Thursday, January 31, 2008

Superferry Still Stuck

Once again, things aren’t quite adding up with Hawaii Superferry.

KGMB reported last night that the ferry is having rudder problems that are apparently serious enough to capture the attention of the Coast Guard, which advised HSF officials to keep the boat in port until it’s fixed.

The station has Superferry officials saying it’s the auxiliary rudder, while “the Coast Guard said the trouble is with the rudder post, which houses the rudder and is controlled by jet drives that help stabilize the Alakai.” Why the differing accounts?

Further, the report states: “The Superferry said it's a one day fix and insists the rough seas have kept it from sailing, not the repairs.”

So if the problem was discovered on Monday, and it’s a one-day fix, why wasn’t it repaired by the time of the newscast on Wednesday? We're now at day five of no service, so you'd think they'd want to have it up and running ASAP.

And the big question: how, exactly, did it get damaged?

These, of course, are the kinds of questions that apparently don’t get asked, or answered. And meanwhile, The Advertiser’s coverage is limited to running voyage cancelled announcements pulled from the company’s website.


Anonymous said...

Joan, nice, I did not notice that discrepency between the Coast Guard and HSF.

Also, this calls into question its seaworthiness under stressful conditions.

It seems to me this ship has more difficulty with wind as opposed to waves. I have noticed the profile of these Austal ships looks much less aerodynamic than do the comparable Incat ships. Maybe that would have something to do with why the Swift passed its stressful seatrials and yet this boxy vessel seems to have trouble resisting the wind when headed north in the channels going into the wind.

I believe this lack of aerodynamic under the channel conditions is what is creating the motion sickness in the channels. And now maybe calling into question the strength of the vessel?

Aloha, Brad

Anonymous said...

It looks like the Supper Ferry is trying to blame the USCG for their crappy service. They have a different story everyday why they can't sail. The weather, the USCG wont let us cuz the conditions, the USCG won't let us because the repairs. There PR system sucks because they can't get their story straight. Why can't they just say “something’s wrong with the rudder." They are gaining even more people hating them.

Anonymous said...

I hope the US military doesn't buy this piece of ... lemon.

Anonymous said...

Dittos on the HSF PR machine breakdown.

Re: the military design contract. It is interesting. What has been awarded is only one of 3 designs, not the building of the ship yet.

Correct me if I am wrong, but this is a lesser contract and slower timetable than what was originally planned for the JHSV. I still believe Incat's design has the advantage unless Austal makes some significant design changes, esp. with aerodynamics.

I believe that HSF is experiencing far too much resistance in the channels going north into the wind. That's the source of all the motion sickness and now possibly the damage problem.

Aloha, Brad

Joan Conrow said...

Brad, yes, it is a slightly slower timetable for the JHSV program. I agree that Incat seems to have the edge, but then, a lot more goes into these decisions (eg politics) than just design!