Pushboats, Towboats, and Other Specialty Workboats

Bringing Military-Proven Dependability and Quality to the Inland Waterways

Known worldwide for the vessel fleets it produces for the United States Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, and the militaries of U.S. partner nations, Metal Shark is a leading shipbuilder specializing in the design and construction of custom vessels for a wide range of operators. Today, from its 35-acre shipyard in South Alabama, Metal Shark has added robust steel construction capabilities to its extensive list of offerings and now serves Inland Waterways markets with a complete range of custom vessels. Metal Shark offers pushboats, towboats, and other specialty work vessels, all produced with the same military-honed project management systems, serialized production methods, and quality assurance programs perfected through the delivery of over 1,000 vessels now in service worldwide. With an in-house team of over 50 naval architects and maritime engineers, and over 500 employees at three wholly self-contained facilities in Louisiana and Alabama, Metal Shark produces over 200 vessels annually, with a proud and proven track record of high quality, on-time deliveries.

Industry Leaders in Serialized Production

As a leading supplier of military vessel fleets that must be delivered within demanding timeframes, Metal Shark has established an engineering-centric approach that utilizes 100% digital design, cutting, and bending for rapid and precise assembly. For each new build project, Metal Shark dedicates a team of project managers and project engineers to eliminate shop-floor engineering. Metal Shark enjoys unmatched economies of scale due to volume production, with multiple fleet builds underway at any given time, and leverages its strength to its customers’ advantage. Due to the diverse markets it serves, Metal Shark is never idle. Accordingly, there is no lag-time required to “ramp up” production. Instead, resources are allocated to each project as it is scheduled. Meanwhile, robust scheduling management tools assure on-time completion, even for the most demanding delivery timelines. Fully transparent QA systems developed in concert with US Navy and Coast Guard inspection teams yield “mil-spec” quality, and the extensive use of jigs and fixtures guarantee consistent, repeatable results within delivery timeframes that cannot be matched by many yards.

Unmatched Engineering Resources

Metal Shark has cultivated an all-encompassing engineering culture, with a formidable in-house team of naval architects, marine engineers, and mechanical engineers who oversee every aspect of vessel design, from hull to outfitting. State of the art design and production methods assure that each towboat, pushboat, and specialty workboat is produced efficiently and reliably at reasonable acquisition and ownership costs. Each Metal Shark vessel is 100% digitally designed, right down to the smallest components. Vessels are extensively engineered, 3D modeled, and fully designed for manufacturing prior to commencement of construction. Digital files are fed directly to Metal Shark’s CNC plasma cutters, assuring absolute precision and greatly alleviating fit issues that lead to inaccurate and inefficient shop-floor engineering. This engineering-centric approach assures high quality, repeatable designs that may be quickly and reliably produced, and will perform as intended for years to come. In addition to its own designs, Metal Shark also works with outside naval architecture firms to support the widest possible range of client requirements.

Metal Shark Alabama

Metal Shark operates three separate shipbuilding facilities in Alabama and Louisiana. Primary towboat construction takes place at Metal Shark Alabama, a fully developed 35-acre shipbuilding and repair complex in the Mobile Bay region. Metal Shark Alabama features separate east and west yards both fronting a dredged deepwater inlet. The facility boasts a total of nine assembly buildings, a 660-ton Marine Travelift, multiple cranes, CNC plasma cutters, welders, and other fixtures supporting the construction of vessels up to 300’ in length and 1,500 tons launch weight. The shipyard is located 15 miles from Interstate 10 in Bayou La Batre, convenient to railway access and minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway with unobstructed access to the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more about Metal Shark Alabama.

  Metal Shark is a proud member of Waterways Council, Inc.