Wednesday, January 30, 2008

HI Superferry: Rudder Problems for Superferry

See full report at:

Rudder Problems for Superferry

Written by KGMB9 News
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 07:13 PM

"The Superferry tells us it's a problem with something called the auxiliary rudder, which is involved with steering the vessel.

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. The Superferry is stuck at Honolulu Harbor. The problem was discovered Monday during a routine inspection..."

"...The editor of the Molokai Advertiser, the newspaper on that island took these images of the vessel underway last Saturday showing just how rough it can be between Maui and Molokai.

You can see the Alakai pitched up and then down in the two images. It's not known if the rough weather contributed to the damage.

The Coast Guard did take a look at the damage and instructed the Superferry to remain in port until the problem was fixed."

Last Updated ( Wednesday, January 30, 2008 07:25 PM )
End Report

One does a rudder get damaged???

See also related report The Superferry suffered damage at sea
And comments on that Superferry taking a beating in rough seas?

Aloha, Brad

Monday, January 28, 2008

HI Superferry: Austal Corp. News 1/28/08{50947EED-4812-4AEC-B4B6-A9CAFADDD848}&Section=NewsViews

Austal signs $82m catamaran contract
By: Daniel Bragg

"Austal Limited (ASB) said it has signed a contract for four additional 47.5 metre passenger catamarans with Macau-based Cotai WaterJets. Valued at approximately $82 million, the order will add to 10 identical vessels currently under construction at Austal's Henderson shipyard in Perth.

Executive chairman John Rothwell said the total number of Austal vessels delivered to the China/Hong Kong area would now grow to 52, reinforcing Austal�s successful growth in the region. �It is a pleasing start to the year to see the Cotai WaterJet order expand to 14 ferries based on the success of the initial deliveries already operating between Hong Kong and Macau,� said Mr Rothwell. The company said that it expected the vessels to be delivered in the first half of 2009.

The announcement follows news that the US Navy will be providing a US$33 million ($37.1 million) grant assistance package for Austal USA�s planned modular manufacturing facility expansion. The company said the facility would allow Austal to construct up to six large vessels per year.

In addition, Austal said it is expecting to hear in the first quarter of 2008 the outcome of a preliminary design contract for the US joint high-speed vessel program. The US Navy intends to purchase eight vessels for joint use by both Navy and Army."

HI Superferry: Live Cam of Kahului Harbor

This is a repost of the live cam address of Kahului Harbor that I learned about from Karen Chun:

For the hardcore, you can put it up in the corner of your computer screen, and look at it anytime,
Aloha, Brad

HI Superferry: Regarding the Kahului Harbor Draft EIS

Today is the deadline to get in written comments. Here are mine:

First, generally speaking, the scope of alternatives in this Draft EIS seems dated, undeveloped, and too narrow.

In the Kahului Harbor Draft EIS, DOT/Belt Collins have proposed breakwaters for Kahului Harbor that would be inadequate. I have used figures from that Draft EIS and the applicable US Army Corp of Engineers document to propose better breakwaters. DOT/Belt Collins did not make adequate use of resources at the CHL of USACoE to test multiple new breakwater senerios. One senerio that I can think of I have drawn in green over figures taken from the two docs.

In addition to the proposed new East Breakwater extending due north outside of the harbor, I believe the East Breakwater should be extended due south into the harbor equal to about 3/4 of the extension due north. This addition I am proposing would be to effectively cut off wave/swell surge into Piers 1, 2, 3, and 4. Also, regarding the extension of the West Breakwater into the harbor to cut off surge into Pier 5, if it is determined that the efficacy of that outweighs the cultural impacts, then I believe that the West Breakwater Extension into the harbor should follow more of a due south path (and not angle so closely toward Pier 5) to more effectively cut off the wave/swell surge into the Pier 5 area. These breakwater extension proposals will still funnel a surfable wave/swell surge toward the shoreline at the southeast end of Kahului Beach Road and the west end of Hoaloha Beach.

Regarding Alternative A:
The proposed fill-in area to the southwest of Pier 2 takes too much space away from the canoe clubs. Also, DOT has been advised by the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers that extending Pier 2 in any manner, without an adequate breakwater solution, would likely be impractical at the end of the pier. Even though the state appears to favor Alt. A, too much of the funding for this alternative would be to establish solely the TRANSIENT cruise ships and Superferry on the West side of the harbor.

Regarding Alternative B:
Again, Pier 2 extension requires an East Breakwater solution to make this workable for the cruise ships and Superferry at Pier 2. This alternative is better in that all of the significant investment to improve the West side of the harbor under this alternative would be for the NEED of long-term cargo tenants.

The more than a third of a billion dollars in expense for these harbor improvements are mostly to the breakwater extensions and to develop the West side of the harbor. The cruise ships have already taken one of the three ships out of Hawaii recently and will take another one out soon. The Superferry cannot even cover its fuel costs. Neither of them can be expected to be long-term tenants.

Whatever harbor improvements are made on the West side of the harbor, esp. at the dollar figures contemplated should be easily adaptable for tenants expected to be long-term...namely cargo. Bond financing should only be used for long-term, necessary improvements as for cargo tenants and facilities.

See also:

Aloha, Brad

Sunday, January 27, 2008

HI Superferry: New research project...avg. swell days

You know, I have noticed an excuse that is being used is that this winter season has had more severe wind and swell weather than usual. In the decade I have been here, this seems like an average winter weather year to me. I have started a new search to find the data on this. I am consulting with a meteorologist or two and with some people involved in shipping here in Hawaii. I'll let you know when I find what the answer is. I know this, the USACoE doc indicated 37 higher swell days on average in Kahului Harbor and not just 4 days. Aloha, Brad

HI Superferry: Derrick DePledge/Advertiser Investigative Reports Begin

Sunday, January 27, 2008
"State path set in '04 Awana, ferry talks"

The Advertiser has obtained thousands of documents related to the Lingle administration's decision to exempt the Hawaii Superferry from an environmental review.
New selection of the state Department of Transportation's Superferry documents (13MB)
Previous selection of the state Department of Transportation's Superferry documents (material highlighted by The Advertiser in a previous story - 57MB)
Hawaii, ferry at odds in '04 over environment

StoryChat: Comment on this story

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

The state Department of Transportation's aggressive pursuit to exempt Hawaii Superferry from an environmental review came after a late December 2004 meeting with Superferry executives and Bob Awana, Gov. Linda Lingle's then-chief of staff, state records show....

Rest of article:

Posted on: Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Hawaii, ferry at odds in ’04 over environment"

PDF: Selection of the state Department of Transportation's Superferry documents (material highlighted by The Advertiser)

StoryChat: Comment on this story

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

Staff at the state Department of Transportation told Hawaii Superferry in October 2004 that a statewide environmental assessment would be required for the new interisland ferry service. But Superferry executives resisted and, within two days, scaled back the project in a calculated attempt to get an exemption from the state's environmental review law, state records show....

Rest of article:

It's a start. I met Mr. DePledge in passing in the airport at Lihue, Kauai, on Oct. 21, 2007. We were both catching the same late plane out of Kauai. It was only a brief conversation, but he seemed a little bit disinterested at the time. Seems his energy level on this has come up a bit since then.

Aloha, Brad

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Endless Bummer" T-Shirts from Kauai Surfers

Have known about these being in development. Received the following today from a businessman on Kauai:
Aloha Brad,

Thanks again for all of your good work. I have received my first order of Endless Bummer Superferry Tshirts. (Picture attached) I will be selling them for $15.00 + shipping. I plan to put some money aside from each sale to fund a small PR budget. I have 100 shirts in sizes ranging from small to xxl. The colors are black, green and blue. Let me know how many you want and I will send them to you.

Please pass the word along if you like them. Maybe you could post it to your blog.

can be reached at
(808) 652-7113

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

HI Superferry: Gotta laugh with this one...

This was a letter to the editor in today's Maui News, 1/23/08:

"So just where is that “silent majority” of Superferry supporters? Come out, come out, wherever you aren’t and put your money where your Opinion page letters were. Jump into your vehicular motion and drive it to the ocean or pass a basket around the casket – sail that Pukerferry.

Hawaii Superferry needs $650,000 weekly to operate. Gov. Linda Lingle can hold the Alakai to her breast for only so long and then somebody has to pay for the formula. Who is buying the bailbuckets and bilge pumps to keep Sinkerferry afloat?

Is it really, after all the B.S. and no EIS, going to prove to be the Stupidferry, Fiascoferry, Stinkerferry, the Blooperferry or maybe become the Trooperferry? I’m currently calling it Suckerferry. Hawaii taxpayers got suckered big time. How soon before Lingle starts throwing good money after bad?

Pacific Business News reported Jan. 18 that HSF officials sent a letter on Dec. 21 to the Public Utilities Commission, stating that they are operating in an “emergency situation” with so few passengers and vehicles that they are apparently experiencing financial difficulties. Imagine that.

They are only carrying about 160 passengers and 50 vehicles each way, and that is with the cheapo $39 fare. Remember, it seats 866 plebeians and stables 250 chariots, and they said they needed 410 heads and 150 motors to break even.

It may not be a Lemonferry but sure tastes sour to me. Can you say bye-bye to the Alakai?"

Kenny Hultquist


Nice work Kenny,

Aloha, Brad

HI Superferry: Re: Night Vision Equipment

I am still posting to try and tie up some loose ends. In my break even and scheduling analysis a few months ago I noticed that a key constraint was going to be the return leg of HSF's second roundtrip each day. Invariably some or all of it would be in the dark depending on what speed HSF had been traveling at throughout the day. The only way I thought that might be able to be dealt with is by using night vision optics.

Irene Bowie, Karen Chun and Lee Tepley have looked into this more than I have, and all of them believe night vision optics at the speed and distances involved would not be effective in avoiding whales. Until I see advanced night vision optics demo'd (and yes, I would be responsibly curious to see it demo'd), I will defer to Irene's, Karen's, and Dr. Lee's opinions that night vision optics would not work for this. The following is a piece that Lee Tepley, Ph.D. wrote on the matter. The graphics he mentions are not included here, but the curious can Google or go to the sites he mentions and look at the graphics.

How well do night vision systems really work??‏
From: Lee Tepley
Sent: Tue 1/15/08 10:35 PM

Would night vision devices really detect whales for the Superferry??--Please circulate

Why did the Hawaii Superferry (HSF) decide to suspend it’s proposed night operations to Maui until springtime?? Coincidentally springtime, is near the end of the whale season. Was it really all that concerned about the displeasure of Maui’s Mayor Tavares relating to traffic jams and undecided legal issues?? Or is it really more concerned about the increased probability of the Superferry hitting a whale at night – and, even worse, getting caught in the act?? Go to the last paragraph for my personal guess.

But maybe I am just being an alarmist. After all, Terry O’Halloran has stated that the Superferry has night vision devices that operate with “remarkable clarity”. This implies that the Superferry is no more likely to hit a whale at night than during the daytime (which, of course, is inevitable - sooner or later).

So just how good are these “remarkably clear” night vision devices – say, for detecting a dorsal fin of a whale at the surface at night.

It seems that there are two types of night vision devices - goggles and scopes - and the Superferry has both.

First, lets consider night vision goggles. There may hundreds of different types on the market. You can buy one for your very own for from a few hundred to about 12,000 dollars. The term “generation 4” (or “gen 4”) refers to the most advanced type. Night vision goggles work by capturing and intensifying available light.

An on-line ad for a really fancy one (the ATN Cougar 4) states that it can pick up light about 150 yards away in pitch darkness and can identify objects about 100 yards away. (It is not made clear how it can pick up any light in “pitch darkness” – but never mind!) However, in moonlight, it will reach out pretty far –maybe even out to 1000 yards.

Let’s consider a dark night when the Superferry is creeping along at a mere 25 knots. Assume that an observer is actually looking through his goggles (instead of just drinking coffee) and detects a dorsal fin 100 yards ahead of the ferry. Now assume that it takes 10 seconds for the Pilot to respond to the observer. But in that 10 seconds the Superferry will have moved 140 yards. Whoops!! It will have hit the whale before the Pilot had time to take action.

So the gen-4 night vision goggles will not work for detecting whales on a dark night – but they might work with a full moon.

Now, lets consider the other alternative – the night vision scope. The best one I found on Google is the Electrophysics AL-20 Infrared Illuminator. It claims to work out to 1000 yards on a dark night. This sounds promising. It puts out a beam of infrared light which bounces off a distant object, returns, and is then picked up by an infrared sensitive camera.

So how good a picture does it get?? Would it detect a dorsal fin of a whale breaking the surface at a great distance? You can judge for yourself because Electrophysics put out a short video showing it’s performance at distances from 300 to 700 yards. The video is attached to this e-mail as a Quicktime movie – but in case you can’t open it, I am also attaching a still picture taken at a distance of 700 yards. It shows a car, a man jumping and a sign. Also, I think the bright band in the center represents an airstrip. I suspect that the car, the man and the sign all have light colors which would reflect light better than the trees in the picture. Anyhow, it does seem rather “remarkable” that the AL-20 works at 700 yards in the dark – but how well would it detect a dark colored dorsal fin of a whale breaking the surface of a dark colored ocean?? And how much easier would it be to detect the same whale in daylight??

A few more points:

1. A night vision scope will not work in rain or heavy mist because the infrared light it puts out would be mostly absorbed before reaching the hypothetical dorsal fin that surfaced 700 yards away. Little or no light would be reflected back to the source,

2. An observer would have to be staring continuously at a grainy Black & White display on a computer screen (or monitor) looking for a small dorsal fin. The fin would be smaller than the “jumping little man” in the attached Quicktime video or the standing little man in the attached still picture. Also a “coffee-break” at the wrong time would spell disaster. The observer must never look away from the screen.

3. The Quicktime video appears to show the playback from a video camera. It would be really tough for an observer to keep staring at a small LED screen displaying a grainy black & white picture of mostly nothing for many hours– and then be looking away when a dorsal fin finally appears. To avoid self-hypnosis (and maybe loss of sanity), the observer must at least be able to look at the video on a large screen in real time. Let’s hope that Electrophysics provides this option.

4. Finally, perhaps Terry O’Halloran and cohorts actually gave themselves a private demonstration and tried looking at a picture of the ocean at night on the large screen (if there is one) of a night vision scope with “remarkable clarity”. After a few minutes of staring straight ahead at a grainy and almost featureless picture of the ocean, Terry may have decided that maintenance of sanity required cancellation of all night operations of the Superferry – at least for the remainder of the whale season.

Aloha, Lee

HI Superferry: The Saga Continues...$350,000 More

This is like a Greek tragedy...or a bad dream that you can't wake up from. Every week it looks more and more like the Fast Ferry Fiasco of British Columbia only a few years ago. Aloha, Brad

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
$350,000 tugboat service needed to support Superferry
By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Neighbor Island Editor

"The state Department of Transportation said 10 weeks of daily tugboat service — at a cost of $350,000 — is needed at Kahului Harbor to support Hawaii Superferry operations.
The tug service is necessary to keep a state-owned barge snug against the end of Pier 2C during ocean surges and to provide safe loading and unloading of passengers and vehicles, according to a request filed Friday to exempt the contract from state procurement rules.
Without the assistance, the state could be liable for damage claims by the Superferry of $18,000 a day if it cannot meet its obligation to provide barges with mooring systems to enable ferry operations, the request said..."

For rest of this excellent article see...

Also, comments on the article at Topix:

Showing posts 1 - 10 of 10

Lose Money
Honolulu, HI
What For We Need SuperFerry!
All these problems should have been addressed before the SuperFerry was rushed into operations. Let's face it, this is a Military prototype vessel and we are paying to do the beta testing. We have lived all this time without a ferry. Why do we need this expensive luxury when money could be better spent elsewhere.

Paia, Maui
More public kala thrown into the dark anomaly of harbor "improvements" at Kahului Harbor?

Karen Chun
Makawao, HI
In about 2005, the paddlers and harbor users (cruise ships, Matson, YB, Harbor Pilots, paddlers etc.) got together in what turned out to be a first-time meeting with DOT.(DOT likes to work in a vacuum without pesky users or physical reality)

In addition to finding out that DOT had been telling each user a different thing, the harbor pilots told DOT:

You can't tie up ANYTHING at the end of Pier 2 for any length of time because the surge is so bad.

We TOLD DOT again and again that the barge idea wouldn't work but I think DOT just works on "wishing it were so" by ignoring physical facts.

The pilots also said:

You can't put ANYTHING at the end of Pier 2 or make Pier 2 longer because Kahului Harbor already has too tight of a turning radius and you'll make the harbor unsafe.

Well, guess what? DOT is back again. This time they're going to spend 1/3 of a BILLION dollars to extend Pier 2.

Now that is bad enough since the pilots already said it is unworkable, but get this - not only are they going to restrict the turning basin by lengthening Pier 2, but the are also building a breakwater on the west edge of the turning basin to further restrict the turning radius in Kahului Harbor.

I guess the pencil pushers at DOT who rarely bother to come out and LOOK at what they are designing figured that putting the breakwater for the new cruise ship pier on the edge wouldn't impact the turning basin.

Go LOOK at how the basin is used guys! Yeah, the deep draft vessels stay within the basin (they hope - it's hard with the surge) but the tugs are using the area where they propose to put the breakwater to maneuver and get on the west side of the vessels to push them towards the docks.

How the heck are the tugs going to maneuver if you put a breakwater there?

Wailuku, HI
the state should have begun harbor improvements 20 years ago in all its ports...the harbors and commercial port infrastructures are "third world standards" not pretty....lets blame the democrat controlled legislature...for the last 50 years they have been in control....

Hawaii Born
Kapaa, HI
We are throwing good money after bad!

Ewa Beach, HI
Lose Money wrote:
What For We Need SuperFerry!
All these problems should have been addressed before the SuperFerry was rushed into operations. Let's face it, this is a Military prototype vessel and we are paying to do the beta testing. We have lived all this time without a ferry. Why do we need this expensive luxury when money could be better spent elsewhere.
Money, whether they buy this tug boat or not, the state is going to take your money anyways. That money is pocket change compare with the waste of millions of dollars in other stuff that we don't get to use. So, even if they don't buy this tug, you will be paying the same taxes or more. "You know you live in Hawaii, when your money is use for everything, except, to what is intended for."

West Chicago, IL
Big business partnered with government at the cost of the taxpayer & the enviroment!!!
the kau truth

United States
Sustainability, where have you gone? Gone to harbor improvements, superferry(s) to bring everything from everywhere else. Don't grow it or build it here, we bring it to you and let you drink our beer.

Long Beach, CA
This is typical Hawaii, more band aid approach. I was just in town and could not believe the mess the streets are in with construction at every which way. The infrastructure is broken and every little band aid approach seems to be just the initial payment toward another huge bill down the line. And now this Superferry debacle. It just seems like Hawaii could do a lot better directing their funds at much needed repairs to their infrastructure such as the UH campus to begin with. Wow, what a mess!!!

Maui, HI

That is an excellent article.

Aloha, Brad

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

HI Superferry: Regarding Draft EIS of Kahului Harbor

DOT/Belt Collins have come up with some proposed breakwaters for Kahului Harbor that would be inadequate. I have used figures from the applicable USACoE doc to propose better breakwaters. DOT/Belt Collins did not make adequate use of the CGWAVE Model that CHL has a USACoE to test multiple new breakwater senerios. One senerio that I can think of I have drawn in green over figures taken from the two docs.

The third of a billion dollars in expense for these harbor improvements are mostly to the breakwater extensions and to develop the west side of the harbor for the cruise ships and the Superferry. The cruise ships have already taken one of the three ships out of Hawaii recently and will take another one out soon. The cruise ships prefer facilities in West Maui anyway. The Superferry cannot even cover its fuel costs. Neither of them can be expected to be long-term tenants. Whatever harbor improvements are made on the west side of the harbor, esp. at the dollar figures contemplated should be easily adaptable for tenants expected to be long-term...namely cargo. Bond financing should only be used for long-term, necessary improvements as for cargo tenants and facilities.

Again, the EIS of the Superferry would have to be much more esoteric, and yet it is clear that this draft EIS for Kahului Harbor is already dated and not thorough.

Aloha, Brad

Sunday, January 20, 2008

HI Superferry: U.S.S. Superferry? by Joan Conrow

Honolulu Weekly
U.S.S. Superferry?
Unwitting Hawaii residents may be getting a military ship in civilian camo
By Joan Conrow / 1-16-2008

Hawaii Superferry — now running (weather permitting) between Oahu and Maui, thanks to a gubernatorial and legislative override of a State Supreme Court ruling — has been officially touted as a way to bring ohana together and provide a transportation alternative.

However, in light of the U. S. Navy’s current push to quickly expand its fleet with a new type of fast and versatile vessel, Hawaii Superferry (HSF) — chaired by former Navy Secretary and 9/11 Commission member John F. Lehman —may also be using Hawaiian waters to demonstrate the performance of its Austal USA catamaran, the Alakai, and prove its efficacy for military purposes.

At stake are U.S. defense contracts potentially worth billions, and possible sales to foreign navies, according to a defense industry consultant in San Diego who asked not to be named. The Superferry is being tested in Hawaii to qualify the design for military contracts and also for sale to the navies of India and Indonesia, the consultant said.

The Navy is seeking to develop two new types of craft: the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). Both boats are intended to be smaller, faster and more versatile than existing naval ships. They are specifically designed to operate in both the open ocean and the shallow near-shore, or littoral, waters of nations the Pentagon views as emerging threats, such as China.

The Superferry is very similar in design and specifications to the Sea Fighter, the only LCS prototype that has been launched and gone through sea trials, and the Westpac Express, one of two demonstration JHSV currently in use. Among the Superferry’s virtues is its versatility, which makes it a contender for both the LCS and JHSV initiatives. U.S. Navy and Army representatives have toured the Alakai throughout its construction as part of the ongoing evaluation of potential JHSV platforms, according to a June 2007 announcement about HSF’s sea trials on Austal USA’s website.

Lehman already has spoken publicly about the company’s plans to run military equipment and personnel from Oahu to the Big Island in much the same manner that the Westpac Express ferry serves the Marine Corps in the Western Pacific. The logistical plan was touted as a faster and cheaper way for soldiers stationed on Oahu to train on the Big Island when the Stryker Brigade comes to Hawaii. "The Superferry is strong enough to take Stryker vehicles," Lehman told Pacific Business News (PBN) in March 2005. “HSF provided the Army with a cost analysis and expects to negotiate a long-term contract,” PBN reported.

On January 7 of this year, HSF carried Hawaii National Guard heavy equipment to Maui for removal of storm debris. While providing passenger and cargo service between Oahu and Maui, the Superferry’s owners are able to conduct sea trials aimed at demonstrating the high-speed craft’s endurance and performance in rough open seas and littoral waters. Its need to quickly accrue time in the water could explain why HSF plans to offer a second daily run to Maui, even though it’s presently carrying only a third of the passenger load it projected, according to documents filed with the state Public Utilities Commission.

While using Hawaiian waters as a proving ground, HSF has been able to develop and test its prototype vessel with little financial risk to investors, thanks to a federally guaranteed loan of $143 million that covers much of the $190 million cost to build the two fast ferries, and $40 million in state support for related harbor projects.

Meanwhile, the state’s controversial decision to allow the ferry to run while a full Environmental Impact Statement is being conducted — a process that could take up to two years — effectively ensured the vessel would be operational in time to compete for a JHSV design contract that will be awarded later this year, as well as for LCS design contracts two years later .“In an accelerated procurement environment, it would give [Congressional appropriations] committees great comfort in granting money for something up and running,” said an Oahu-based legislative insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The procurement environment is indeed heating up. Over the next five years, the Navy plans to buy eight JHSV, which also will be used by the Army and Marine Corps. Not envisioned as combat ships, these crafts would be used to quickly transport several hundred troops and their equipment across the open sea. They’re also expected to be able to operate in shallow waters and access harbors without relying on tugboats, piers and cargo cranes.

"Will it [the JHSV] have other abilities? Of course. But the high-speed transportation requirement is the heart of this program," Capt. Patricia M. Sudol, the Navy's program manager for support ships, boats and craft, and the officer in charge of the Navy-led joint acquisition program, told the Weekly in an interview. Sudol said the Navy envisions the JHSV as a modified version of existing commercial high-speed ship designs, which means it won’t have to meet the rigid construction and self-defense standards required for warships. For that reason, the vessels are projected to be relatively low cost, with the first one targeted at $150 and the remaining seven at $130 million each. One firm will be chosen to produce all eight JHSV, she said.

The Navy also wants to acquire 55 LCS by 2013, a goal that is already three years behind schedule, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lara Bollinger said in a press release. These vessels are intended to operate close to shore, hunting submarines and destroying underwater mines. They also could serve as offshore platforms from which to launch helicopter attacks and other missions on land, and recover the inflatable combat boats used by special operations forces.

The LCS program is a key element of the Navy's strategy to expand its fleet. A Sept. 13, 2007 article in The Washington Post quotes Navy spokesman Capt. John T. Schofield as saying the ships are “needed to fill critical, urgent war-fighting gaps.”

But cost overruns are mounting on the two LCS prototype vessels currently under construction, and performance problems plague the Sea Fighter, the only demonstration LCS that has hit the water.

The LCS prototypes, by General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin and initially slated to cost $220 million each, now are expected to come in at a combined total of more than $600 million. Early last year the Navy asked Congress to allow the tab for the second two ships to go as high as $460 million each. But the Senate appropriations committee balked and cut funding for the program, citing delays, design changes and cost overruns of more than 50 percent. "The Navy's littoral combat ship has suffered from significant cost increases and has had to be restructured by the Secretary of the Navy,” Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, chairman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee, told The Washington Post. As a result, the Navy cancelled contracts for the second two ships.

The Sea Fighter, the other LCS contender, has been developed by San Diego-based Titan Corp. under an exclusive $59.9 million contract from the Navy's Office of Naval Research. U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego, former Chairman and now Ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, secured funding for the vessel’s design and construction because “deployment of the Sea Fighter can demonstrate and validate many of the Navy’s operational concepts for littoral warfare, and more specifically reduce risk in the Littoral Combat Ship program,” according to an announcement on the Congressman’s website.

The Sea Fighter, a high-speed, shallow draft catamaran, is made of aluminum, like the Superferry, and the two craft are eerily similar in size, design and performance characteristics. In addition, both the Sea Fighter and Superferry, like the craft leased to the JHSV program, were built to commercial standards, in response to the military’s move toward using “off the shelf” technology. This approach allows the Navy to use commercial high-speed vessel training courses for the crew, thus allowing the ship to proceed directly from new construction to deployment, according to a US Navy website.

In effect, the Sea Fighter presented a less-expensive LCS surrogate with which to test various operational aspects of the program. It was launched in February 2005 and formally accepted by the Navy in July 2005 after successfully completing sea trials. But the vessel has since been repeatedly dry-docked due to problems with its propulsion system, and has a worrisome tendency to “fish-tail” under certain conditions. Additionally, Nichols Brothers, the Washington State company that built the Sea Fighter, shut down last November, citing financial problems and a pending lawsuit.

Some Navy officials have expressed fears that Hunter and other lawmakers might consider the smaller Sea Fighter design an acceptable substitute for the larger and far more costly Littoral Combat Ships. And if LCS costs keep rising, officials say, that could be a valid concern. “So the issue will be, can the Navy continue to do more with less,” Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., a senior member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, told the Weekly in a recent interview. “There is real skepticism in Congress at this time,” Dicks said.

But Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., chairman of the House Armed Services Projection Forces Subcommittee, said during a committee hearing last year that, rather than replacing the LCS, the Sea Fighter would be a "bargain" ship that could "easily operate alongside the LCS and provide our fleet force structure with an increased complexity making our future . . . Navy less vulnerable to the enemy," he said.

Rep. Hunter’s list of 30 funding initiatives for 2008 contains just one endorsement--for the Sea Fighter. Attributed to HSF Chairman John Lehman, it states: “This kind of innovative ship, built with commercial off the shelf technology, is the future of an affordable surface Navy.”

In addition to investing $58 million equity capital in the Hawaii Superferry project, J.F. Lehman & Company — a New York-based private equity firm led by its namesake — has been making acquisitions that could support LCS and JHSV contracts. These include Atlantic Marine Holding Company, a leading provider of repair, overhaul and maintenance services for commercial seagoing vessels and U.S. Navy ships. The company owns and operates two strategically located shipyards in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mobile, Ala., and leases a third facility at the Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville.

Hawaii Superferry’s military objectives — and the value of its heavyweight connections — may not be known for certain until the Navy awards the JHSV contract sometime this year and Congress decides how much it’s willing to pay for the LCS program. But if Lehman’s canny prediction, two years ago, that the ferry would effect a paradigm shift in the way business is conducted in Hawaii is any indication, he and his company know exactly where things are headed.

HW sidebar Four of the 10 members of the Hawaii Superferry Board of Directors have strong ties to the Navy and defense industries.They include its chairman, John Lehman, the former Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan. Lehman is a founding partner of J.F. Lehman and Company, which invests primarily in marine and aerospace defense projects. The company invested $58 million equity capital in the interisland ferry project.Lead Director Tig Krekel, who is currently vice chairman of J.F. Lehman, is the former president and chief executive officer of Hughes Space and Communications and the past president of Boeing Satellite Systems. Krekel also is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who spent five years as a naval officer, where he served as an aide in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. Director George A. Sawyer, a founding partner of J.F. Lehman, is former assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy, Shipbuilding & Logistics. He was also a submarine engineer officer in the U.S. Navy, and is a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.Director John W. “Bill” Shirley is the former program manager of the U.S. Department of Energy, Naval Reactors Division, Seawolf and Virginia Class Submarines. He has 34 years of experience in senior positions at the Navy Division of Naval Reactors. Shirley now works as a private consultant, giving preference to J.F. Lehman Partners.Two of the remaining six directors — C. Alexander Harman and Louis N. Mintz — are employed by J.F. Lehman.

Nice job by Joan Conrow on the article.
Aloha, Brad

HI Superferry: My work is done here...

My best stuff posted here on this blog were the Break Even Analysis, Scheduling Analysis, finding and evaluating the Army Corp of Engineers studies on the harbors, finding and using surf forecasting sources, some pictures that I have taken and put up on flickr, Pualaa's Manifesto and finding and interacting some with the people who run the sites below. Most of the good stuff that I come across, except for the my own original things that I mention above, are also posted by the team of very energetic people who run the sites below.

Beyond some of the original posts in this blog, I refer you to the following sites to keep on top of this issue:

Run by Andrea Brower and Keone Kealoha. Andrea has a ton of energy and is constantly updating this web site. Andrea and Keone want to make this a site for all kinds of positive sustainable development on Kauai:

Run by Karen Chun. This has become an outstanding blog on the Superferry and Kahului Harbor. I am quite happy to refer people to Karen's blog to follow the Superferry and related issues from here on. For Kahului harbor and Superferry issues on Maui:

Joan Conrow is also a professional journalist by training and chooses to live on Kauai and write about events close to home including the effect of the Superferry debate:

Juan Wilson runs and Jonathan Jay contributes to a really well thought out Kauai sustainable development web page/blog. BTW, both do great graphics:

Larry Geller runs a professional journalistic blog about the news that doesn't get covered. He has been covering the Superferry and related issues well:

These are the sites I recommend following. If I left somebody out, I'll edit this and add them in.

Aloha, Brad

Friday, January 18, 2008

HI Superferry: About this Blog


I understand this blog was mentioned in the printed media today:^1578647&page=2

A little forward on this blog. This blog started back in the early fall of 2007. There is a lot of information here, some of it original. Some of the better things include financial analysis, break even analysis, and counts and pictures linked to from here at I have provided a lot of useful and pertinent links in this blog to related information on the net, but I recommend not getting bogged down in any one thing on here. This blog is searchable through Google. There are some original and useful posts throughout the history of this blog. I am not posting as often to this blog anymore, but what has been mentioned here will be relative and useful for the foreseeable future. Every now and then I will make it a point to post something new here.

Just as an aside, the single biggest operational problem for HSF's commercial service is their fuel expense. I believe it is a problem that they are not likely to overcome. I want to thank PBN for including that and getting that specific quote accurate.

Aloha, Brad

Friday, January 11, 2008

HI Superferry: Notes of HSF Oversight Task Force 1/10/08

This excerpted report comes from an observer of the meeting:

My additions are added in red.

Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2008 19:17:31 -0500
Subject: Notes of HSF Oversight Task Force

Hawaii Superferry Oversight Task Force Meeting 1/10/08

[...] Dept of Ag rep Domingo Cravalho reported on their monitoring. Since DOA got no additional funds, they had to stagger schedules of staff to do the early morning monitoring on Oahu. They also did trainings with HSF staff on several islands. They have a hotline to report invasive species: 643-7378 (643-PEST). He handed out a powerpoint and photos - FOLKS SHOULD REQUEST THIS.

DOA monitored 15 round trips O'ahu to Maui:
O'ahu to Maui leg: Avg. = 3.1 passengers/vehicle
2813 passengers / 15 trips = 187.5 avg. per trip
901 vehicles / 15 trips = 60 avg. per trip
14 instances - 39 dead bees (no mites detected)
6 instances of seeds
1 instance - 50 orchids without certification
1 case leaf litter
1 case fishing nets

Maui to Oahu leg: Avg. = 3.3 passengers/vehicle
2440 passangers / 15 trips = 163 avg. per trip
736 vehicles / 15 trips = 49 avg. per trip
9 instances - 67 bees (no mites detected)
7 cases of seeds
2 cases of uncertified plants (lavender and coconut)
5 instances - 9 vehicles with excessive mud
2 instances - 2 vehicles with sand and soil

DOCARE (DLNR) - Randy Awo reported that on 1/10/08, 2 cars intercepted with opihi, (One car had 5 bags of opihi hidden in a cooler under some other stuff.). 1 car with ogo.....Awo suggested that all govt enforcement officers be given power to do random searches/inspections of passengers and cars. OTF voted to recommend legislation that grants enforcement including DOCARE, DOA, etc to do searches and increase funding for these programs. Garibaldi and OHalloran both looked at each other and made funny faces....

OHalloran reported that from 12/13/07 to 1/6/08 HSF made 21 RT Oahu to Maui.
Oahu to Maui leg averaged 167 passengers and 53 vehicles. = 3.15 passengers/vehicle
Maui to Oahu leg averaged 157 passengers and 47 vehicles. = 3.34 passengers/vehicle

They sailed south of Molokai on four out of the 12 voyages in 2008.

On Oahu they found 4 infractions in 2007 and 1 in 2008
On Maui they found 22 infractions in 2007 and 12 in 2008

HNL terminal:
2 instances of plants without cert.
2 instances of fishing nets
2 instances of declared plants
3 instances of declared fruits
2 instances of declared seeds
1 instance of 3 dead bees
2 instances of opihi
3 instances of cut wood

Maui terminal:
13 instances of muddy cars
4 instances of plants w/o cert.
1 instance of fishing net
2 instances of rock, sand dirt
11 instances of declared plants
53 instances of declared fruit

Other notes...OTF discussed possibility of having meetings on neighbor islands. Perhaps folks on Maui would want to request this.

U.S. Coast Guard rep was asked the cost to the public (money and human resources) expended by the USCG for the extraordinary mobilization of force against the community to protect a private company. The rep answered he would not give out any "security sensitive" information.

That is NOT security sensitive information; it is just politically embarassing information. The answer to that question should be public information.

Another question that came to mind (of the observer): Would HSF have a different procedure for checking in military personnel and equipment?

The answer to that question is HSF personnel should be using a Geiger counter for detection to protect the long-term value of the vessel.

[More from the report to be kept confidential.]

Some quick but accurate calculations I have done. It takes more than a quarter capacity of this vessel to cover it's fuel expenses (Actually, 110 vehicles and 230 passengers per trip to cover fuel expenses). This is due to the design being chosen of 4 diesel jet engines for this ferry (required for its non-commercial purposes). It takes slightly more than 3/4 capacity of this vessel to cover all of its expenses (variable and fixed). That leaves less than the top quarter of capacity to actually make money as a commercial venture alone.

That design business model did not leave enough flexibility to deal with uncontrollable external variables such as wind, swells, prevalent motion sickness, and deficient barge design. In total this vessel has averaged loads that are less than a quarter of its capacity, meaning most trips have cost the company even more money than if the trips were not done at all.

The company could continue operating for a year and at these load levels lose $30 million a year, or they could try to lease the ship to the Navy after the HSV-2 Swift is returned to Incat in July, and the new lease proposal is concluded. The Swift has been leased by the Navy for $21 million a year and the Navy had to pay for the fuel. The $21 million would be enough for the owners of this vessel to cover their costs and make some money. The federal government can afford to pay money it doesn't have for use of this vessel, whereas individuals in Hawaii cannot afford to pay their hard earned real money in significant numbers for something they don't need.

Aloha, Brad

HI Superferry: Greg Kaufman interview in MauiTime Weekly‏

Nice interview. The quote I liked, 'In fact, we’re setting the bar high and building the first solar and wind power vessel that creates zero emissions. It will be operating in the first quarter of 2009.'

Cover Story'Whales are an Icon'Talking with the Pacific Whale Foundation's Greg Kaufman
by Jessica Armstrong
write the author
photo: Courtesy of Pacific Whale Foundation.
January 10, 2008

Three decades ago Greg Kaufman would wake early in the morning and strap a zodiac to the top of his Datsun station wagon. Then he’d leave his home in Makena and drive along the Kihei coast and around the Pali, scouring the wide southern waters for the telltale sprays of humpback whales. After spotting one, he and a small team of researchers would race to the nearest beach, put the tiny boat in the water and head out to collect whatever information they could gather on these enormous, majestic creatures. This is how the Pacific Whale Foundation came into being.Back then humpback sightings were few and far between; an estimated count totaled only 600 North Pacific humpback whales during peak season in Hawai‘i in the early 1980s. That’s a far cry from 6,000 or more that migrate now to the state’s warm, shallow waters from their feeding grounds in Alaska and the Bering Sea, making Maui the whale wonderland that it is.All along Kaufman, president and owner of the Ma‘alaea-based Pacific Whale Foundation, has been watching the waters and studying the whales, collecting information about their elusive reproductive nature and playful behaviors, lobbying on behalf of their safety and educating residents and visitors. He’s had his hands in research projects around the world, and now has over 150 employees and volunteers, many working on research projects in Australia and Ecuador. He’s been a powerful advocate for the protection of humpbacks here and around the world.
photo: Courtesy of Pacific Whale Foundation.
Recently Kaufman spent many grueling hours on the witness stand at the Hawai‘i Superferry hearings, passionately testifying on the protection of the humpbacks in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, which the Superferry travels through getting between Oahu and Maui. Kaufman and a small group of colleagues have protested the arrival of the gargantuan ship that will travel at speeds nearly twice what other vessels are allowed to go in Sanctuary waters.Superferry officials and lawyers countered with the argument that small vessels, like the seven owned by the Pacific Whale Foundation, are involved in whale collisions each year, too—more, in fact, than would potentially involve the Superferry.This is at least partially true. As many as 1,000 uncoordinated, inexperienced baby humpbacks are being born off the sandy shores of Maui this winter. They’ve been compared to human toddlers and the water they swim in to a human nursery. According to National Sanctuary figures, seven injured humpbacks—mostly calves—were reported injured by boat collisions in 2006.One of those involved a Pacific Whale Foundation vessel. In March 2006, a group of young children were aboard the 65-foot Ocean Spirit when it hit a mother whale and its calf, injuring the young humpback. The foundation came under intense scrutiny from the Maui public and press for the incident.But Kaufman says the real threat to whales is not whale watching, fishing or recreational vessels, but fast-moving ships like the Superferry. In an effort to reduce the number of small craft collisions, the Pacific Whale Foundation offers workshops to educated vessel captains, boaters, kayakers, paddlers and anyone else about safe water practices.I spoke with Kaufman about these issues, as well as a happy new problem we face here in the breeding grounds of the Humpback whales as they continue to thrive and multiply:
photo: Courtesy of Pacific Whale Foundation.
MAUI TIME WEEKLY: Why are you so passionate about humpback whales?GREG KAUFMAN: Whales are an icon, a sort of face to the ocean. They give personality to this blue desert that we look out over all the time. If you talk to many people that live here on Maui they’ll tell you that they feel sad when the whales leave. It’s comforting looking out and seeing the splash of a whale. But more importantly, there’s something very mysterious about them, I think that whales can represent something magical and mysterious to everyone.What motivated you to start studying whales?Well, I’m a scientist. Growing up in Oregon I was sort of a nature kid. Someone who always wanted to turn over a rock to see what was under it. Back then it was very interesting to me that when it came to the ocean, and particularly about whales, we just didn’t know anything about them. We knew we could use them for oil and cosmetics, but we didn’t know anything about their lives and natures. To me, it really appealed to my pioneering spirit. I thought, here’s a field that I could go into, that no one’s going into at the time, and really look under the waves and start to answer this question, which is, What are whales? You’ve been watching these whales for at least 30 years, and the Pacific Whale Foundation began operating educational whale watching tours in 1980. How has whale watching in Maui changed over time?
photo: Courtesy of Pacific Whale Foundation.
They were really like booze cruises at the time, with whales thrown in. In terms of actual whale watching, few boats were really doing it because there just weren’t that many whales out there. You could go days without seeing a whale. Even now there’s still a limited number of boats that offer bonafide whale watches. Not snorkel trips or cocktail cruises, but actual stand-on-the-deck-looking-for-whales trips. It’s a challenge because to do a whale watch effectively, you’ve got to understand the whales. You have to know how to drive around the whales, you have to be able to inform the public about what’s going on and invoke some sense of conservation or change.How do Pacific Whale Foundation’s EcoAdventures accomplish that?Ultimately what we’re after at Pacific Whale Foundation is some behavior modification. We try to use whales, turtles and dolphins to turn people on to the ocean and teach them that if they can modify their behaviors slightly to recycle and protect the environment it will have a long term effect on the ocean.You say you’re goal is to lead by example. How does the Foundation do this?
photo: Courtesy of Pacific Whale Foundation.
[We use] biodiesel on our vessels. We no longer have cups on our boats. We have things made out of corn and potatoes and we have a complete recycling program. We have our own pump-out truck to pump waste from our own boats. In fact, we’re setting the bar high and building the first solar and wind power vessel that creates zero emissions. It will be operating in the first quarter of 2009.Recently the Japanese government backed down from its threat to hunt and kill 50 humpback whales in Australian sanctuary waters. What was the mood like at the Foundation when the news came in?We were ecstatic. But, like I told my staff, I’ve been around the block enough to know that this is all about trade. It’s all about getting something. I think they played their one trump card which is the humpback whale and there going to now push for a resumption of commercial whaling, but for certain species that they think us greenies would be happy about. Would environmentalists be happy about killing any whales?The lesson is that this issue is geopolitical. It’s not just about saving whales; it’s about trade, defense and international agreements and human rights. On the worldwide scale, whales are a commodity. But to Americans and lots of people, without overstating it, whales are an icon. Speaking of killing whales, do you feel your warnings were heeded in the hearing on whether the Superferry could run without completing an environmental impact statement (EIS)?The greatest threat to humpback whales is from fast moving ships, not small boats. We know large ships are the ones that hit and kill whales. Someone asked me when I was testifying before the house, “Are you a no EIS guy or a no Superferry guy?” And I said, “I’m a pro-environment guy.”But a Pacific Whale Foundation boat hit a whale in 2006. What happened there?We were mortified. We weren’t running down a whale or chasing it, just traveling from Point A to Point B at 13 knots, on dead flat seas, with 70 pairs of eyes watching the water when a mother whale surfaced directly under our boat with no forewarning. In 30 years studying whales I never thought a whale would approach a moving vessel like that. We realized we had to do more, so we designed whale protection devices, like rubber bumpers and rubberized rudders.Isn’t there a preponderance of strikes by small vessels?No. Any vessel, from a canoe to a battleship, can hit a whale. Smaller vessels are more likely to report it, and being around whales is a challenge for all boaters. But large vessels might not even know when they hit whales. None of our boats weigh as much as a whale. The Superferry weighs 10 times as much as a whale without cargo, 20 times when loaded and travels though whale waters at speeds of 25 to 30 knots. At that speed that much mass will cause serious damage to a whale, and 80 percent of the time kill it. Tell me there’s not a high likelihood that something like a Superferry presents a clear and present danger to humpback whales.In any case, you’re against the Superferry operating in sanctuary waters in Hawai‘i, right?I want to find a solution here, and that was what I testified about in court. I gave them a solution. When I went to meet with the governor for three hours, I gave her a list of 13 conditions I thought were very fair. I showed her routes that I believe the Superferry can travel and have minimal impact on the humpbacks and in areas they would have impact, the speeds the ferry should have traveled. She didn’t buy it. The Superferry didn’t buy it. So they didn’t heed any of your warnings about protecting the humpbacks?They didn’t want any change to what they were offering. They’ve come across looking greedy and ignorant. The arrogance and ignorance they’ve shown the public has been mind boggling to me. They should not have been able to go in business without ensuring that they had minimal impact and had complied with all the environment laws.And they’re operating today. What now?It’s a matter of, do I like this as a business or not? Will I be buying the Superferry product? No. Consumers aren’t stupid. My prediction is that the Superferry will go out of business in 90 days, sooner if they hit a whale. It’s a bad business model.As the humpbacks increase in numbers, won’t the number of collisions with them keep increasing?One day we are going to get to a point where the whales are going to recover and get in good numbers. When that day that happens, we have a new problem on our hands, a public safety problem. Can you imagine a day when there are so many whales out there that anyone who wants to use the waters can’t do so without some form of peril? That is, you might run into a whale, might bump it with your kayak or windsurf boat, your fishing boat, your whale watch boat or your Superferry?I can’t imagine that. The humpbacks have been endangered for so long. That day is now. We’ve seen it in the last several years, an increase of strikes. You’ve got a thousand little floating reefs out there. That’s the new message: the whales are in greater numbers and they’re here for longer periods of time and in the face of this we’ve got to adapt. The public now has to change their behaviors. The whales are going to force us to do that. MTW

Thursday, January 10, 2008

HI Superferry: Surf Forecast for the Week

Big days are today, Thurs. the 10th, and Sun. and Mon. the 13th and 14th, Sunday looks like an Eddie Aikau day:


Aloha, Brad

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

HI Superferry: Very Interesting Blog today on JHSV


Tuesday, January 8, 2008
"CNO Shipyard Tour!
Well, we thought the CNO visit to Bath this week might be a precursor to a JHSV award--a decision, by the way, that is due really, really soon. But, no, sometimes a tour is just a tour--the CNO is visiting shipyards all week.
The trip includes visits to Portsmouth Shipyard (Portsmouth, N.H.), Bath Iron Works (Brunswick, Maine), three Northrop Grumman Ship Systems sites to include Ingalls (Pascagoula, Miss.), Avondale (New Orleans, La.) and Gulfport (Gulfport, Miss.), Austal USA Shipbuilding (Mobile, Ala.), Marinette Marine (Marinette, Wisc.) and National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (San Diego).Austal? Marinette Marine? Good. We're thrilled the CNO is heaping some attention on the small yards. Might he take some time to stop off and see VT Halter Marine? It's in Pascagoula--won't take much time, but they've done good work. Give 'em a quick "attaboy." It'll mean a lot.And it would totally irritate the heck out of Cynthia Brown and her "American Shipbuilder Association" Dynamic and Northrop Grumman yards.(And, speaking of the Joint High Speed Vessels....Has anybody seen a plan? An outline of a proposal? Nobody has released anything--amazing for what might become a pretty important civil-spec platform.)
Posted by Springbored at 11:58 PM
Labels: , , , , , "

Aloha, Brad

HI Superferry: Letters to the Editor, Maui News, 1/9/08

Three interesting letters from the Maui News today:

"Why does Superferry want to lose money twice as fast?"

"Given the low ridership, the cancellations and the fact that some passengers may still be traveling on $5 fares while less-than-break-even fares are promised for the next four months, it seems really weird that the Superferry would schedule two trips a day to Maui (The Maui News, Jan. 5).

It is clear that the Superferry exists to let their consortium develop a track record as vessel operators, allowing them to bid on a military contract for a Joint High Speed Vessel. The “joint” means the Army, Navy and Marines.

They specifically want a developed commercial design, a high-speed catamaran that can land in “austere” ports, meaning shallow harbors with few facilities. You can Google “JHSV” for information on the project.

A contract for the first vessel will be given this year, for about $210 million. Follow-up vessels will cost $170 million. As many as 24 ships are talked about; eight are definitely planned between 2008 and 2011.

Given the political contacts of the Superferry chair, John Lehman, as head of an investment firm, a leading Republican, and secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, we can expect the government to look kindly on their bid.

My question is: Once they get their contract, will they let the Hawaii Superferry expire of natural causes? And who will lose money on it if they do? I am sure the directors, John Lehman, David Cole of ML&P and John Garibaldi won’t lose money. Who will?"

Sally Raisbeck

Hawaii Superferry chairman...
Do you know who owns the Superferry? The principal shareholder is John F. Lehman, former Navy secretary and 9/11 commissioner. Wednesday, January 09, 2008 12:37 AM ReadFullStory

Similar ferry failed on Lake Ontario and, is now in Spain
Anyone interested in the ongoing Superferry debacle may be amused by the story of Lake Ontario’s now defunct fast ferry “Spirit of Ontario.” Wednesday, January 09, 2008 12:37 AM

Aloha, Brad

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

HI Superferry: Survey of Seasickness on the Web

This is interesting because it includes real people on their blogs and even proponents mentioning this aspect honestly. I believe this aspect has become "word-of-mouth" so to speak at the office water coolers on Oahu. A survey of "seasick" or "barf" or "puke" and "Superferry" on the Web:

Aloha, Brad

X-Craft Sea Fighter FSF-1

Joan Conrow of KauaiEclectic has called my attention to the X-Craft design. This ship, the FSF-1 Sea Fighter, was built by Titan Corporation at the Nichols Brothers Boatyard at Freeland, Washington. It is similar to the fast ferry designs, although it is faster, smaller, and less expensive to build. The Navy and Coast Guard are involved with this ship. This ship has its political supporters, namely House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego, as does Austal have its in the U.S.

The following are some useful links on the X-Craft Sea Fighter FSF-1:

I saw a reference to the JHSV in an industry blog wondering why there weren't more of them budgeted. The blog writer thought the ships are relatively inexpensive to built but surmised they must be expensive to operate and that is why there aren't more of them being planned by the military, see That blog writer's hunch is correct...these things guzzle fuel like nothing else out there. Most fast ferries and the JHSV have four diesel jet engines. This FSF-1 actually has 8 engines, so I am guessing it is even more expensive to operate and guzzles even more fuel, although it looks less expensive to build.

BTW, the biggest operational problem for the HSF is its fuel expense. It burns over 6000 gallons of marine diesel fuel each direction, over 12,000 gallons per round trip, and thusfar is not taking in enough revenue just to cover the expense of that alone. An idea I mentioned in my HI Superferry: Break Even Analysis is that HSF might be able to reduce its fuel expense by arranging to source its fuel at a subsidized rate from the Navy at Pearl Harbor. I dismissed it at the time because at Navy cost or slightly above cost would not provide significant savings to HSF. But, in light of these revelations about how important the JHSV and all developments surrounding it are to the Navy, Coast Guard, Army, and Marines plans, I would say that it may very well be possible for HSF to source fuel from the Navy at a subsidized rate below the Navy's cost which may provide some savings to HSF. It would be relatively easy for somebody on Oahu to find out where the HSF's fuel is coming from.

Aloha, Brad

Monday, January 7, 2008

HI Superferry: Swell Due 1/10-11/08

700 PM HST MON JAN 7 2008

Outlook through Sunday Jan 13. The moderate northwest swell building late Tuesday will be followed by a much larger northwest swell on Wednesday night. Therefore, surf along north and west facing shores may reach the high surf warning threshold by early Thursday. Large northwest swells are expected to maintain elevated surf heights along north and west facing shores from Friday through Sunday.
Aloha, Brad

HI Superferry: Military Use & Low Numbers, 1/7/08

Also, has added further to my observations under the title, "Superferry reaches to military for PR" by Juan Wilson on 8 January 2008:

Aloha, Brad

Friday, January 4, 2008

More on the Goal...JHSV

Re: Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), Request for Proposal Number N00024-07-R-2219

First, from the official JHSV Web Link JHSV Industry Day Website (
The following JHSV document links have been culled from a survey of the above web site:

Second, from the DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2008/2009 BUDGET ESTIMATES document at:
An internal pdf keyword search can be done for JHSV. Pages 575 - 589 of the doc deal with this line item in the budget. Some quotes from this budget document:

"The Joint High Speed Vessel Program is a Navy led acquisition for a high-speed, shallow draft, commercial-based ship capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo lift for the Armed Services. The ship is not intended to be a combatant and must operate in benign or secured environments. The technologies supporting this capability were evaluated during the completed Analysis of Alternatives."

"The design parameters associated with the desired capability are:
Speed: over 35 knots
Payload: 600 short tons, 20000 sq ft
Range: 1200 nm loaded, 4500nm unloaded
Pax: 312
Single spot flight deck to support H-60
C4I suite for situational awareness and basic planning
Commercial Survivability (SOLAS and T-Ship AT/FP)
Austere Ports: access length less than 450 ft, draft less than 15 ft."

"R&D Efforts for Intratheater Connector - Addressing spiral technology development and risk mitigation efforts through development of tools and systems to monitor and forecast hull fatigue unique to lightweight hull forms. Continuing to conduct R&D in areas involving lightweight aluminum flight decks, development of advanced lightweight causeway systems, advanced fendering systems, and the safe transport of ammunition and dangerous goods aboard lightweight vessels.
FY07 - Demonstrate a Hull Monitoring System that provides real time hull stress information to the operator. Develop procedures for transportation of dangerous
goods specific to intended JHSV operations. Develop Lightweight Modular Causeway System by supporting ACTD to deliver a JHSV capable causeway that will
facilitate access and throughput in austere ports.
FY08 - Commence Deployable Airbeam Fendering System (DAFS) Integration Study required to integrate and optimize such a system for future JHSVs. Study
feasibility of Tensioned Alongside Refueling to support Navy UNREP capability on JHSV.
FY09 - Continue feasibility studies of Tensioned Alongside Refueling to support Navy UNREP capability on JHSV."

"Acquisition Strategy: Feasibility studies will be conducted to determine the best designs to meet new Joint Service requirements for intratheater connectors."

"Program Acquisition Efforts for Intratheater Connector - Conducting Industry Day to engage potential shipbuilder to comment on the JHSV Performance Spec, solicitation for proposals to JHSV Preliminary/Contract Designs, evaluation of the proposals/designs, and downselect from the proposed designs to establish a competitive range for the follow-on Detail Design & Construction Award. At the same time, we will assist the preparation of the Capability Development Document as part of requirement definition process. Milestone B preparation entails both statutory and regulatory documentation required for a Milestone decision.
FY07 - Continue efforts to support award of contract for preliminary design/contact design in mid-FY07. Resolve design issues and initiate the contract data package,
including design drawings and specifications.
FY08 - Continue preliminary design/contact design efforts leading to shipbuilding contract award in 2nd quarter FY08. Commence studies to support definition of Navy
unique requirements for JHSV #2.
FY09 - Continue studies to support definition of Navy unique requirements for JHSV #2."

The above document also includes complete budget amounts, FY timelines and diagrams. The first phase decision on this project was scheduled to be announced soon.

Third, from U.S. Army Budget information, on page 3 of the following online document:

"Mission Description and Budget Item Justification: This project supports advanced component development and prototype equipment for the Army's Logistics-Over-The-Shore (LOTS) missions. Among this equipment is the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). The JHSV will operate at speeds up to four times greater than the current Logistics Support Vessels (LSVs) fleet. These capabilities will provide the Army with operational maneuver from standoff distances; by-passing of land-based chokepoints, and will reduce the logistics footprint in the Area of Responsibility. This ability to transport both troops and their equipment, and to provide an Enroute Mission Planning and Rehearsal System, does not exist today. Funds in the out years support other watercraft efforts. The evolutionary acquisition features the current lease of two commercial fast ferries, the High Speed Vessel (HSV-X1) and the Theater Support Vessel (TSV-1X) for Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) purposes."

And from the 2007 Army Modernization Plan (AMP), on page 57 of this online document:

The JHSV is an intra-theater platform that
provides advanced capabilities for the operational
maneuver of combat-ready units and sustainment
to smaller theater ports or sheltered shoreline areas
within a JOA. The JHSV program is based upon
a high-speed (40+ knots), shallow-draft , sealift
platform that will maximize current commercial
high-speed ferry technology. The JHSV provides
the capability to conduct operational maneuver and
repositioning of intact unit sets while conducting
en route mission planning and rehearsal. This intra
theater vessel provides the combatant commander
with increased throughput, survivability, and
responsiveness, and improved closure rates. It
provides an alternative to intra-theater airlift
within many theaters and allows the Joint force
commander to rapidly insert combat forces into
austere ports. JHSV would provide theater force
projection and sustainment lift to deploying units
arriving by strategic lift (air, sea) to a theater. The
vessels would be utilized to move Army Prepositioned
Stocks (APS) located on land or afl oat. JHSV
supports traditional JLOTS and future seabasing
operations within an anti-access/access denial
environment. This transformation enabler
helps deployment goals as well as achieve full
distribution-based logistics.
Program Status. The Army and the Navy have
combined requirements and merged the Army’s
Theater Support Vessel (TSV) and the Navy’s
High-Speed Intra-Theater Surface Connector
programs. Although the Army initially determined
a requirement for 24 vessels and a critical
requirement for 12 vessels, a Joint requirements
and solution set has not yet been determined. To
ensure Joint interoperability, minimize redundant
capabilities and gain economies of scale, the
Army and Navy have signed a memorandum of
agreement assigning the acquisition lead for the
JHSV program to the Navy. Each department will
source its Service-unique developmental costs
and will separately fund vessels to meet their own
requirements. The Navy and Army are jointly
sourcing RDTE 50/50. Cost for the fi rst vessel
is $210 million, and follow on vessels will cost
$170 million (in FY08 dollars). The price does not
include additional add-ons (C41, AT/FP, mounted
command) of $10-20 million. The Army and Navy
have initially programmed funding for a total of
eight vessels (3 Navy, 5 Army) in FY07-11 FYDP.
The lead vessel award is planned for FY08, and
delivery is planned for FY10-11, followed by
postdelivery tests in FY11-12. Follow-on vessels are
planned for FY09-11 (vessels 2-4), FY10-12 (vessels
5-6), and FY11-13 (vessels 7-8)."

Next, check out these pictures/diagrams and a recent article from Incat at
On page, there are some very interesting pictures/diagrams at the following links:
HMAS Jervis Bay
Joint Venture HSV-X1
TSV-1X Spearhead
HSV 2 Swift
Military Design Concepts


21st November, 2007
Navy shows off high-speed catamaran at Academy
Published November 16, 2007, Capital Online News
"The HSV-2 Swift hugs the Naval Academy quay like an aluminum-clad bastion, looking more like a fortress than the high-speed, cutting-edge Naval vessel it truly is.
The $21 million, 320-foot-long, wave-piercing catamaran, which can be reconfigured to carry cargo, troops and even a full surgical ward, is at the forefront of military technology and the visit to Annapolis this weekend is its first trip to America after docking in ports as far-flung as Jamaica, Lebanon and Indonesia.
"This is one of the coolest things the Navy has going right now," said Lt. j.g. Rob Gill, the Swift's operations officer.
The ship is in town for the weekend to give midshipmen and the public a peek at one of the military's most high-tech toys. The cargo hold, which can take on more than a dozen M1A1 Abrams tanks, will be filled this weekend with examples of the Navy's various surface-warfare divisions, including the SEALs and their equipment, riverine squadrons with their patrol boats and Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, as well as the Seabees.
"When you think 'surface warfare,' people think tradition," said Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Erik Patton. "You've got a ship, it's got a couple of guns, maybe a flight deck."
The crew of the Swift also will be showing off the ship to curious visitors.
The Swift, built in 2003 by the Australians to precise specifications and on lease until July 2008, can do more than 40 knots over the water - nearly 60 mph - while carrying 600 tons of cargo.
"It's a giant jet ski," Lt. Gill said with a grin. "... You get more airsick on this than seasick."
But the behemoth has a draft of only 10 feet, which is less than half of a comparably sized frigate.
Lt. Cmdr. Patton estimates that the Swift, because of its shallow draft, has access to 500 more ports across the world.
"It's always forward-deployed because of its unique capabilities," he said.
The Swift boasts two crews of 47, which rotate through the ship every four months, allowing it to be constantly deployed. During the last two years the ship has provided relief to the disaster-stricken New Orleans as well as to Indonesia, and became the first American vessel to dock in Lebanon in more than two decades.
When it pulls out of Annapolis, the Swift is bound for the western coast of Africa where it will drill with allied nations before steaming into the Mediterranean. Afterward, the Swift will travel to New Zealand where it will be returned to the Australians when the lease expires in July. The Swift is the Navy's third high speed catamaran as it continues development of the Joint High Speed Vessel with the Marine Corps and the Army, which is expected to be deployed by 2012." Credits: Andrew Childers Staff Writer (Naval Academy)

Next, check out these pictures and newsletters from Austal. At least read the most recent Austal News and Austal Defence Newsletters. Very interesting pictures:

Austal Newsletters
The Austal Group News provides an insight into the activities, current and forthcoming projects of the Austal Group. Please click on the links below to download copies of the Newsletter.
Austal News - Issue 1 2007
Austal Defence News
Austal Defence News - May 2007
Austal Defence News - October 2006
Austal Defence News - December 2005
Austal Defence News - July 2005

An interesting quote from
"Following September 11, 2001 the Air Force often had only two C-17s positioned in the region at any given time and these aircraft were tasked to support the entire U.S. Military Establishment in Korea, Japan and throughout the Western Pacific (WestPac). Given limited airlift support of one or two sorties per day it was previously taking up to two weeks just to move the battalion anywhere off the island of Okinawa. By contrast, the same deployment could be carried out by “WestPac Express” in 24-30 hours. Describing the immediate time and cost benefits of “WestPac Express” first deployment in 2001, CW05 Roger G. Rose, Surface Embarkation Officer, II MEF G-4, Strategic Mobility Office, commented, “Instead of a two week process to deploy by air lift WestPac Express moved the unit’s 843 Marines, 63 vehicles and 27 containers of baggage and cargo in 30 hours. Instead of a price-tag of over $500,000 for one-way transportation requiring at least sixteen, C-17 airlifts, WestPac Express did the round trip lift for $130,000.”

Still, expensive by private sector commercial standards, but apparently cheap by military standards.

And an interesting quote from Incat
"In 1998, as part of the US Center for the Commercial Deployment of Transportation Technologies High-Speed Sealift Program, and in cooperation with the US Transportation Command and Maritime Administration, NAVSEA undertook development work and sponsored the evaluation of an Incat 91 metre vessel.
In 1999, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) chartered the HMAS Jervis Bay, an Incat 86 metre vessel, for use during the East Timor crisis. The vessel seized the attention of the worldwide military, enabling them to witness the potential of HSC to perform various military roles.
In 2001, and in response to the overwhelming interest from US forces in high-speed craft, Incat formed a strategic alliance with an American Shipyard to market and build our innovative craft designs for the US military and commercial markets. Incat USA’s alliance with Bollinger Shipyard Inc of Louisiana, who have extensive experience with supplying patrol craft to the Military and Coast Guard, has combined the strengths of two world class shipbuilders.
Later in 2001, joint forces from the US Military awarded to Bollinger / Incat USA the contract for a High Speed Craft to be used as an evaluation platform for various trials and demonstrations for the different forces involved. The 96 metre Wave Piercing Catamaran HSV-X1 Joint Venture became the benchmark for future Fast Sealift acquisitions, thanks to her high operational speed, long-range deployment capabilities, combined with a high deadweight capacity. Joint Venture has excelled during her deployment in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Just hours after Operation Iraqi Freedom began, Joint Venture sped into the shallow Persian Gulf waters near the southern Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, acting as an afloat forward staging base for Marine Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams and Navy SEAL commandos.
On 14 November 2002, the US Army took acceptance of its first Theater Support Vessel TSV-1X Spearhead. The craft is part of the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator (ACTD) program, a joint effort by the acquisition and operational (war fighter) communities within the Department of Defence (DoD). Typically ACTD’s begin by identifying significant military needs and then matching them with current commercial technology or other programs ready to focus on military application.
A Third Craft
Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C., has contracted HSV 2 Swift from Bollinger/Incat USA, LLC, Lockport, Louisiana for the US Navy. Delivered in August 2003, the High Speed Vessel, Incat Hull 061, will serve operationally as an interim Mine Warfare Command and Support Ship (MCS), and support transformational mine warfare modular mission payload initiatives. In support of Navy experimentation, the HSV will be used to explore concepts, capabilities and military utility associated with the advanced hull and propulsion technology integrated with advanced communications..."

And an interesting quote from
"As a result, in 2001, joint forces from the US Military awarded to Bollinger/Incat USA the contract for a 96-meter High Speed Craft, HSV-X1 Joint Venture, to be used as an evaluation platform for various trials and demonstrations for the different forces involved. The runaway success of Joint Venture has led to more contracts. The 98-meter USAV TSV-1X Spearhead was delivered to the US Army in November 2002 while another craft HSV 2 Swift for the US Navy, was delivered in August 2003." has some really good summary information, pictures, and charts on JHSV, so I am including some links and quotes from that here:
"High Speed Vessel (HSV) / Theater Support Vessel (TSV) - The commercial sector has already developed and demonstrated a number of relevant technologies and capabilities; specifically, high-speed ships (45+ kts), long range at endurance speeds (30 kts, >4000 nm), good sea keeping ability (30 kts in 4.5-5 meter seas), shallow draft (12-14 ft) and ease of rapid modular adaptability to multiple missions. A singular baseline configuration, depicted here, with a dedicated crew of 20, remotely injected with a tailorable and versatile C4I capability could allow rapid mission reconfiguration (within hours) and the embarkation of roll on / roll off mission specific equipment or modules, with specific staffs and personnel tailored to meet a wide variety of military tasks."
"The JHSV will operate at speeds up to four times greater than the current Logistics Support Vessels (LSVs) fleet. These capabilities will provide the Army with operational maneuver from standoff distances; by-passing of land-based chokepoints, and will reduce the logistics footprint in the Area of Responsibility. This ability to transport both troops and their equipment, and to provide an Enroute Mission Planning and Rehearsal System, does not exist today. Funds in the out years support other watercraft efforts. The evolutionary acquisition features the current lease of two commercial fast ferries, the High Speed Vessel (HSV-X1) and the Theater Support Vessel (TSV-1X) for Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) purposes."

Re: Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), Request for Proposal Number N00024-07-R-2219

"In December 2004, the Departments of the Army and Navy agreed to merge the HSV, HSC and TSV efforts into the JHSV program administered by the Navy’s Program Executive Officer for Ships (PEO Ships)."

"Department of the Navy The Request for Proposal will be issued on or about February 5, 2007. High Speed Vessel (JHSV), pending Request for Proposal Number N00024-07-R-2219."

"Navy Planning Second JHSV Industry Day, Nearing RFP Release. Apr 12, 2007."

FBO DAILY ISSUE OF APRIL 19, 2007 FBO #1970 SPECIAL NOTICE 99 -- Modification to Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) Industry Day Notification - Current Information Notice Date 4/17/2007
Solicitation Number DON-SNOTE-070417-001
This notice is a modification to the notice posted on 16 April 2007. All information contained herein is the same as that which was previously posted. Preliminary information on the Industry Day is now available on the JHSV website referenced in this notice. PEO Ships will conduct an Industry Day on 26 April 2007 in Quantico, Virginia to disseminate information regarding the acquisition of the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), pending Request for Proposal Number N00024-07-R-2219. All information regarding specifics on time, place, location, directions, etc. for the Industry Day will be made available at the JHSV website address listed below. This notice is not a request for proposal. No information on a potential RFP release date is available at this time. The JHSV is a 35 knot, shallow draft ship designed to support the intra-theater movement of Personnel, Supplies, and Equipment (PSE). The JHSV will be designed and built to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) High Speed Naval Craft (HSNC) Guidelines with specific Military features for helicopters and secure exterior communications. A general overview of the program, acquisition strategy, and performance specification for the JHSV will be presented. The draft performance specification and statement of work will be available for download prior to 26 April 07 at the PEO Ships JHSV web site. Industry comments on the draft documents are encouraged and are requested to be submitted by 8 May 2007. Additional information regarding the JHSV Industry Day, to include directions, agenda and registration, will be available at the PEO Ships JHSV website. Tentative Agenda Admin and Intro Program Overview & Update Requirements Overview JHSV Performance Spec Overview and Updates C4I concept NAVAIR certification concept ABS HSNC overview Wrap-up/Concluding Remarks Again, all information pertaining to specifics of the Industry Day will be found on the JHSV website listed in this notice. Web Link JHSV Industry Day Website (
Services Chart Course for New Vessel
Apr 30, 2007 BY Steve Harding, Soldiers Magazine
"WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 30, 2007) -- Representatives of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and the shipbuilding industry met last week to discuss the current status of the Joint High Speed Vessel, a new type of fast logistic-support ship that will ultimately be acquired by all three services.
Held at Quantico Marine Corps Base outside Washington, the meeting allowed the service representatives to update prospective contractors on the vessel's design requirements, said Capt. Patricia M. Sudol, the Navy's program manager for support ships, boats and craft, and the officer in charge of the Navy-led joint acquisition program.
The JHSV's specifications and capabilities are based on lessons the services learned from operating four leased, commercial high-speed vessels over the past five years. While the Army operated one ship, Joint Venture, in conjunction with the Navy, the theater support vessel Spearhead was under sole Army control until its recent return to commercial service. Both ships saw extensive Army use in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, as well as supporting other Army operations in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean. Two leased vessels remain in service, Swift with the Navy and Westpac Express with the Marine Corps....
Capt. Sudol and her staff are currently waiting for the Department of Defense to approve their acquisition strategy for the JHSV, she said, and very shortly after that approval is granted her office will release a "request for proposals." The RFP will outline all of the JHSV's mandatory specifications and capabilities, and each design submission will be measured against those criteria. A single firm will ultimately be selected to produce all eight JHSVs. Current plans call for the first ship to enter service -- with the Army -- in fiscal year 2008."
Launching the JHSV (Joint High Speed Vessel)
From: Soldiers Magazine Date: 8/1/2007 Author: Harding, Steve
"While the Army has long operated watercraft ranging from small landing craft to large logistics-support vessels, a new joint acquisition program looks set to give the service the largest, fastest and most capable ship it has ever known.
Known as the Joint High Speed Vessel, the craft will be acquired by the Navy for itself, the Army and the Marine Corps. While a final design has not yet been selected, representatives from the three services have established a range of requirements that prospective builders must meet, said Capt. Patricia M. Sudol, the Navy's program manager for support ships, boats and craft, and the officer in charge of the Navy-led joint acquisition program.
The JHSV's specifications and capabilities are based on lessons the services learned from operating four leased, commercial high-speed vessels over the past five years. While the Army operated one ship, Joint Venture, in conjunction with the Navy, the theater support vessel Spearhead was under sole Army control until its recent return to commercial service. Both ships saw extensive Army use in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, as well as supporting other Army operations in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean. Two leased vessels remain in service, Swift with the Navy and Westpac Express with the Marine Corps.
While all of the four leased vessels have been catamarans, Capt. Sudol said that any hull form will be considered for the JHSV. 'When the Navy procures ships, it uses performance-based specifications in a full and open competition, so we're not dictating the hull shape or even the material from which the hull is constructed,' she said. That means that the companies submitting designs for the JHSV could offer single or multiple-hulled designs made of steel, aluminum or even composite materials..."

-- ITAR Notice for Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) Program
Notice Date 5/3/2007 Solicitation Number N0002407R2219
Archive Date 1/1/2008
This is an information notice pertaining to the pending Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) requirement. This is not a solicitation or Request for Proposal (RFP). The formal release date has not been identified as of the release of this notice. Contained herein is a notice to potential offerors on the processes involving ITAR. This is a re-posting of information originally synopsized on 10 April 2007. The RFP number will be N00024-07-R-2219. NOTICE TO POTENTIAL OFFERORS OF INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN ARM REGULATION (ITAR) REQUIREMENT. All potential offerors that have interest in utilizing foreign resources for the purposes of responding to the pending Request For Proposal are hereby notified that information contained within the RFP, to include all attachments, amendments, or any other information that is posted with the RFP is subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR). Defense-related information of any kind may not be exported without the explicit permission via export license from the United States State Department. Therefore, applicable potential offerors must apply for the export license through the State Department. For the purposes of the JHSV RFP initial proposal preparation only, potential offerors that seek to utilize foreign resources in the manner specified in 22 CFR 125.4(c) may request an exemption to the immediate licensing requirement. This exemption would only be for the purposes of obtaining quotes to respond to the initial solicitation phase of the JHSV RFP. The exemption request must be made through the Naval Sea Systems Command Contracting Officer. The exemption request is not processed by the Naval Seas Systems Command (NAVSEA), and has no control over the timing, or granting of such an exemption. NAVSEA will only forward the request, along with pertinent documentation to the Navy International Programs Office (Navy IPO). The Navy IPO is the sole party with the authority to provide a written exemption to the licensing requirement of the State Department. Offerors are also required to initiate the licensing process with the State Department before the Navy IPO will take action....

Regarding the "X-Hull" Ship:
Dec 20, 2007
Agency: Department of the Navy
Office: Naval Sea Systems Command
Location: NAVSEA HQ
Posted: Dec 20, 2007
Type: Synopsis Title:A--CG(X) Hull Form Study RFP/SOL: N0002408R2305
Posted: Dec 20, 2007
Type: Synopsis Title:A--CG(X) Hull Form Study RFP/SOL: N0002408R2306

Here is an interesting industry blog thread on LCS/JHSV/Coast Guard X-Hull subject matter:

September 13th, 2007
Defense Professional / Analyst
Location: Upstate NY
The US Navy LCS May Have Died Today
It looks like the LCS died today. The US Senate finalized its defense bill for 2008 and the results appear ultimately fatal to the LCS. Things could still change, but considering the House Bill has even less money for the LCS in FY08, it is unlikely the combined bill will add more money.The results? LCS-4 was canceled LCS-5 appears funded for FY08 LCS-6 appears unfunded for FY08 LCS-7 appears unfunded for FY08 I have a hard time believing the LCS will survive this long term, despite the rosy smiles the US Navy may give for a few months. An analysis of alternatives is due out in November, and so far the only thing it is reported to recommend is the 25,000 ton CBGN version of the CG(X). However, I expect to see an alternative to the LCS, in some form. Questions. What effect would the cancellation have on Austal? How much of their business is weighted on the success of the US Navy LCS program?Finally, does anyone know if Kockums has any partnerships with any US shipbuilders that could mass produce the Visby? That last is just wishful thinking, but you never know.

September 14th, 2007
Defense Professional / Analyst
Location: Upstate NY
Quote: Originally Posted by barra
Doesn't look dead, 55 ships is a substantial order in anyones language.
55 ships was the number of LCS's included in the 313-ship plan the Navy released in 2005-2006 time frame. That plan hasn't exactly been executed well, and there is a lot of speculation it won't make it past the next year. With no alternative to the LCS it may yet survive, but alternatives have a way of popping up quickly, the LCS was originally such an alternative that popped up quickly in FY02. In FY08 two will have already been built and delivered, so it doesn't take much time to change course.

September 14th, 2007
Location: Florida
The LCS is NOT dead, merely delayed!
I don't think all this doom and gloom is warranted. Regardless of the Navy's inept attempt to contract for new technology ships, the need still exists for a large corvette-sized ship to complement the larger DDs & DDX etc. There is also a dire need for a large production run of ships of this size. The Perry FFGs are wearing out. I think the bill reported out of conference will set the course, and it will be for the Navy to buy one LCS hull design in moderate quantities at a reasonable price. Austal will not be hurt by this. They continue to deliver HSVs regularly. Both from Australia and US shipyards. IF they are not selected as final LCS builder, they will just turn to commercial shipbuilding in the US as they will then have the production facilities to build larger vessels. I have to check to see if Austal Austraila has expanded again. NGSS has not built a successful composite hull yet and if Kockums was smart they would get a new US partner! NGSS may offer a design to USCG for FRC-A, BUT I highly doubt Adm Allen will buy from them. Besides the USCG is well on its way to buying the FRC-B (non-composite) design. A more interesting dialogue to watch is IF the USN & USCG can merge their rqmts for LCS and OPC into one hull. Now that would be a very interesting shipbuilding arrangement indeed!

September 14th, 2007
Defense Professional / Analyst
Quote: Originally Posted by leesea
A more interesting dialogue to watch is IF the USN & USCG can merge their rqmts for LCS and OPC into one hull. Now that would be a very interesting shipbuilding arrangement indeed!
There is evidence this is very possible, insidedefense ran a story about this the other day.

September 15th, 2007
Location: Florida
Yes that is the most recent article I've seen about merging USN&USCG ship programs, but it is still a lot of talk. I think the USCG is wary of NAVSEA ship acqusitions since the last icebreaker did not go so well. And having been involved in about a dozen NAVSEA ship procuements I would warn any "customer" to be very suspect! Especially when it comes to new tecnology ships. For instance, the current JHSV is a way over-spec RFP and too expensive per hull project IMHO! P.S. I worked on WestPac Express charter first time around.

September 17th, 2007
Defense Professional / Analyst
How much are we looking at for the JHSV? And what would be a reasonable price?

September 17th, 2007
Location: us
Quote: Originally Posted by B.Smitty
How much are we looking at for the JHSV? And what would be a reasonable price?
The price as of now is around 100 mil. I believe one of the two prototypes is being used by special forces.

September 17th, 2007
Location: Florida
LCS vs. JHSV what for?
The total programmatic cost for the first (Army) JHSV is $220 million !!! The cost for the HSV WestPac Express used as a transport only for US Marines was about $45 mil in then year dollars. A better comparison might be to the newer Austal trimarans? But in the end why does the USN need a small trans-oceanic transport of limited lift capablity for inter-theater sealift missions? Somebody in senior USN management ought to answer that one pls?!! Don't get me wrong I am a true believer in HSVs as tactical sealift platforms for maneuver warfare. BUT the JHSV as currently spec'd is NOT that~ and the LCS while bigger and longer range does NOT have sealift as a function. Can you tell I am sealift proponent?

September 17th, 2007
Defense Professional / Analyst
What the heck did they do to it to make it cost so much? What would you prefer to see for a tactical sealift platform?

September 19th, 2007
Location: Florida
JHSV specs vs. LCS
In typical Navy (& Army) fashion, the NAVSEA project office added bells and whistles to the JHSV specs. To be precise, they took an LSV type ship and overlaid a set of HSV rqmts. To make matters worse they picked HSV specs at the high end of the spectrum (see below comment). Nine pages just to list the standards - does that give you an idea? But most importantly NAVSEA (with the Army's input as it is a joint project now) requires a small ship which can self-deploy at high speeds trans-oceanic. That drives up the size. And they required a ship with a flight deck and large elevator which can discharge alongside. That certainly makes it much more specialized. Based on my experience with WPE, I think that the Navy, not Army, should buy and exsting design ROPAX i.e. roll-on/roll-off and passenger HSV. There are literaly a dozen possibilities. The ship's range, cargo lift, and accomodation should be perform inside theater i.e. tactical sealift for maneuver ops. WPE by way of reference carries about 900 troops and 300 tons of tactical vehicles/helos. HSVs a little larger are available now.

September 22nd, 2007
cost growth ranging from 50 percent to 75 percent on the company's lead ship
No wonder the LCS program might be in trouble.

September 22nd, 2007
Location: Florida
LCS contract changes
Since the Congress has "unfunded" the second version of each LCS, the existing contract type had to change. Since each company is only building one, fixed price seems to make sense? IF you assume that both GD and LM have got costs under control - which may be a leap of faith?Or this may just be necessary for NAVSEA to do a termination for convience with GD as opposed to the terminaton for default with LM?

October 20th, 2007
F-15 Eagle
Man that sucks! The Navy says it needs 313 ships for the 21st Century and this is a major setback for the Navy. The fleet has declined from 600 ships in the 1980's to just 276 today. The fleet can't drop anymore and if anything it must increase. A U.S. senator (I can't remember his name) says they should have 350 ships to maintain their Navel dominance.

October 20th, 2007
Man that sucks! The Navy says it needs 313 ships...
...economically speaking, it's really not feasible considering the slow pace of the US economic growth these days + the cost of shipbuilding in America. Let's face it, people talk about the PLAN growth, but there is no way you can grow like that unless you can build a 054A for $200 mil or a Type 22 for $25 mill. The cost of building LCS, DDX and CVN-78 just continues to escalate. I know this would never happen, but if they really want to stay on schedule, get the South Korean shipyards to build the ships for them. Visit my Chinese military blog at

October 24th, 2007
Location: Florida
You know I have seen several very good & imaginative warship designs come out of SKorean and Japanese shipyards recently. But I have not seen any advance marine vessels from them? Aussies and Europeans seem to be ahead of the power curve in that area.The problem always comes when NAVSEA tries to translate new technology into their own contract spec gibberish! I have reviewed the JHSV spec and it a jumble of junk rqmts!One has to wonder why not?:Use the LCS-Isreali design approach for next LCS design, and put all the module transport/tactical sealift functions into a revised JHSV?

October 29th, 2007
The obvious solution might be to put the Israeli LCS kit onto the more successful Austal / GD trimaran design, and have Austal produce it ASAP. I would hope to avoid having GD's hands on the project, which would otherwise pretty much guarantee cost blowouts! These ships shouldn't cost much over $500m in full rate production, so a rate of six ships per year shouldn't be too unreasonable, with an annual cost of c.$3bn. This would mean that eight years production would allow 48 ships to be produced, allowing all the OHPs to be retired. It would also allow the Arleigh Burkes to be shifted over to other duties that are more suited to its capabilities. It the US really needs a 300+ ship Navy, then much as in the '80s, some shortcuts need to be taken...

October 29th, 2007
Location: Florida
Sorry Lawman it is not that easy. First off the mission systems for an Israeli LCS are still under consideration, secondly those type systems are pretty much hull specific. Goto LM-LCS website and read up on the weapons adds they are considering. They are not packages like the mission modules. More importantly Israel has a weapons systems industry which can bring engineering and hardware to the table. Something LM needs badly! While I like the Austal trimaran for some LCS missions, I think the fast monnohull is better for others. In either case it has been a steep learning curve for both Navy and LCS contractors.As to force sizing, the Navy has reclama the LCS cuts. I strongly believe the Navy needs on copy of each hull design to learn what their attributes are. The Navy badly needs low end corvettes/frigates and more mid-sized Burkes. But I don't know if that is what they are going to get? You can send your ideas about total force to your local congressional type just as CNOs have been doing for years with about the same results. Them folks on the hill are only interested in their "backyard shipyards"!!!

November 1st, 2007
Defense Professional / Analyst
Location: Upstate NY
LCS-4 was cancelled today. Of the three ordered by the Navy in the current FY08 budget bill soon to pass, the best they can get is one, and the Senate voted for none. If the Navy gets one, they said they would compete the bid between GD and LM. Interesting stuff.
Visit Galrahn's homepage!

November 2nd, 2007
Location: Australia
Quote: Originally Posted by Galrahn
Questions. What effect would the cancellation have on Austal? How much of their business is weighted on the success of the US Navy LCS program?
I'm not surprised at how this has turned out. Dept of Commerce wrote a briefing paper in 2004 that went to Navy and State which outlined the problems with shipbuilding and budgets for programs. This was given a bit more kick when the team involved with helping out with HMS Astute did a supplementary report on UK problems. So it should have been a pretty clear warning to the Primes that an attitude adjustment was going to be needed. As for Austal, they've turned around the US enitity they bought by some 300% based on commercial sales and opportunities, so although LCS would have been a carrot, I don't see it impacting on their actual forecasts. Considering that they've taken the US operation out of the Red and substantially into the Black, I guess they'll continue on steady as she goes...

November 2nd, 2007
Quote: Originally Posted by gf0012-aust
I also can't see Visby making the cut anyway. Certainly the initial reports I'm aware of weren't excessive in their enthusiasm.
I guess it's because the Visby are too small? Does USN really need littoral ships the size of a frigate? Visit my Chinese military blog at

I have not found the RFP for the JHSV online, yet. I also have not done an exhaustive search yet for the X-hull and U.S. Coast Guard connection with JHSV. It seems like the JHSV project fell behind schedule the later half of 2007, although I have not determined that for certain. If the project is on schedule, then the first ship contract should be awarded in the next few months. Presumably it will be either an Incat or an Austal inspired design. It seems to me the Incat designs and proven ships and technology are better, but that the Austal/USA political connections are stronger. So far, political connections have been pretty effective on this whole matter.

Aloha, Brad