Ever see a law enforcement boat with beefed-up seating and steering, quad engines and what looks like grey, bullet-proof construction? Sometimes there’s an impressive automatic gun mounted on the bow, too. Chances are that’s a Metal Shark aluminum boat.
Louisiana-based Metal Shark Aluminum Boats bring recreational fishermen a unique, all-aluminum center console that’s as close to indestructible as it gets. Florida Sportsman magazine met with Metal Shark President Chris Allard at Sailfish Marina to test the 40 Fearless on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and outside of Lake Worth Inlet.
From a Florida angler’s perspective, the 40 Fearless is an interesting concept boat, showing how a military-grade vessel might be configured for sportfishing. At present, Metal Shark builds for government clients a diverse line of aluminum boats, including center consoles starting at 21 feet, and skiffs at 16 feet. The 40 Fearless is the first of the line made available for private customers.
There’s nothing diminutive about it. Heavy-duty 5086 aluminum alloy plating make up the hull bottom, sides, stringers and bulkheads. Until now, Metal Sharks have only been available to government, military and commercial customers. With the release of the custom 40 Fearless, Metal Shark jumps into the recreational market.
“This model was originally going to be named the 40 Relentless, but because of its unique architecture, this boat didn’t fall under the same category as the remainder of the Relentless Series,” said Brian Johnston, Director of Communications for Metal Shark boats. “The Fearless moniker enhances the boat’s image as military technology available in a civilian package.”
Metal Shark is a company that builds vessels for drug interdiction, gunship operations and border security. Now they’re adding fishermen-friendly features like livewells, rod holders, fish boxes and options like outriggers. What’s left is one tough-looking boat that will garner lots of attention, wage battles against the toughest weather conditions, and still catch fish.
Boat Build: Computer modeling of each custom part leads to three-dimensional drawings. Then all parts are cut using computer-controlled high-power water jets. Pieces are then welded together, like an industrial puzzle. All decks are welded to the stringer system and open, under-deck areas are foam-filled for increased flotation.
Metal Shark Boats
6816 East Admiral Doyle Drive
Jeanerette, Louisiana 70544
LOA: 41 feet, 3 inches
Beam: 10 feet, 3 inches
Draft: 2 feet, 2 inches
Fuel Capacity: 600 gallons
Weight: varies per application
Max horsepower: 1,400
MSRP: $350,000 (includes base boat, triple Verado 300s and trailer)