Alakai Headed to Haiti Too

SUBHEAD: Both Superferries, now owned by the Maritime Administration, to deliver Haiti relief.

By Kaija Wilkinson on 20 January 2010 in Alabama Press Register - 

Image above: The Hawaii Superferry Akakai being tyrned away from Nawiliwili Harbor by Kauai surfers. From (

 Huakai, a catamaran designed and built by Austal USA, has been mobilized along with its sister ship Alakai by MARAD for relief efforts in Haiti. MARAD reposessed the vessels in summer 2009 after Hawaii Superferry Inc. went bankrupt. Two high-speed catamarans built at Austal USA in Mobile for Hawaii Superferry Inc. are headed to Haiti to assist with relief efforts, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced today.

Alakai and Huakai were designed and built by Austal for Hawaii Superferry. MARAD reposessed the vessels in July after Hawaii Superferry filed for bankruptcy. Now based in Virginia, the catamarans are two of six ships being mobilized for relief after an earthquake devastated the country over a week ago.

Completed in 2007 and 2009, respectively, Alakai and Huakai move people, vehicles and other cargo at speeds of up to 40 knots, according to Austal. They have folding ramps that enable them to be loaded and unloaded without relying on shoreside facilities such as cranes.

Although no details have been released about how they will be used, the ships may serve as a link between Haiti and Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba or Miami, carrying relief supplies and personnel to and from Haiti.

The catamarans can carry nearly 800 tons per voyage, Austal said. They will be crewed by Hornblower Marine Services of Albany, Indiana.

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Never before seen pictures of the Huakai: 

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