WASHINGTON – 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 provided $35 million to the Maritime Administration for both vessels. The Maritime Administration took possession of the two ships after their original owners, Hawaii Superferry, Inc., defaulted on loans that the Maritime Administration had guaranteed.
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. The vessels are currently docked at Lamberts Point in Norfolk, Va.