New patrol boats for St. Maarten soon too

SIMPSON BAY–Four new high-speed patrol boats commissioned on the island of Curaçao were the first to be delivered to the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) under a twelve-boat order announced last year. St. Maarten and Aruba are next.

The welded aluminium 38 Defiant mono-hull patrol boats were designed and manufactured by Louisiana based shipbuilder Metal Shark as the result of a multi-year effort by the DCCG to procure replacements for its fleet of open-cockpit rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs).

The new enclosed-pilothouse vessels will serve as the DCCG’s main interceptors, patrolling the territorial waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba.
“Metal Shark collaborated extensively with the Dutch Ministry of Defence as well as the end users in Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten to optimise our design to accommodate a very challenging mission set,” explained Metal Shark’s Vice President of International Business Development Henry Irizarry.

“From adapting a stern drive propulsion system for crew familiarity and fleet commonality, to altering the vessels’ physical dimensions to clear low bridges while preserving pilothouse headroom, all with the demands of high speed, open-ocean operation in mind, these boats have been specifically tailored for the DCCG.”

Powered by twin Cummins Marine QSB6.7 diesel engines coupled with Konrad 680B counter-rotating dual-prop stern drives, the 38 Defiant reaches top speeds in excess of 45 knots.
A fully-enclosed pilothouse shields the crew from the elements, while Metal Shark’s “Pillarless Glass” pilothouse arrangement assures unimpeded visibility, day or night. Specially engineered composite armour panels provide ballistic crew protection from unfriendly fire.

Shockwave Corbin shock-mitigating seating has been provided for a crew of six, and anti-fatigue floor covering has been employed in the pilothouse and the belowdecks crew spaces. For extended patrols at sea, accommodations include an enclosed head compartment, galley and v-berth.

“With their fully enclosed pilothouses, shock-mitigating seating and the durability of welded aluminium construction, these patrol boats represent significant capabilities upgrade for the DCCG, especially in the rough sea conditions prevalent off the coast of Curaçao,” Irizarry continued. “These new vessels are an asset for the entire region; increasing range and reducing response time while greatly improving the safety of the crews who operate them.”

“By the end of the year, Metal Shark vessels will be operational in the militaries of over 50 countries worldwide,” said Metal Shark’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chris Allard. “With our extensive portfolio of great-performing hull designs and the flexibility of our design team to meet customers’ needs with innovative solutions, we continue to expand Metal Shark’s global footprint.”

Additional Metal Shark vessels for the DCCG stations in Aruba and St. Maarten are currently in production, with deliveries slated for later this year.

Source: The Daily Herald