Hawaii Superferry Sunk

In case you’ve missed the drama unfolding over the past three years, here’s a recap of how the Hawaii Superferry got sunk. The State of Hawaii didn’t follow the rules to perform an environmental impact statement before forking over about $50 million for its pet project, the Hawaii Superferry. Instead, Governor Linda Lingle got a special session of the Legislature to create a new law exempting the Superferry from an EIS.


The boats were built and launched to Oahu-Kauai and Oahu-Maui. Protestors filled the Nawiliwili Harbor in Kauai, effectively blocking the ferry. It never once docked there. People on Maui protested, but weren’t as radical and ferry service floated for about one year. In the meantime, the Sierra Club together with other citizen groups sued the State over the EIS that was never performed. The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled 2009 that the new law (called Act 2) exempting them from EIS was unconstititional, immediately stopping ferry service.

Now the company that still owes over $137 million on the two high-speed catamarans is filed for bankruptcy in May 2009 and wants to ditch them. The company wants to move the hearings from Hawaii to Delaware, where it’s incorporated and there are more lenient tax laws. The hearing on whether or not they can change states is set for July 1, 2009.

More links on the story:

Honolulu Adverstiser

Maritime News


Superferry Chronicles

Hawaii Superferry

3-minute vacation

Traffic jams

Super puker ferry

2 Responses

  1. Hmmm wonder what the next business is going to do when they consider making Hawaii a base of operations

    Way to government


  2. Nice recap. You hit the high and low points well.

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