JEANERETTE, La. (AP) — Metal Shark Aluminum Boats of Jeanerette has a $192 million contract to replace the Coast Guard's fleet of small port security boats. The company will build up to 500 of the boats, which are about 28 feet long, for the Coast Guard, president and co-owner Chris Allard said Monday.
"It's a very high-profile contract — boats will be seen in ports and waterways around the country — and is likely to lead to state and local follow-on business, as well as international business," Allard said.
He said Metal Shark, a business name for Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC, was one of two finalists that each provided a boat for trials by Coast Guard crews in June and July at Charleston, S.C.
The company has just under 100 workers, and expects to hire 20 to 40 additional welders, rigging and electronic experts and installers over the next year, he said.
Gravois Aluminum Boats, in business for 25 years, has been growing steadily over the last five years, he said.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said, "This is a tremendous opportunity for Metal Shark to expand and grow, while at the same time helping the state's economy by creating jobs for Louisianians and contributing to our nation's security."