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Hawaii Superferry for Haiti Relief

January 20, 2010

View of the second Hawaii Superferry Huakai at the Austal USA shipyards.

Updated at the bottom.

After the demise of the Hawaii Superferry company early last year, its two Austal high speed vessels Huakai and Alakai were both laid up. Now the current operators Hornblower Marine Services Inc. are putting at least one of the abandoned vessels to good use, sending the Huakai to aid in the ongoing disaster relief. Story from BizJournals:

Hornblower Marine Services Inc. has sent a high-speed vessel to carry humanitarian supplies and people to areas of Haiti affected by the earthquake that devastated the country last week.
The Huakai is a 373-foot boat with a cargo deck capacity of 25,000 square feet. It is capable of carrying as many as 800 passengers. It has a top speed of about 30 knots, or about 35 miles per hour, officials with New Albany-based Hornblower said in a news release.

Also KITV reveals the HSV is currently in Norfolk preparing for its mission of mercy, and will operate a joint military/civilian crew, in conjunction with U.S. Maritime Administration and the U.S. Military Sealift Command. Good luck and God Speed to ship and crew!

More here.

Update–Thanks to Lee Wahler for this link from Marine Log concerning the Huakai’s sistership Alakai:

The Alakai will join the other former superferry, Huakai. and five other MARAD controlled vessels in the Haiti relief effort.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. CBD permalink
    January 23, 2010 12:04 pm

    My terms could definitely use work. :)

  2. leesea permalink
    January 23, 2010 2:03 am

    Those are good ideas I just didn’t recognize your terms. We call them berthing modules and ROWPU units. I think much of the sailors will remain seabased until the big SeaBee units land a start setting up tent cities?
    The T-ACS would be good to load all TEU based cargo when it gets going.

  3. CBD permalink
    January 23, 2010 12:04 am

    Leesea,
    Hornblower marine has a contract to maintain the Superferry vessel. I figured that something like the shipping container-based quarters and water purifiers would be included to minimize need to provide berths for the crew ashore. Other things may be more important to move, but they’d still need to convert it into a ship that can be lived on…right?

  4. leesea permalink
    January 22, 2010 9:50 am

    Hornblower Marine operates several HSVs and has mariners in the pipeline.

    I seriously doubt that the HSF will be loading containers as pax movement and higher priority smaller vehicles may take precedence.

    ISO containers are ready the mission modules are NOT.

  5. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 22, 2010 4:45 am

    CBD-thats great, I love the HSVs and would see us more dependent on them. High speed lift at an affordable price!

  6. CBD permalink
    January 21, 2010 10:19 pm

    Mike,
    I believe they’ve probably been prepping the ships since last week. As one commenter (Bill, IIRC), said, finding crew capable of/trained in HSV operations might be difficult enough, not counting time to add necessary equipment (like drinking water generators, temporary berths for the crew and related facilities).

    Ideally, of course, the USN would have standard shipping containers with such things installed, ready for contingency ops (esp. since they’re making them now for LCS-1 VBSS crewing). Who knows…

  7. leesea permalink
    January 21, 2010 12:34 pm

    The second Hawaii Super Ferry has been ordered up. And yes I have been asking why the HSFs were not chartered by the Navy ever since the Hawaii operation failed and that company (not HMS) went into bankruptcy.

    MARAD made a loan guarantee by use of the Construction Security Fund, HI company defaulted on the loan so MARAD took back the collateral (ships).

  8. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 21, 2010 6:20 am

    Lee, seems I recall you advocating such an operation about a week ago:

    https://newwars.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/sea-fighter-to-haiti/#comment-11710

  9. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 21, 2010 5:47 am

    They were shut down by the environmentals in Hawaii. Their loss is Haiti’s gain!

  10. yeoldesalt permalink
    January 21, 2010 12:57 am

    Leesea is correct, Marad loaned the funding for these ferries under a govt program and has “repoed” them so to speak. One might be surprised what Marad owns! Include some Mississippi paddlewheelers in that inventory. Good luck to the crew. I think this will be a good usage of this ferry.

  11. leesea permalink
    January 20, 2010 11:02 pm

    Hornblower is not owner but operators. I believe the ships are owned by MARAD at least they hold a lien on the two HSFs. A one way run from GITMO to PaP should take about 4 hours. Sounds like a good service for them to be in.

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