An Introduction To Kahu Moana, A Sailing Passenger And Light Cargo Vessel
The 150-foot long Kahu Moana (Ocean Guardian) is being designed now. We’ll have CAD drawings of her on this page soon, so you can understand what she looks like.We’re building her to solve a specific problem for Hawaii farmers.
A small outer island farmer may easily be able to grow 500 pounds a week of a produce item, but if they can only sell 200 pounds a week on the Big Island, what’s the point? And more to the point, how is that small farmer going to pay their bills?
Without access to the relatively large market on Oahu, the amount of produce outer island farmers can grow and sell is limited by the amount they can sell on their own island. Kahu Moana is going to solve that problem for them: she’s going to carry refrigerated agricultural products in relatively small quantities from the small farmers on the outer islands of Kauai, Maui, Molokai, and Hawaii to the market in Honolulu on Oahu, where 1 million people live.
Right now, the only way for an outer-island farmer to transport refrigerated cargo to the Oahu market is for the farmer to ship an entire 20-foot refrigerated container, which costs around $2,500. Only the “big guys” can afford shipping rates this high. There is NO “affordable” service for small amounts of refrigerated cargo except for Aloha Air Cargo, which charges $1/lb; and the “refrigerated” cargo Aloha carries is ONLY refrigerated while it’s in the origin and destination terminals.
During loading the cargo, while on the plane in transit, and during unloading from the plane and transport to the cooler in Aloha’s facility on Oahu, it is NOT refrigerated. This can be as long as 3-4 hours. And unless the farmer provides his own insulated containers for shipping produce, AND pays to have them shipped back to his island, the “refrigerated cargo” isn’t even transported in insulated containers.
Kahu Moana will have a 25-ton refrigerated hold, will supply insulated containers for the farmer to load at their farm, and will charge these same farmers 50 cents a pound for refrigerated transport to Oahu, with the cargo shipped and stored in a refrigerated space the entire time.
We can tell you this: Kahu Moana is a 150-foot long light cargo and passenger vessel with a US Coast Guard rating for 149 passengers (for day trips) and 42 passengers (for longer voyages), built using a completely sustainable, ecologically friendly, carbon-negative modern technology which employs 95% wood for construction. This technology builds boats using the cheapest, lowest-quality wood available in a manner that is technically sophisticated, yet inexpensive. The result is a vessel that is strong, durable, unsinkable, safe, and comfortable at sea. That is a very strong claim; but we can substantiate it:
Starting with the proven construction technology from our original 56-foot Tropic Bird, and adding all the improvements to the design we will learn during construction and operation of the 37-foot long “Splash” and our new 75-foot Tropic Bird, Kahu Moana is based on a traditional Polynesian canoe design; only she uses all modern components such as epoxy, fiberglass, marine plywood, and dacron ropes and sails for strength, safety, and longevity.
The resulting vessel not only travels the ocean at almost no cost, it does so at passage speeds of 16 to 25 knots in the tradewinds; speeds unheard-of for sailboats! She has a 25 ton refrigerated cargo space, and her own energy-efficient refrigeration system that runs primarily off the wind. She has an additional 45 tons of unrefrigerated cargo capacity.
Kahu Moana is designed for safely and comfortably carrying cargo and passengers in all open ocean conditions. She will be US Coast Guard Certified, both for cargo and passengers, and Lloyd’s of London 100A1 rated for insurance purposes.
She’s just talk now. But then, wasn’t everything at some point.