Archive for » December 20th, 2017«

ACADIANA BUSINESS NEWS: Metal Shark announces new pilot boat contracts

Press release from Metal Shark

Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has set its sights on the pilot boat market with a range of custom-configurable pilot offerings and two new pilot boats currently under construction.

Metal Shark is currently building a 45-foot Defiant Pilot Boat for the Virgin Islands Port Authority at its Jeanerette, Louisiana production facility. At its 25-acre shipyard in nearby Franklin, Lousiana, Metal Shark is building a 64-foot Defiant Pilot Boat for the Brazos Pilots Association of Freeport, Texas.

The next-generation pilot boats were designed by Metal Shark’s in-house design team and combine proven running surfaces with modern, crew-friendly, pilot-focused features including flush decks, pilot boarding platforms, and multiple fendering options. In addition to the 45-foot and 64-foot models now in production, a 55-foot Defiant Pilot Boat is also available.

The new vessels are immediately identifiable due to Metal Shark’s signature “Pillarless Glass,” pilothouses, which offer greatly improved visibility by drastically reducing blind spots – a key concern for pilots who operate around the clock. The forward-raked, automotive-style frameless glass allows for nearly unimpeded view from the vessels’ elevated helm stations.

Defiant-class pilot boats may be completely custom configured, from the type and location of platforms and rails, to various propulsion types and fendering systems, in order to fully address the unique challenges and demands of each pilot group’s operating environment.

“We looked at all of our options nationally and visited several boat builders along the Gulf Coast,” said Captain Daniel Blanton, President of the Brazos Pilots Association. “We chose Metal Shark because of their state of the art facilities and their ability to customize and built to our specifications at a competitive cost.”

“Metal Shark has built and delivered over 500 boats in the past three years alone,” said the company’s Vice President of Commercial Sales, Carl Wegener. “We have an enviable track record of on-time, high quality deliveries to our military, government, and passenger vessel customers, with proven reliability in the harshest environments to be found. Today we’re bringing Metal Shark’s military-honed quality to pilots, too.”

Both new Metal Shark pilot boats will be delivered in 2018. 

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Eric’s Outboard opens mobile service center, Contender showroom at Black Point Marina

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Eric’s Outboard Marine Service has opened a mobile service center and Contender Boats showroom at Black Point Marina with a waterside location that makes sea trials and service easier than ever for customers.

Founded by Eric Raistrick in 1986, Eric’s Outboard is among the top Yamaha dealerships and service centers the country. Its headquarters in south Miami-Dade also is home to Eric’s Contender Boat Sales, dealer of high-end custom-made fishing vessels manufactured in South Florida.

The expansion at Black Point marks a significant step forward in customer care, convenience and great service for his company, Raistrick said.

“To have a place out on the water is a huge thing to be able to offer,” he said. “We’ve always catered to clients whose boats are hard to get to the shop. We’ve provided trailers, trucks and a location to take the boats. We can still do that, but now we can offer this new option to the residents of Gables Estates, Gables by the Sea, Cocoplum and many other neighborhoods at this accessible waterfront facility.”

Eric’s secured a long-term lease at Black Point’s barn, with boat racks and a lift system that have been upgraded to accommodate the larger boats the company is known for servicing and selling.

Customers who need service need only make an appointment, bring their boat to the dock and let Eric’s do the rest. And for the duration of the service clients pay no daily storage fee, said Kelly Fullerton, Eric’s Outboard chief of operations.

“The marina’s waiting for them,” she said. “They can just drop off their keys and say, ‘I’m with Eric’s.’”

Prospective boat buyers also can arrange to take Contender boats out on the water for sea trials, whether for purchasing a used boat or to develop ideas to custom build a new boat to their own specifications.

Contender Boats is a Homestead-based builder of custom tournament fishing boats. Customers have a say in nearly every aspect of construction; with Contender, you truly can build your dream boat.

“Customers love it,” Raistrick said. “Who wouldn’t like being able to pick the color, size, T-top, type of seats and leaning posts? The reactions I’ve gotten are great.”

A Yamaha Five-Star Dealer and Authorized Service Center, Eric’s Outboard has the largest on-hand inventory of Yamaha parts and accessories in South Florida.

Eric’s offers a full range of services, from minor tuneups to major overhauls, all of which can be done on premises or on location by mobile technicians. All technicians — including two Yamaha certified master technicians, of which there are only a handful in the country — receive ongoing training at Yamaha Marine University.

“We’ll go to your house, to your dock or to marinas all over Miami-Dade, the Keys and Fort Lauderdale,” Fullerton said. “Our customers are No. 1, and that’s how we built our business: by treating them like family.”

For more information or to book an appointment, visit or call 305-251-4067.

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Finance leaders OK BCSO budget changes

“I don’t want to see this get put into the general fund and then be spent, then you go purchase a boat, and then you’re hanging us for $25,000 to $26,000 [for a new boat].””


The Bradley County Commission Finance Committee approved two budget amendments from the Sheriff’s Office concerning revenue earned during the department’s recent auction.

But, one of those was approved with conditions.

The first adds $28,550 which, because of regulations concerning seized vehicles, must be placed into the drug fund. That was approved unanimously.

The second amendment added $19,449 to the department’s general fund.

Commissioner Dan Rawls said it was the understanding some of the auction revenue would be used to purchase a new boat.

“I don’t want to see this get put into the general fund and then be spent, then you go purchase a boat, and then you’re hanging us for $25,000 to $26,000 [for a new boat],” Rawls said.

County Mayor D. Gary Davis said the reason the department was asking for the amendment approval was because “they have a boat they would like to purchase.”

“Once you do this, it will be the first purchase made with it,” Davis said.

County Attorney Crystal Freiberg reminded the committee any goods or services over $10,000 must be bid.

“If you don’t know, you can go get a quote and go from there,” Freiberg said. “If it’s over $10,000, you are going to have to stop at that point and do a formal bid process. That’s even if it’s a used product.”

Davis said in order to bid, “You need to know you have the money in the budget to buy it with which is what they are asking you to do with this amendment.”

Commissioner Thomas Crye noted he was the one who brought the subject up originally and insisted the department’s current boat could be sold at auction if the revenue from the sales would go toward a new boat.

Crye offered a substitute motion that the funds be used only toward the purchase of a new boat.

The motion passed 3-1 with Crye, Rawls and Finance Chairman Milan Blake voting in favor. Commissioner Mike Hughes voted no.

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