History

Specializing in the construction of small to medium-sized watercraft built of steel, aluminum, and fiberglass, Swiftships goes above and beyond to offer turn-key solutions for its clients.

Forged from excellence, driven with character, and sealed by quality, Swiftships has epitomized an innovative and pioneering spirit recognizable through its people, products, and services.

Today, Swiftships continues to provide uncompromised excellence and quality through its team of experienced engineers, naval architects, and dedicated craftsmen. In its 69 year history, Swiftships’ proven steel and aluminum hulls have provided commercial supply and coastal defense vessels to 52 nations and 600 plus clients.

Swiftships is the proud legacy of a heritage beginning with Sewart Machine Works and founder Fred Sewart in 1942 before becoming Sewart Seacraft in 1946. The company was renamed Swiftships in 1969, and in 1979 began a general expansion of its shipyards creating six divisions:

  • Morgan City, Louisiana – specialized in aluminum construction of oilfield support vessels, ferryboats, military craft, specialty vessels and pleasure boats.
  • Pass Christian, Mississippi – specialized in construction of larger steel-hulled vessels.
  • Lafitte yard in Marrero, Louisiana – aluminum fabrication yard.
  • Freeport, Texas – was a full service repair yard specializing in supply vessels, large oceangoing barges, utility boats, tugs and crew boats.
  • Singapore – Joint Venture facility with Maroil specialized in construction of military and oilfield support vessels.
  • Houston, Texas – the Swift/Mangone Division, built large steel hulled vessels.

In 1981 Swiftships became part of United Nuclear Corporation of Falls Church, Virginia. In November of 1985 the company broke away from the conglomerate and became the Swift Group owned by Calvin LeLeux, Dennis Spurgeon, Robert Ness and Dave Ganley. In 1990, Ganley retired and in 2000 Spurgeon sold his shares to Ness and Leleux.

In 2004, Ness opted out of the company leaving Leleux as sole owner. For the next several years under Leleux’s leadership, Swiftships was engaged in commercial construction for the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico and refurbishing vessels for the Dominican Republic when in 2008 the company became part of the APEX Group of companies.

In 2008 Swiftships started its Co-production planning. Upon contract signing with the Egyptian Navy, Swiftships gave birth to its Co-production program in support of the Egyptian Navy requirement that the vessels be built in country.

In 2009, Swiftships was awarded an FMS contract by the U.S. Navy on behalf of the Iraqi Navy which included the establishment of a Ship Repair Facility in Umm Qasr, Iraq and the new modified 35m Patrol Boat was unveiled.

It was during the FMS program with the Iraqi Navy that the brothers Shehraze Shah and Khurram Shah with ICS Marine LLC met Calvin Leleux and his son Jeff Leleux and a relationship which would catapult Swiftships forward began. Their combined vision and drive carries the foundational principles that personify Swiftships’ legacy.

In 2012 the company reorganized to its current form and Swiftships LLC. A partnership between the LeLeuxs and the Shahs was formulated as ICS Marine and Swiftships became One Team.