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USNS Guam (T-HST-1)
Hawaii Superferry.jpg
Huakai at the Austal USA shipyard
Career (United States)
Name: Huakai
  • Hawaii Superferry (2007-2009)
  • U.S. Maritime Administration (2009-present)
  • Port of registry: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
    Builder: Austal USA
    Cost: US$88M
    Yard number: 616
    Way number: 1
    Launched: September 29, 2008
    • IMO number: 9328924
    • Maritime Mobile Service Identity number: 369466000
    • Callsign: NGUM
    Status: Laid up
    Notes: Never entered commercial service
    General characteristics
    Type: Ferry
    Displacement: 1,646 tons
    Length: 373 ft (114 m)
    Beam: 78 ft (24 m)
    Draft: 14 ft (4.3 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 knots (65 km/h)
    Capacity: 866 passengers, 282 cars
    Crew: 21

    USNS Guam (T-HST-1), formerly Hawaii Superferry's Huakai, is a United States Navy high-speed transport vessel.[1] The ship was completed in September 2008 and was intended to start Hawaiian service in May 2009, though delivery postponements saw that planned service canceled. In the Hawaiian language, huakaʻi means "journey".

    The design of the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport is 70 percent in common with the Hawaii Superferries, both built by Austal USA.

    Vessel[edit | edit source]

    USNS Guam was built as Huakai, whose name is based on the Hawaiian language word huakaʻi, which means "journey". The vessel is a 373-foot (114 m) long high-speed roll-on/roll-off (Ro/Ro) passenger ship. The vessel was originally built for Hawaii Superferry, and has a capacity of 866 passengers and up to 282 subcompact cars. It is 19 feet (5.8 m) longer than its sister ship, USNS Puerto Rico, due to a bi-fold ramp installed on the stern of the ship.[2]

    The vessel featured environmentally friendly technologies including non-toxic bottom paint, zero wastewater discharge and clean diesel engines.[3]

    Austal USA, a subsidiary of Austal, an Australian company that is the world's largest builder of fast ferries, built Huakai. 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 was laid up. Alakai also returned to the Alabama ship yard.[4] On July 2, 2009 Hawaii Superferry decided to abandon Huakai and Alakai.[5]

    Service history[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.[6][7]

    On September 13, 2010, Huakai and Alakai were auctioned off, for $25 million each, by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. They were purchased by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration.[8]

    On January 27, 2012, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration transferred two high speed vessels, Huakai and Alakai, to the U.S. Navy under the Defense Authorization Act of 2012.[9] The Navy had planned to use the vessels to transport troops and equipment to training areas from Okinawa and other locations, helping the Navy meet these unique operational requirements without the need to build new vessels.[10]

    In May 2012, The Navy has announced that both Alakai and Huakai have been renamed. Alakai was renamed USNS Puerto Rico and Huakai became Guam. Guam was modified to replace the chartered Westpac Express in Okinawa in March 2013, and Puerto Rico remained laid up until 2016.[11]

    References[edit | edit source]

    1. "Secretary of the Navy Names High Speed Ferries Guam and Puerto Rico – May 2012". Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. https://web.archive.org/web/20121025180607/http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15255. 
    2. "Shipping, Shipbuilding And Offshore News". MarineLog. 2008-09-30. http://www.marinelog.com/DOCS/NEWSMMVII/2008sep00300.html. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
    3. Hawaii Superferry - Eco-friendly Features Archived 2012-02-13 at the Wayback Machine.
    4. KGMB9 News (2009-03-28). "Alakai Leaves Hawaii; Heads To Alabama". Honolulu, Hawaii: KGMB9. Archived from the original on 2009-06-15. https://web.archive.org/web/20090615182555/http://kgmb9.com/main/content/view/15596/40/. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
    5. Dicus, Howard (2009-07-01). "Hawaii Superferry abandons ship, and other bankruptcies in the news". Honolulu, Hawaii: KGMB9. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. https://web.archive.org/web/20091009130925/http://kgmb9.com/howard/2009/07/01/hawaii-superferry-abandons-ship-and-other-bankruptcies-in-the-news/. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
    6. Maritime Administration Prepares Five Ships For Duty, U.S. Department of Transportation, January 18, 2010 Archived January 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
    7. "Secretary LaHood Announces Additional Fast Ferry Mobilized for Haiti". United States Department of Transportation. January 20, 2010. Archived from the original on 28 May 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20130528060002/http://www.marad.dot.gov/news_room_landing_page/news_releases_summary/news_release/marad_03-10.htm. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
    8. "U.S. buys more high-speed vessels". navytimes.com. http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/10/defense-navy-purchases-ferrier-101310/. Retrieved 10 July 2016. [dead link]
    9. "Defense Authorization Act funds transfer of ex-Superferries to Navy". MarineLog. 19 December 2011. http://www.marinelog.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1806:defense-authorization-act-funds-transfer-of-ex-superferries-to-navy&Itemid=230. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 
    10. "Navy Gets Two High Speed Vessels from Maritime Administration". United States Department of Transportation. 27 January 2012. http://www.marad.dot.gov/news_room_landing_page/news_releases_summary/news_release/DOT_15-12.htm. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
    11. "Secretary of the Navy Names High Speed Ferries Guam and Puerto Rico – May 2012". Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. https://web.archive.org/web/20121025180607/http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15255. 

    External links[edit | edit source]

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