Wednesday, July 22, 2009


A little look back...

Something I noticed over the past year with the sitemonitor on this is that the following two posts have consistently gotten some of the most hits of any individual posts during the life of this blog:

Sunday, December 23, 2007 HI Superferry: The Goal...JHSV
Friday, January 4, 2008 More on the Goal...JHSV

Even more interesting is that the above two posts have attracted a lot of foreign attention over the past year and a half, esp. from locations in all of the countries of the world with significant navies.

Somebody else wrote about this too as early as these posts:

Thursday, January 3, 2008 Musings: Lifting the Veil (Mentioning X-Hull and Seafighter)
Friday, January 4, 2008 Musings: KKCR Snaps and Lifting the Veil: Part II (Seafighter and LCS)
Saturday, January 5, 2008 Musings: KKCR Outed and Lifting the Veil: Part III (Seafighter and LCS)
Sunday, January 6, 2008 Musings: Lifting the Veil: Part IV (Seafighter and X-Craft)
Wednesday, January 9, 2008 Musings: Lifting the Veil: Part V (LCS)
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 Musings: Lifting the Veil: Part VI (Seafighter, LCS, and JHSV)
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 Musings: Lifting the Veil: Part VII (All Pau) (JHSV and Seafighter LCS)
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 U.S.S. Superferry? (Article Summary)

The Seafighter ended up being a non-issue. That source from San Diego seemed to have been astray for one reason or another.

There have been other bloggers and bookwriters who have tried to assign credit for who wrote about this first. And who wrote about it most accurately. I think the record speaks for itself.

Oh, and by the way, no writer anywhere yet has shown how JFL benefits from Austal getting the JHSV or LCS contracts. There may be a way in which JFL benefits, but it has not been shown publicly by any writer. None, zero, zip, nada.

Now there's a real mystery for you...maybe the biggest mystery of all in this story, and none of the professionally trained journalists have figured it out.


Kimo said...

Brad -

There's no mystery. There simply was never any intent or plan to do anything other than operate a ferry system in Hawaii. Here's a specific example: the ferries are unusually narrow to fit into Hawai'is small drydocks for annual maintenance.

So everyone including JFL has lost everything they put into Hawaii Superferry. The money and the years. Poof. Gone.

MARAD now possesses the ferries and from all I read, it appears the Navy is only interested in a temporary lease until it gets its vessels. That doesn't serve MARAD's need to to recoup the $135.7M they are owed. (We paid $16M in Title XI loan guarantee fees which hopefully MARAD used to to buy CDOs to securitize this risk. If they didn't, their worst-case net is just under $120M. Matson's two newest ships are financed via the same Title XI program.)

My guess is they will be sold to the Caribbean (close to a deal out of Trinidad) or perhaps Fred. Olsen in the Canaries. They have some aging Incat vessels that could use replacement.

Brad Parsons said...

Thanks for the good info, 'Kimo', or is it Tim?

Brad Parsons said...

The book is not perfect, but as Jeanne writes below, it's an interesting read.

From: "Hawaii by the book: Best beach reads" by Jeanne Cooper, Special to SFGate

Friday, July 24, 2009

...Notable nonfiction: The shocking expose of a failed enterprise, "The Superferry Chronicles: Hawaii's Uprising Against Militarism, Commercialism, and the Desecration of the Earth" by Jerry Mander and Koohan Paik (Koa Books, 2008), spends much of its time on the back-room politics of Honolulu and Hawaii's federal delegates. But it also includes a fascinating account of the islanders' in-water protest against the arrival of the Superferry in Nawiliwili Harbor in 2007, and transcribes many residents' humble yet heartfelt testimony at a government hearing about the now-defunct ferry.

Jeanne Cooper is the former Chronicle Travel Editor and author of SFGate's Hawaii Insider (, a daily blog about Hawaii travel and island culture.

Brad Parsons said...

Letter sent my way a couple days ago, hope the writer will not mind:

"Hi, there.

I do not believe that JFL&P ever had an ulterior LCS or JHSV-oriented motive with the HSF. I know JFL and his partners well and I don't believe that HSF was ever intended to be anything but HSF. Some people get paranoid because he used to be SecNav, but that was in the 1980s ...(although he did want to be McCain's Secretary of State). Of course, JFL&P screwed it up by underestimating the strength of the opposition in Hawaii...and by playing Republican politics.

In addition, there is no Austal - JFL linkage. For Austal, building the HSFs was (a) a valuable contract and (b) a way of strengthening their case for the JHSV contract, but they were the best qualified yard for JHSV anyway.

Having said all that, I still expect to see the two HSFs painted gray soon. The Navy will not let them get away.

As I write, the Huakai is just passing Miami and will be right in front of me in about 90 minutes."


Tim Colton
Maritime Business Strategies, LLC