Ferry still not ready to set sail
Hawaii Superferry voyages for today between Maui and O'ahu have been canceled and tomorrow's voyages are subject to the completion of repairs to the ferry Alakai, the company said yesterday.
Bad weather forced the Alakai to remain dockside from Sunday through Wednesday this week. During that time, Hawaii Superferry performed routine maintenance inspections, during which the need for repair work on the vessel's structure encompassing the auxiliary rudders was identified. Voyages since Thursday have been canceled to conduct the repairs, which have taken longer than anticipated.
"We are taking all the necessary steps and following the best practices protocol to ensure the repairs are properly completed and the Alakai is as good as new," said Joe Almony, Hawaii Superferry director of maintenance and engineering. "This means we will need some additional time this weekend to complete and test the repairs."
So far, structural repairs to the port side unit have been completed and are pending final Coast Guard inspection and approval. Repairs to the starboard side unit are taking longer than anticipated but should be completed soon, the company said.
Today is the seventh consecutive day the Superferry has canceled service because of rough seas or repairs. Bad weather also prompted the company to cancel trips on Dec. 4 (a scheduled crew training run), Dec. 26-20 and Jan. 16-17.
Pier damage caused by storm surge at Kahului Harbor also forced the company to twice postpone resumption of service in December following court decisions that allowed it to sail again.
"We appreciate the patience and understanding of our passengers while our engineers work to complete the repairs," said Lani Olds, Hawaii Superferry director of customer experience and community relations. "Meanwhile, we are fully accommodating our passengers' needs and are providing solutions for our customers with stranded vehicles or other concerns on a case-by-case basis."
The company is contacting passengers who have reservations and updating voyage status at www.hawaiisuperferry.com.