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About The Program

The Power of American Shipyards

A key part of America’s maritime sector is overlooked. Our 300+ small shipyards build and repair the more than 40,000 military, safety, and commercial vessels in the American flag fleet. Yet, increasingly complex vessel design, operating standards, and aging facilities make it more challenging for smaller yards to maintain this fleet safely and efficiently.

The Small Shipyard Grant Program invests in the infrastructure and manpower of America’s small shipyards and represents a commitment in the future health, safety, and military readiness of our country. 



"The Small Shipyard Grant we were awarded has been invaluable in helping us upgrade our crane capabilities. We replaced a 40-year-old crane that wasn't keeping up with how big and heavy modern workboats have gotten. Without the grant, it would have taken much longer to acquire the capital to buy the new crane.”

Growing Congressional Support

In 2006, Congress authorized the Small Shipyard Grant Program in 46 USC §54101. It is administered by US Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration.

  • Despite providing significant funding in 2009's ARRA law, funding was sporadic as Congress zeroed out the program in FY2014 and FY2015.​ 

  • The creation of the Small Shipyard Grant Coalition, in 2015, sought to develop support for this important program.

  • As of 2023, MARAD has awarded $302M in 15 years to 351 small shipyard grants to facilities in 32 states and U.S. territory.


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  • The Program awards federal funds to small shipyards for equipment and facility modernization, to boost training for their employees and help improve their efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.

  • Eligible grantees include shipyards with fewer than 1,200 production employees working on site. The shipyard must also primarily focus on workboats (i.e. tugs, tows, fishing boats and ferries) greater than 40 feet in length and/or non-commercial vessels (i.e., yachts) greater than 100 feet in length.

  • U.S. manufacturers of shipyard equipment also benefit from the Buy America provisions in the law and receive orders for new equipment from this program each year, providing further leveraged economic activity.

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