for Florida Marine Transporters, Inc. (FMT) of Mandeville, Louisiana. The four-decked, welded-steel, USCG Subchapter “M”-compliant towboats were designed by John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc. The vessels are powered by twin Cat 3512C marine diesel engines delivering 2,011 HP each at 1,600 RPM and turning 100” x 69” stainless steel propellers through Twin Disc model MGX5600DR reverse reduction gears with a 6.56:1 ratio. Sleeping accommodations and facilities have been provided for a nine-person crew. The first vessel was completed and delivered to the client in May, 2020 (read the press release here). The contract was concluded with the delivery of the third vessel, the M/V Gianna Hull, in June 2021 (press release here).

FMT “Stephanie Pasentine” Image Gallery

Metal Shark Alabama: In Depth

Key Shipyard Features:

  • 180’ X 50’ X 18’ deep slip for launching and retrieving vessels with a 660-ton Marine Travelift
  • Five steel buildings for fully self-contained fabrication and construction
  • Covered panel build facility with 40′ x 40′ panel build jigs adjoining NC cut shops
  • Concrete bulkheads with pilings and water/electrical service
  • 15 acres for secure vessel and component storage and staging
  • Turning basin for compass and electronic adjustments adjacent to shipyard
  • Three miles from Mobile Bay and ship channel; quick deepwater access to the Central Gulf
  • Fifteen miles from Interstate 10 and railway access in close proximity to the Mobile region

Onsite Facilities:  Modern air-conditioned offices with over 4,000 square feet of workspace accommodate Metal Shark’s onsite engineering, project and production management, quality assurance, and administrative staff, with ample dedicated space to support each client’s project staff for the duration of each project.

Beneath the two-story offices are two production bays each measuring 150’ x 50’. One bay is occupied by twin CNC-controlled 40’ plasma cutting tables, which are served by a 10-ton overhead crane. The main bay is used as a secure warehouse for contractor and customer furnished materials and is served by a 7-½ ton overhead crane. 

Two 175’ X 50’ construction buildings are used primarily for the construction and outfitting of boats and boat modules. To facilitate vessel launch, these buildings are located adjacent to the yard’s 660-ton Marine Travelift.

To streamline the construction process and reduce the reliance on outside subcontractors, the yard boasts fully equipped machine, electrical, and pipe shops. All piping and installation of main propulsion, electrical, and auxiliary equipment is performed in-house. Additional onsite support infrastructure includes panel and small parts fabrication shops and superstructure production and outfitting areas.

Fabrication, Construction, and Launching Equipment:

  • 660-ton Travelift for transferring and launching of vessels
  • Manitowoc model 888 230-ton crawler crane
  • Grove 45-ton hydraulic crane
  • Grove 30-ton hydraulic crane
  • Grove 18-ton cherry pickers
  • Caterpillar 10,000 pound capacity extended lift forklift
  • Hyster 15-ton forklift
  • Mitsubishi 2000 lb forklift
  • 40’-reach man-lift
  • 60’-reach man-lift
  • Caterpillar front end loader/backhoe
  • Hydraulic Flushing Machine with sock filters capable of filtering to absolute values
  • Hydraulic Pipe Bending Machine capable of bending 2½“ pipe to 5D bends
  • 10-ton R&M Overhead Crane to support plasma shop
  • 7 ½-ton Deshazo Overhead Crane to support production bay
  • 7 ½-ton Deshazo Overhead Crane to support warehouse
  • Four (4) Overhead Cranes in covered shops to support production

CNC Plasma Cutting Equipment:

  • ALLtra Model PG14-12 Shape Cutting Machine
    The ALLtra Model PG14-12 Shape Cutting Machine is a CNC controlled gantry designed for cutting complex shapes for sheet or plate materials. It is capable of producing parts at high speeds and close tolerances and fully utilizes the latest plasma technology. The machine is easily configured for plasma or oxy/fuel shape cutting processes and can be customized for special applications. Metal Shark utilizes the Hypertherm HPR260 plasma cutter controlled by the Burny 10 LCD shape cutting motion controller using MTC ProNest 8 nesting software.
  • Piranha P-90 Ironworker
    Six (6) workstations are designed for ease of operation featuring automatic material hold downs and punch strippers.
  • Piranha P-120 Ironworker
    120 tons of punching capacity – can punch a 1 1/2″ hole in 1″ material or a 5″ hole in 1/4″ material

Additional Welding and Cutting Equipment:

  • Over 120 welding units with wire feeders for MIG welding
  • TIG and welders
  • Tracks for submerged arc welding
  • Handheld plasma cutting units
  • Welding and gas leads and welding whips

Primary Painting and Blasting Equipment:

  • 6-ton capacity double outlet blast pots
  • 20-ton capacity blast media storage silos
  • Sandblasting outfits with hoods and breathing hoses
  • 5-gallon portable paint pots
  • Airless spray guns

For employment information, visit our Careers page.

To speak with a member of our sales team regarding your new build or repair/refit/conversion project, Contact Us today.

Learn more about our Jeanerette Production Facility and Franklin Shipyard.

Metal Shark has been recognized by the Shipbuilders Council of America for its leading safety practices. Click here to learn more.