Inland Commercial Vessels

Trusted by the Inland Sector’s Leading Operators.

Metal Shark serves Inland Waterways markets with custom-built, dependable steel vessels produced with the same military-honed project management systems, serialized production methods, and quality assurance programs perfected through the delivery of over 1,000 Metal Shark vessels now in service worldwide. Our shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama is run by veteran industry professionals with decades of experience in the construction of complex, high quality steel vessels for some of the nation’s largest inland operators. Metal Shark Alabama supports inland operators with new vessel construction as well as a full range of Refit, Repair, and Conversion services and is capable of handling multiple simultaneous jobs. When it comes to inland transport, operators find we speak their language fluently.


Built Right. Delivered on Time. Specializing in Complex Builds.

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 – Your Full Service Gulf Coast Shipyard

Metal Shark Alabama is a fully developed shipbuilding and repair complex in the Mobile Bay region, fronting a dredged deep water inlet. The facility boasts over 500′ of waterfront, five assembly buildings, a 660-ton Marine Travelift, multiple cranes, CNC plasma cutters, welders, and most importantly, a highly trained workforce specializing in the construction of inland steel vessels as well as their Refit, Repair, and Conversion. Metal Shark Alabama can capably handle vessels up to 300′ in length. The yard is located approximately 30 miles from Mobile, twelve miles south of Exit 10 on I-10. From the Gulf, the facility is ten miles north of Mile Marker 119.1E on the Intracoastal Waterway.  Learn more about Metal Shark Alabama.

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 late April, 2020, and the contract was successfully concluded with the delivery of the third vessel in June, 2021 (press release here).

FMT “Stephanie Pasentine” Image Gallery

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