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December 1998



Coast Guard Plans Hawaiian Maritime Industry Day ’99

News Briefs

The Coast Guard’s “Silver Side”

Soundings: Ocean Recreation Industry Ignored




At the state Department of Transportation-Harbors Division Fred Nunes was promoted to engineering program manager and is responsible for the division’s Engineering Branch. This includes oversight of the planning, design, maintenance and construction activities at the state’s commercial harbors. Nunes has been with DOT for 27 years, most recently as a planning engineer. He replaces Harry Murakami who retired in June after 40 years of service. Replacing  Nunes as head planning engineer is Fred Pascua, who is responsible for the planning section of the Harbors Division.

Kirsten La Croix and Diana Tan have joined Waldron Steamship Co. as a ship’s agent and cruise ship coordinator, respectively. La Croix recently graduated from Nagoya University in Japan with a master’s degree in international communication. Tan is a recent graduate of Hawaii Pacific University and previously was employed as a shipping operation assistant at Idemitsu Sumitomo, a major manufacturer and shipper of raw materials in Japan.

Rick Gaffney, a freelance photojournalist based in Kailua-Kona, received a national writing award from the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) for the year’s “Best Saltwater Fishing Magazine Story.” His winning story detailed the capture of many of the world-record marlin for which Hawaii’s sportfishery is known. Gaffney has been editor of several fishing, diving and boating publications, and his stories have appeared in publications around the world.

Capt. John W. “Jack” Sullivan was promoted to director, offshore labor relations at Matson Navigation Co. He is responsible for the development of labor policy and strategy as well as the negotiation and collective bargaining agreements. Previously, Sullivan was the company’s manager, vessels, in Marine Operations in San Francisco.




Coast Guard Plans Hawaiian Maritime Industry Day ’99

The United States Coast Guard will hold the 8th Annual Hawaiian Maritime Industry Day on Wednesday, March 3, 1999, in the Mid Pacific Conference Center at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. This year’s event is co-hosted by the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Honolulu and Hawaii Ocean Industry and Shipping News.

As in previous years, breakout sessions will be conducted focusing on specific maritime industry topics and issues. The “convention style” presentation schedule has proven very popular and successful and, this year, 40 presentations are scheduled to occur in eight 35-minute sessions from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

In addition, there will be an exhibitor’s hall with vendors and organizations presenting their services, products and information. This year, the vendors will have their own presentation space to demonstrate or discuss their business and products.

The presentation schedule and list of participating vendors are still being finalized, but for the most current conference information, visit Marine Safety Office Honolulu’s web site:

Conference check-in begins at 7:30 am and the opening session will begin at 8:30 am. At the conclusion of the day, there will be a “no-host” reception held in the vendor hall.

Due to contractual obligations and requirements the Coast Guard asks that all registration forms and registration fees be received by February 17, 1999. The admission price is $25, which includes a continental breakfast,  breakout sessions, the vendor’s hall, lunch, and the closing reception. Parking is available at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

If you have a question, would like to make a presentation, have any suggestions for a presentation topic you would to like hear or would like to be a vendor at this year’s event, please call Lt. Dan Norton at 808-522-8256.




News Briefs

CG forms Marine Safety Team Hawaii

The U.S. Coast Guard has established Marine Safety Team Hawaii at Kailua-Kona’s Honokohau Harbor to provide services such as pollution response, small passenger vessel inspections, fishing vessel safety exams and public education. Lt. Michael Heisler will supervise the team which is made up of Coast Guard Reservists and Auxiliary personnel.  His office is located at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor, 74-381 Kealakehe Pkwy. Phone (808)329-3987, or page (808)334-5818.

Internet-based marine training introduced

Studying for a Coast Guard license now can be done on the Internet using new interactive Web-based training programs from Houston Marine. The company is a division of EXAMCO, Inc., a leader in web-based training.

The first marine products available for online training include the OUPV (6-pack) license and the master 100 ton license. Other products include Rules of the Road, Navigation General and General Subject. The company also will offer a QMED exam prep course and Houston Marine’s MODU product line with courses in Ballast Control Officer and OIM. Programs are updated virtually overnight to provide customers with the most current Coast Guard exam questions.

With the purchase of a Web course, users also receive a package of study materials and toll-free support services and instructor assistance. For information and a free online demonstration, visit the company website at

Hawaii’s America’s Cup challenger yacht under construction

Construction was set to begin in November on the Aloha Racing Team’s first International America’s Cup Class (IACC) yacht, the first such yacht to be built in Hawaii. The state-of-the-art racing sloop will be the first of the team’s two IACC yachts developed by internationally acclaimed America’s Cup designers, Andy Dovell and Ian Burns.

Aloha Racing Team is the Waikiki Yacht Club syndicate formed to compete in the November 1999 America’s Cup challenge in Auckland.

The first boat is expected to be completed by May, 1999, with the second boat completed shortly thereafter. Ocean trials will be conducted through the summer before the team heads to New Zealand. The winning challenger will take on defending Team New Zealand for the Cup in early 2000.

The Aloha Racing vessels are being built at state-owned facilities at Barbers Point Harbor. Marisco is donating or providing at cost crane services, an escort boat and other assistance.

American Classic to build two Hawaii cruise ships

American Classic Voyages Co., parent company of American Hawaii Cruises, signed a letter of intent with Litton Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division to construct two passenger ships for Hawaii inter-island service with an option to build up to four additional vessels. The ships will be the largest U.S. cruise ships ever built and the first large cruise vessels constructed in America in more than 40 years. They will be about 840 feet long and weigh approximately 71,000 tons.

A design and construction contract is expected to be signed by April, 1999, for the first two ships which will carry 1,900 passengers each.  The two vessels will be PANAMAX ships, the largest able to transit the Panama Canal. Each will cost an estimated $400 million. The first ship is anticipated to enter service in late 2002.

The endeavor is the result of the U.S.-Flag Cruise Ship Pilot Project Statute passed by Congress in 1997, with the goal of revitalizing the U.S.-flag oceangoing cruise ship fleet. It is expected to create more than 5,000 American jobs, boost Hawaii tourism and expand competitive leisure travel opportunities.






The Coast Guard’s “Silver Side”

by David Thompson

Steen Weinold boards his 36-foot Freeport Islander sailboat every weekend, secures his gear for sea, and puts on the uniform of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. For the rest of the day, he and his crew will battle knockdown gusts, constant sprays and hot sun as they patrol the waters of Mamala Bay, from Diamond Head Lighthouse to Barbers Point, helping boaters in trouble.

Weinold, a rear commodore of the volunteer Coast Guard Auxiliary, District 14, has been involved with the “silver side” for 16 years. Born in Denmark, he received his early boat training in the Danish Royal Yacht Club in Copenhagen.  He is a retired hotel executive and has operated hotels all over the world. He and his wife, Eva Dean, have been in the Auxiliary for many years.

Weinold, First Mate Beau Hunt, and crew aboard the vessel Paradise Express, are one unit of several flotillas composed of civilian vessels. In response to government cutbacks and downsizing, the Coast Guard has greatly expanded the role of the Auxiliary. In October 1996, legislation enabled Auxiliary participation in any Coast Guard mission authorized by the commandant, with the exception of direct law enforcement and combat.

The “silver side” Auxiliary takes its nickname from the silver-toned insignia worn by its members, distinguishing them from the regular Coast Guard, or “gold side.” The nickname has a double meaning among Auxiliarists, however, many of whose hair color also is on the silver side.

Training for Auxiliarists has been increased in the areas of search and rescue, air operations, marine environmental protection and recreational boating safety.

Returning recently from a conference on safety and training held in San Diego, Weinold outlined the extensive qualification process that Auxiliarists must pass before receiving any orders. To be sent on an operational support mission, Auxiliarists must be qualified specifically for the duty assigned. Pilots and air observers must pass swimming tests and escape from an upside-down, submerged pod.

“If we are not trained for the job, the Coast Guard does not send us out,” Weinold said.

In addition to the Search and Rescue (SAR) program, the Auxiliary still performs  traditional marine courtesy examinations for recreational boaters. Other programs include free boating, sailing and seamanship classes that can qualify students for a discount on marine insurance. The Auxiliary also provides safety perimeters for various regattas, races and other water activities throughout the Islands, as well as in Guam and Saipan.

When the Mighty Mo came to town, the Auxiliary was there, keeping the way clear for the historic battleship as she was towed past Diamond Head and into Pearl Harbor.

For Hawaii boaters, the presence of the Coast Guard Auxiliary on the water can be a welcome one. They are recognized by the sideboards fastened to the lifelines, identifying the vessel as USCG Auxiliary, and by the ensign they are flying.

In many situations, the Auxiliary can be closer at hand than a cutter dispatched from Sand Island Base. Weinold and crew have helped many Hawaii boaters on patrol and in the classroom. The rewards for the efforts of these unpaid men and women are simple but satisfying. A rescued fisherman recently sent the crew of Paradise Express a thank you letter for coming to his aid in waters off Barbers Point. For Weinold, that makes the sun, salt and discomforts all worthwhile.

Information regarding free boating classes, vessel examinations and Auxiliary news, is available by calling (808) 541-2084.

David Thompson is a freelance writer living in Honolulu. He spent 12 years working for the Waikiki catamaran, Leahi, before attending California Maritime Academy. He now ships out with the masters, mates and pilots aboard container vessels that call on Hawaii.





Soundings: Ocean recreation industry ignored

by Capt. Rick Gaffney

Hawaii’s once vibrant ocean recreation industry, an economic sector of our state economy that the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) suggests may be worth $790 million per year, was generally ignored during Governor Ben Cayetano’s first four-year term in office. That pattern of ignoring a valuable ocean industry sector was manifest again recently in the governor’s appointments to the Hawaii Maritime Authority Commission and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Both of these important groups will be making decisions critical to the health and future of an industry that, prior to the Cayatano admistration, was one of our island state’s bright spots, with a growth rate of 16 percent per year, according to DBEDT. Unfortunately, our governor chose to appoint no one to either group who can be expected to broadly represent the ocean recreation industry, despite there being many strong candidates. The governor claims to have struggled with ethnic and gender considerations in his long-delayed appointments. Does that excuse suggest that political expediency is more important than industry representation?

Surveys by the Activities Owner’s Association found that 80 percent of the visitors to Maui participate in some form of ocean recreation. HVCB representatives indicate that those figures are presumably valid for other islands, although, sadly, their own data does not measure such activities.
What many perceive to be Cayetano’s contempt for the ocean recreation industry may simply reflect his lack of understanding, or result from inadequate input from his cabinet. Whatever the root cause, there are numerous examples which suggest that he has often ignored one of Hawaii’s most critical visitor industry components.

He appointed no one familiar with the ocean recreation industry to his vaunted Economic Revitalization Task Force; he has failed to even begin to deliver on his first term campaign promise to develop the world-class boating program the state deserves; he refused to meet with a broad coalition of ocean industry representatives prior to making his decision on the Whale Sanctuary (although he met with several sanctuary supporters from outside Hawaii); he shut down the bulk of the Na Pali coast tour boat industry on what was apparently a whim; and his cabinet and administration include too many like him, who seem to be arrogant and disdainful of those in our industry to whom they should be responsible and proactive.

Hawaii’s ocean recreation industry is not just fighting off the effects of a failing economy, it has also been forced to work with an administration that seems insensitive to industry needs, unresponsive to creative ideas and valuable input, unable to make desperately needed changes to the Byzantine rules and regulations that govern the industry and place a weighty tax burden on ocean recreation businesses.

Post election pronouncements seem to indicate that Governor Cayetano is prepared to make a fresh start in his second term in office, and perhaps more importantly, that he now understands that it really is all about the economy. His subsequent announcement that he has no further political aspirations also opens the door to the possibility of bold initiatives in his last four years in office.

Hawaii’s ocean recreation industry has always been ready to assist with improving the economy. To tap that opportunity, the governor must improve industry representation on important boards, commissions and authorities like those he has recently named, and open his administration’s doors to the industry. The latter opportunity may require little more than the empowerment and support of various legislatively recognized organizations like TORCH (The Ocean Recreation Council of Hawaii), the marina boards and harbor advisory committees, and other hard-working regional and island-wide advisory councils and groups focused on Hawaii’s ocean resources.

A proactive stance on the hiring of qualified managers, support for infrastructure development and mainten- ance, and the simplification of the rules and impediments under which the industry is governed and taxed, would also deliver a positive message.

Hawaii’s ocean recreation industry is primarily made up of small businesses without the political clout of the state’s big businesses and labor unions. But the industry’s overall impact on the economy and supporting role as a component of the state’s most critical economic sector, should make it an important aspect of the governor’s bid to get Hawaii¹s economy back on track.

Capt. Rick Gaffney has spent over 25 years in Hawaii’s ocean recreation industry, and a substantial amount of that time working for effective change in the state’s management of the industry and Hawaii’s unique marine resources.



© 2002 Hawaii Ocean Industry