POSTED: 5 DECEMBER 2007 - 7:30am HST

Hawaii Superferry postpones relaunch

image above: waves breaking over jetty wall in Kahului Harbour. Photo by Brad Parsons

by Christie Wilson on 5 December 2007 in The Honolulu Advertiser

KAHULUI, Maui — Hawaii Superferry suffered yet another setback when the company announced yesterday it was delaying its relaunch for a week because of storm damage to its pier at Kahului Harbor.

The new interisland ferry service between Honolulu and Maui was scheduled to start tomorrow, after having to put off plans to begin Dec. 1 because of earlier weather-related problems at the harbor.

A Hawaii Superferry announcement released last night said it will restart Dec. 13, and that passengers who booked travel between tomorrow and Dec. 12 would be contacted and offered refunds or a new bookings.

The state Department of Transportation was expected to start repairs today at Kahului Harbor's Pier 2, which was damaged during Monday's "unusually severe storm," said Michael Formby, head of the agency's Harbors Division.

"That storm was definitely one of the most severe storms in recent memory," he said.

Swells at the harbor entrance were estimated to have 20-foot faces, and waves washed over Pier 1. Formby said surges at the end of Pier 2, where a ferry barge is supposed to be tied up to load and unload vehicles, reached 6 feet at about 4:45 p.m. Monday.

"You just can't plan for stuff like that," he said.

The barge had been moved from the end of the pier after sustaining minor damage during a smaller swell Nov. 14, to alongside the pier where the 350-foot high-speed ferry will be docking. The effects from Monday's intense wave action snapped four lines securing the barge to the pier and uprooted two mooring bollards that were attached to two other lines, Formby said.

Additional lines prevented the barge from breaking free, and two tugboats helped keep the barge under control until conditions subsided.

The barge suffered the slightest of damage, less serious than the dents it sustained during the Nov. 14 incident, Formby said.

One of the bollards that was ripped out Monday was a post and the other a plate installed into the pier deck. Since the replacements will have to be cemented in place, it will take at least three days for the concrete to set, he said.

In the meantime, an engineer with the American Bureau of Shipping will survey the barge to certify it is structurally and mechanically sound, Formby said. A similar inspection was done after the earlier damage.

The Coast Guard is monitoring the situation.

The barge will have to be moved and resecured to the end of Pier 2 to prepare for the resumption of Hawaii Superferry service. The ferry will have to make at least one trip to the Kahului port before regular commercial service resumes to realign with the barge.

With further bad weather forecast for the Islands, Formby said, it was more prudent to be conservative in estimating the time it will take to prepare the barge and pier for the ferry.

He said other vessels in the harbor experienced similar difficulties Monday. NCL's Pride of America cruise ship lost four lines and had to depart early to wait out the surge in waters outside the harbor. The cruise ship returned to port yesterday morning.



POSTED: 4 DECEMBER 2007 - 4:00am HST

Harbor swells snap Superferry barge lines

image above: NCL's Pride of America
at Kahului Pier with north swell 12/107. Photo - Brad Parsons

by Advertiser Staffon 3 December 2007 The Honolulu Advertiser

  An NCL cruise ship and the Hawaii Superferry barge broke several lines today as large swells rolled across Kahului Harbor.

Two lines connecting the barge to a pier snapped, according to Michael Formby, head of the state Department of Transportation's Harbors Division.
The stern line has been replaced and other lines connecting the barge to the pier are being tightened, he said.

A tug boat is assisting the DOT with the state-owned ferry barge, which has broken its lines on two prior occasions. The barge is used to load and unload vehicles from the Hawaii Superferry's 350-foot high-speed catamaran.

The NCL's Pride of America broke one of its forward lines and used its bow thruster to maintain its position alongside the pier, Formby said.

He said "conditions are a challenge right now and we will report more later."

The ferry is due to return to Maui on Tuesday (Dec. 4) to help with realignment of the barge, which has been tied up alongside Pier 2 since it broke several lines Nov. 14 while it was berthed at the end of the pier.

Hawaii Superferry is scheduled to restart its Honolulu-to-Maui service on Thursday (Dec. 7).

image above: Surfer near Superferry pier. Note ramp in backgound.
Photo - Brad Parsons

[Note from Brad Parsons: Yes, the surf was over 20 ft. outside of the harbor. Over 10 ft. surf made it past the breakwaters into the harbor regularly. Surf at Pier 2 was at least 5 ft. This was one of those 37 days out of the year. There were a lot of people down at the harbor watching this, esp. a lot of Hawaiians, even a lot of commercial vehicles pulled over to the side of the road to watch this. Normally surf like this doesn't get so much attention on Maui, but I think it did today because locals know what this means for expected events in the harbor. I gave all of my pics to Akaku already, and will also put them up on flickr tonight. By the way, if I was Superferry and their bondholders, I would think twice about doing the test run tomorrow; the Hawaiian Gods spoke today. Aloha, BradToday, the Hawaiian Gods entered the debate.]

see also:
Island Breath: Operation Overload
Island Breath: Maui Planning Demo
Island Breath: Ti Party a big success
Island Breath: Ti Party to be held
Island Breath: Banana Republic
Island Breath: One more HSF Hurdle
Island Breath: Legislature OKs Superferry
Island Breath: Special Session on HSF
Island Breath: Conditions for Special Session
Island Breath: News of September 25-26 9/25/07
Island Breath: News of September 23-24 9/24/07
Island Breath: News of September 21-22 9/22/07
Island Breath: News of September 20th 9/20/07
Island Breath: News of September 19th 9/19/07
Island Breath: News of September 18th 9/18/07
Island Breath: News of September 16th-17th 9/17/07
Island Breath: News of September 14th-15th 9/15/07
Island Breath: News of September 13th 9/13/07
Island Breath: News of September 12th 9/12/07
Island Breath: News of September 11th
Island Breath: News of September 10th 9/10/07
Island Breath: Superferry Concerns 9/10/07-


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