“The world’s only planing, beaching, swath hulled ferry built at a hideously great expense ($80M+?) to the US Navy for a route to nowhere and a service that nobody wants”, is up for sale. At least that’s how “c.captain”, aka the U.S.-flag’s toughest supporter, describes it.
*UPDATE as of 1 Feb 2013* The ship is now being offered for free to any government entity which will take it, or for dirt cheap to the commercial sector
The vessel, named the MV Susitna, was constructed in 2010 at former Alaska Ship & Drydock in Ketchikan (now Vigor) at the request of the Office of Naval Research who was looking to test new designs that may someday work as military vessels. When construction began, the Susitna was to be owned and operated as a ferry in Alaska for the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough providing service between Anchorage and Port Mackenzie while being assessed by the ONR. The only problem, however, was that there were no ferry terminals and the vessel never entered service. So now it’s up for sale!
The MV Susitna is unique in a number of ways and actually quite interesting. In the end it just didn’t work.
The design for the “expeditionary craft” was created by Guido Perla & Associates, Inc (GPA) and is based on a concept created by Lockheed Martin. It is a ABS-certified “E-Craft” that measures 59 meters in length and is capable of carrying 129 passengers, plus 20 vehicles or one tractor-trailer rig. The vessel also incorporates lift technology that will allow the ferry to change from the Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) mode to barge mode by lowering or raising its center deck. The vessel also built with an ice strengthened hull (the first-ever for a SWATH hull) and is beachable.
But what possibly could the Susitna be used for? We’re not sure, but someone mentioned that Shell fits the buyers profile. Who knows though, the E-Craft could be yours for an unspecified price. Check out the listing HERE.