In the early 1970's Kentron Hawaii
approached Boeing about establishing an inter-island ferry service using their 929 after hearing Boeing's proposals to Honolulu on using it for a Honolulu Airport -- Waikiki ferry service. Based on wave data on the possible routes, Boeing modified their prototype 929 to accommodate the expected waves for inter-island service. After getting a preliminary OK from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for the proposed service, Kentron Hawaii formed a subsidiary Pacific Sea Transportation Ltd. (PSTL). The ownership of the new company was: 75% LTV Corp. (Kentron's parent) and 25% Boeing.
In mid-August 1974, PSTL and State DOT contracted for the construction of SeaFlite terminals at Nawiliwili, Maalaea and Kawaihae as well as for the refurbishing of Pier 8 in Honolulu.
In Seattle, Boeing's Jetfoil number 3 named Kamehameha was loaded on the Matson container ship Hawaiian Monarch on May 5, 1975 and arrived in Honlolulu on the 13th. After about a month of test and training runs it made its first scheduled run from Honolulu to Maalaea on June 15. Jetfoils 1 and 5 (Kalakaua and Kuhio respectively) joined the fleet about a month later.
After about 2-1/2 years of operation that had its ups and downs (check out link 1), LTV Corp. because of financial problems decided to sell their non-performing holdings that included a 75% share of SeaFlite.
Far East Hydrofoil Co. in Hong Kong made an offer to LTV Corp. for SeaFlite's three Jetfoils that they couldn't refuse. The PUC approved the sale and that effectively ended SeaFlite. The last voyage of SeaFlite was in January 1978.
International Trade and Investment Ltd. in 1978 and Oahu businessman Lee Martin in 1979 tried to revive SeaFlite with Boeing's improved 929-115 craft but both were unsuccessful.
- Thomas, "Schooner from Windward", Univ. of Hawaii Press, pages 200-202
- Classic Fast Ferries, May-June 2004, pg. 8-11
- The Maui News, Aug. 20, 1974, pg. A6, col. 1
- Honolulu Star Bulletin, Sept. 16, 1977, pg. D-5
- Honolulu Star Bulletin, Mar. 3, 1978, pg. D-7
- Honolulu Advertiser, Sept. 8, 1979, pg. A-3
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