Thursday, March 19, 2009
Report that Superferry plans to flee Hawaii
by Larry Geller
For the Alakai, there really isn’t much sense in hanging around rusting in Honolulu Harbor.
KGMB reports that according to its sources, Hawaii Superferry will be sending the Alakai to Alabama “as soon as possible.”
The catamaran will be returning to Alabama, where it was built by Austal.
The idea is to retrofit it with a ramp to make it more flexible for other uses, including the military, then have it ready for other jobs.
That makes sense, of course. They probably didn’t care for my suggestion to turn it into a floating restaurant until an EIS is completed. Oh, well. I tried.
It also means that if the state wants to go after Hawaii Superferry for any fees, it will find that the company has shipped its assets out of state.
An Austal-USA exec. gave an interview today where he said one of the reasons the ramp wasn't put on Alaka'i in the first place is that its weight is equivalent to 20 cars and that it causes the vessel to be even less fuel efficient. Put the ramp on Alaka'i and it will be even less efficient for commercial purposes.