POSTED: 24 FEBRUARY 2007 - 10:00am HST

Kauai DOT Superferry Meeting 13 March

Superferry, Manta, docked in Mobile, Alabama, before starting operations in Hawaii in Summer 2007

DOT Superferry Meetings on all affected Hawaiian Islands

Wednesday, February 21 at 6pm at Baldwin HS Cafeteria.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007 at 6 pm at Wailuku Community Center

Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 6 pm at Puuhale Elementary School

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 6 pm at Cheifess Kamakahelei Middle School

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 6 pm at Kealakehe Intermediate School

HSF Operational Plan & Commitments
by Hawaiian Superferrry Corporation on 23 February 2007

[Editor's Note:The environmental commitments for the HFC (Hawaiian Superferry Corporation) has been published and posted on the internet as PDF files. You can download them from links below. or go to:  The full document is very large (94MB). Even some of the the single appendices are large. Be forewarned.

HFC states that:
" Hawaii Superferry is committed to being a responsible member of the community and conducting business in way that helps protect Hawaii’s unique environment and way of life.

This document summarizes some of the most important activities Hawaii Superferry has engaged in since the business was first announced including details that describe our vessel specifications, rates and routes, environmental commitments and security and safety measures. In addition, we have listed some of our activities in community outreach."]

Here is the full document:

Full document (94MB)

Here are the separate parts:

         1.0 Introduction (388K)



POSTED: 20 FEBRUARY 2007 - 10:00pm HST

Detail from two page PDF spec sheet on the "Auto Express 107" Hawaii Superferry

Superferry official discusses business model
by Harry Eagar on 19 February in The Maui News Monday

[Editor's note: There is not a word about the military or Stryker Brigade in this puff piece. Dick Mayer has a couple of interesting comments on other angles along the way]

The first of the two Hawaii Superferries is undergoing sea trials, the shoreside improvements are moving ahead "on time and on budget" and the start date is still July.

As far as Superferry leaders are concerned, the environmental impact statement question was settled in 2005, and if the state wants to reopen it, the state can pay for any delays.

During a visit to Maui last week, John Lehman, who organized the financing for the Hawaii Superferry, said that the business never took a single step without first getting a signed agreement from the state.

He seemed less concerned about a vote in the state Senate calling for an EIS than about misconceptions about the ferry's operation and business model. One of the things that surprises him is the criticism from environmentalists. If they're concerned about greenhouse gases, he said, they should embrace the ferry.

"We will burn far less hydrocarbons per passenger, under almost all load factors" than any airplane.

He added, "We're not after the airlines."

Nor is the business model aimed at tourists. According to Lehman, the model aims at local families, local farmers and local workers. His vision of ferry passengers includes a sports team headed for a game with an interisland rival,
a workman with a heavy bag of tools headed for a service call and a farmer with a truckload of organic produce from Maui heading for Oahu, where there are enough customers to make a small farm on Maui viable.

All these points of the business model have been overshadowed by the controversies about whales, invasive species, drug couriers and traffic on island roads.

Editor's note: During tabletop exercises in Camp Aguinaldo, the Philipines, on Tuesday, the US military participants identified eight scenarios for which four operational orders, or opords, will be drafted. Two of them invovle the Superferry. See the Asian Journal article here). I don't think five seconds per vehicle should be adequate for our Superferry inspections: They must include car registrations, dirty vehicles, alien species, and now BOMBS possibly stadhed in each piece of luggage!!!]

Lehman and John Garibaldi, president of Hawaii Superferry, made these additional points about the operation:

• They expect their workers, eventually about 200 of them, to be organized by a union, though they don't know which one.

• They anticipate eventually converting to biodiesel fuel. The ferries are being built in Mobile, Ala., and the first one is undergoing tests and sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lehman, a former Navy pilot and secretary of the Navy with plenty of experience with the ocean, predicts that customers will be amazed at how comfortable and stable the ride is.

He was surprised himself, he says, that up to sea state 4, he was hardly aware he was afloat. Sea states, in the Pierson-Moskowitz Sea Spectrum, characterize the combined motion from a wide variety of factors such as wave height, period
and wind speed.

[Editor's Note: Here is the table that Lehman referred to in his Maui News interview. He mentioned a "Sea State" of "4". It seems that we get much higher and more severe waves than 6-7 feet, and stronger winds on the open sea of over 18-20 knots.A mere 25 knot wind in Sea State 5 produces 12 foot high waves]

Sea state 4 includes 6-foot waves, a five-second period and 15-knot winds - in other words, pretty choppy.

Furthermore, the SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) design means the ferry does not have to get up to speed to be stable, unlike a hydrofoil. Lehman says the ride is comfortable even when the catamaranlike vessel is barely under way, down to 3 knots.

This is presented as part of the answer to the worries about running into whales.
The overall whale avoidance plan, worked out with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, includes shifting the route away from whale waters in season, reducing speed and using both lookouts and sensors to spot whales.
Superferry is also hiring consultants at the University of Hawaii to develop new
whale-avoidance technology.

Lehman also says Superferry "went to a lot of trouble" with its shipyard, Austal, to design in "belt and suspenders" systems for control of all fluids aboard ship.
He calls it "maximum environmental consciousness."

Superferry's diesels will burn the lowest-sulfur fuel available, and as soon as a refinery can certify a suitable quality of biodiesel to meet manufacturer's warranties, Superferry intends to switch.

Lehman says Superferry will remove one of the barriers to increasing the use of biodiesel in the islands - transportation. The oil companies control the fuel distribution system (storage and pipelines), but a tanker of biodiesel can be driven onto the ferry and delivered anytime.

Garibaldi said before regular operations begin, Superferry will be offering short excursions to familiarize customers with it.

Customers will drive aboard (no unaccompanied vehicles will be allowed), but they will not stay in their cars or trucks on the lower deck.

On the upper deck there will be kiddie play areas, restaurants, and low prices.
When Hawaii Superferry first announced its intentions, it claimed it could halve fares compared to airlines - then charging around $100 one-way.

Although selected interisland air fares have come down since then, Lehman says Superferry's cost advantage has only grown with the rising world price of oil. Superferry managers, many of whom have a background in aviation, don't believe the interisland fare war generated by the entry of go! airline will last much longer.

However, Superferry also believes it actually will increase interisland air traffic by creating more small businesses, which will in turn generate business travelers.

Lehman, who is a founder of a group called Heritage Conservancy in Bucks County, Pa., where he owns a farm, says Superferry will open up a way for small farmers to return to survivability in the islands.

"We're here for the guys who cannot fill a whole container" to ship to market, he said.

All of this was explained when the first SWATH ferry (the Spirit of Ontario) made stops at island ports in March 2004 to show Hawaii residents modern maritime technology.

[Editor's Note: The operation of the "Spirit of Ontario" Auto Express 86 between Toronto and Rochester NY was an unmitigated disaster. See Wikipedia article for the nasty details. "On January 10, 2006, newly elected mayor of Rochester Robert Duffy announced that the city government would not be approving the ferry board's request for additional funding for the city's subsidiary Rochester Ferry Company LLC. This has effectively killed any hope that Spirit of Ontario I will return to its Lake Ontario operation. The city of Rochester owes $2.5 million in a revenue guarantee and the vessel will likely be sold." As it turned out it did... for about 10 cents on the dollar.]

One motive was to subdue doubts from old-timers who remembered the failure of the Sea-Flite hydrofoils in the 1970s.

What was not said in 2004 - because nobody quite expected it so soon - was that the state's economy would generate so much barge traffic that all the ports, but especially Kahului, would be facing serious congestion problems by 2007.

As a result, Superferry has been blamed for causing troubles for Young Brothers.
Even Young Brothers, which is squeezed for space at Pier 2 and at harbors on Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island, does not claim it wouldn't have happened if Superferry had not entered the picture.

Lehman says the state has procrastinated for decades about improving its harbors. Although the basic business model has not changed since 2004, Lehman says it will evolve "over the next 50 years."

Come July, "We'll be ready to go."

see also
Island Breath: Superferry EIS Bill hearings
IIsland Breath: EIS Bill in House
Island Breath: Superferry Launched
Island Breath: Superferry Reference
Island Breath: Superferry in Trouble
Island Breath: Superferry Resistance
Island Breath: Superferry & Military
Island Breath: Superferry History
Island Breath: Superferry Meetings
Island Breath: Superferry Redux
Island Breath: Superferry Problems
Island Breath: Stop the Superferry