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USNS Guam (HST-1)
Hawaii Superferry.jpg
The Huakai at the Austal USA shipyard
Name: Huakai
Owner: Hawaii Superferry (2007-2009)
U.S. Maritime Administration (2009-present)
Operator: Hawaii Superferry (2007-2009)
U.S. Maritime Administration (2009-present)
Port of registry: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Builder: Austal USA
Cost: US$88M
Yard number: 616
Way number: 1
Launched: September 29, 2008
Status: Laid Up
Notes: Never Entered Service
General characteristics
Type: Ferry
Displacement: 1646 Tons
Length: 373 ft (114 m)
Beam: 78 ft (24 m)
Draft: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Decks: 4
Deck clearance: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Installed power: 4 x MTU 20V 8000 M70
Propulsion: 4 x Rolls-Royce KaMeWa 125MkII waterjets
Speed: 35 kn (65 km/h; 40 mph)
Capacity: 866 passengers, 282 cars
Crew: 21

The USNS Guam (HST-1), (standing for High-Speed Transport), formerly named the Huakai was Hawaii Superferry's second vessel, and is currently owned by the U.S. Maritime Administration. The ship was completed in September 2008 and was intended to start service in May 2009, but the ship never entered service in Hawaii. In the Hawaiian language, huakaʻi means "journey".
The design of the Spearhead-class Joint High Speed Vessel is 70 percent in common with the Hawaii Superferries, both built by Austal USA.

Vessel[edit | edit source]

Huakai is a 373-foot (114 m) long high-speed roll-on / roll-off (Ro/Ro) passenger and vehicle ferry operated by Hawaii Superferry. Huakai has a capacity of 866 passengers and up to 282 subcompact cars. It is 19 feet (5.8 m) longer than its sister ship, Alakai, due to a bi-fold ramp installed on the stern of the ship.[1]

Just like Alakai, the vessel features environmentally friendly technologies including non-toxic bottom paint, zero wastewater discharge and clean diesel engines.[2]

The vessel was designed and built by Austal USA, a subsidiary of Austal, an Australian company that is the world's largest builder of fast ferries. Construction on Huakai began in 2007 in Mobile, Alabama. The ship was intended to enter service in 2009, but due to the abrupt shut down of the company the ship is currently laid up in Mobile, Alabama. Alakai also returned to Alabama ship yard.[3] On July 2, 2009 Hawaii Superferry decided to abandon the Huakai along with Alakai ending all possibilities of the ships to return to Hawaii.[4]

Status[edit | edit source]

  • In January 2010, the United States Maritime Administration announced that Huakai and Alakai would be used to assist with relief in the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[5][6]
  • On September 13, 2010, the Huakai and Alakai were auctioned off, for $25 million each, by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and they were reportedly purchased by the United States Maritime Administration.[7]
  • As of December 12, 2011, the Huakai and Alakai are being considered for purchase by the Navy, under the Defense Authorization Act of 2012.[8]

Navy Acquisition and Name Change[edit | edit source]

On January 27, 2012, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has transferred two high speed vessels, the Huakai and the Alakai, to the U.S. Navy. The Navy plans to use the vessels to transport troops and equipment to training areas from Okinawa and other locations. These vessels will help the Navy meet these unique operational requirements without the need to build new vessels. Powered by waterjet engines, the catamarans can each carry 288 cars and 866 passengers.[9]

In May 2012, The Navy has announced that both Alakai and Huakai have been renamed. The Alakai is now USNS Puerto Rico and the Huakai is now USNS Guam. Guam is being modified and will replace the chartered MV Westpac Express in Okinawa in March 2013. Puerto Rico will remain laid up until they work out what to use her for.[10]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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