Stuff Done Wrong #1

I’ve been wanting to start SDW for a while. Longtime seadog and venerable boatscum Richard Elder got me started with a note and a link on the Spirit of Kingston passenger ferry. Its really the same story over and over. Legislative groups who know nothing about catamarans hire elderly gold plated naval architecture firms, who actually also know nothing about catamarans, to pick ferries for them. 

This is a prime example.  It is 71′ long so it is just over the magic 65′ cutoff length to avoid excess USCG mucking about.  They must have wanted the additional  mountain of regulatory mucking about that extra 6′ gave them.  Displacement is 43 tons or 86,000 lbs.  Beam overall is 25.5′ so kind of like my Holo Holo or Kai Oli Oli.  Kai Oli Oli lightship is 37,000 lbs for comparison.  Look at the power comparison.  It needs 4, yes 4 engines of 740 hp each.  My cats are 500 hp per side for slightly less top speed but the same cruising speed.  Fuel use on SK is 80- 85 gph.  Compare to Holo which is about 15 gallons per hour. 

And I understand the passengers take a beating when the wind blows.  “Some have criticized the port for purchasing the Spirit, a light catamaran that last winter’s heavy seas treated roughly. “The weather was slowly beating up on us,” recalled port commissioner Pete DeBoer.”  Light? It has fat hulls, big overhang, short waterline, and low bridge-deck; you think?   I’m sure the highly credentialed consultants they hired had never actually been on a wave piercer or semi-wave piercer catamaran.  Holo operates out of Kauai.  The USCG considers those to be some of the most extreme waters in their jurisdiction.  Those are real waves.  The designers and buyers of SK clearly did not understand displacement hulls or they would not have allowed  this amazingly bad example of a passenger ferry.    The Washington State Ferries need an intervention. 



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