Notes From The Margin

September 11, 2007

Super Ferry!

Saw this interesting article on STV this week on National Geographic with regard to the construction of the “Hawaii Super Ferry”, it turns out that the new ferry is the first high speed ferry service to operate in the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaii Superferry plans to use Austal fast ferry technology to establish Hawaii’s first high-speed vehicle-passenger service. Each catamaran can carry 866 passengers and up to 282 cars (or a combination of 28 twelve metre trucks and 65 cars) and provide services connecting Honolulu to Maui and Kauai in three hours and from Honolulu to the Big Island in approximately four hours. The second ferry will begin service in early 2009. With the entry into service of the second ferry, two round trips per day between Maui and Oahu and one round trip per day between Kauai and Oahu and the Island of Hawaii and Oahu will be offered.

With a draft of 3.6 metres (11’8”) and a beam of 24 metres (78’), the ferry will commute between the Hawaiian Islands at speeds up to 40 knots. The vessel is four decks high, including two decks for the car and truck loading, one deck for passengers and the bridge deck reserved for the pilot and his crew. The 2nd deck or mezzanine deck is 2/3 hoistable in order to facilitate parking for lighter cars and leave maximum parking space for the larger trucks.

The Upper Deck or passenger deck includes many premiere amenities for 866 passengers of all ages besides comfortable seating. This deck includes a bar and lounge on each end, food counter, gift shop, video game room, children’s play area, restrooms, crew mess, purser’s office, and first aid room.

At 40 knots the ferry would be able to make the 100 mile Barbados to St. Vincent Run in just under two and a half hours. When you consider the total time of travel with LIAT (not counting delays) the ferry begins to look attractive. Also the shipping of cargo between the islands would also be revolutionised. Currently several of the islands fly produce to Barbados for onward shipment to the UK in the belly cargo of the transatlantic wide bodies. A major constraint on those industries is the carrying capacity of a Dash 8, which is currently the only effective way of moving between the islands. A high speed ferry could open new opportunities for these segments of the OECS economies.


The only question we are left to ask is how much longer will we have to wait for this service?




  1. […] post by notesfromthemargin and software by Elliott […]

    Pingback by » Super Ferry! — September 11, 2007 @ 2:58 am | Reply

  2. “Saw this interesting article on STV this week on National Geographic” Um, ya showing ur age, it’s MCTV – and now we know ya don’t use DirecTV either, lol!

    Comment by Ian Bourne — September 11, 2007 @ 4:34 am | Reply

  3. Ding-Dong – pleased I’m not the only one thinking this. The French islands, naturellement, already have a fast ferry.

    Comment by Chris Mahon — October 7, 2007 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

  4. NFTM, I am old enough to remember that in the days of the now-defunct Federation of the West Indies, the Federal Maple and the Federal Palm -two ships donated by the Government of Canada – were a major means of communication between the member territories. They survived the death of the Federation but were eventuall buried in a morass of debt and incompetent management.

    It should be obvious that for the CSME to develop whatever potential it has, the citizens of the member territories need to be provided with a more efficient and reliable means of transportation than they now have. What is needed is investment in appropriate mechanisms, of which the fast ferry is certainly one that should be explored.

    Comment by Linchh — October 9, 2007 @ 8:53 am | Reply

  5. Dude, there are ferries like this one operating betweeen Guadeloupe, Dominica, Mrtinique , St Lucia and Cayenne.

    Comment by forever liat customer — September 30, 2008 @ 6:43 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: