Furuno electronics suite guides new Matson containership

(CAMAS, Wash.) — On March 28, the second vessel in Matson's Aloha class was delivered and, at 850 feet and 50,794 dwt, they are the largest pair of ships ever built in a U.S shipyard. On March 9, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, christened the new Matson containership at the Philly Shipyard in Pennsylvania. Both Kaimana Hila and its predecessor, Daniel K. Inouye, carry up to 3,600 TEU, and also feature 408 reefer slots to carry cargo between the Hawaiian Islands and terminals in Seattle, Oakland, and Long Beach, Calif. As it did with Daniel K. Inouye, Matson chose Furuno to provide the critical electronics that guide the new vessel and keep its crew and cargo safe on the water.

The completely integrated suite of electronics features Furuno's FAR2827 radar, FAR3320 and FAR3330S chart radars, and four FMD3300 ECDIS systems with alert management and track control capabilities. Multiple Furuno sensors feed essential data to the system, including dual GP170D GPS Navigators, FA170 AIS, and NX700P Navtex. Multiple Furuno VHF and MF/HF radiotelephones with integrated DSC complement the two complete FELCOM suites. Also included are the FE800 IMO Navigation echosounder, DS60 3-axis Doppler sonar, and GS100 satellite speed log. Furuno's BR500 bridge alarm system and VR7000 voyage data recorder are connected to the entire suite to monitor the watch officer's presence and deliver retrieval and playback of crucial data.

The mission of the new Aloha-class vessels is to deliver cargo between Hawaii and west coast continental U.S. ports. They utilize dual-fuel engines that can be adapted to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), and, with top speeds of up to 24 knots, the pair are the fastest vessels in the Matson fleet. Coupled with their fuel-efficient hull design, environmentally safe double-hull tanks, and other "green" ship technologies, Daniel K. Inouye and Kaimana Hila are among the most effective and environmentally sound vessels ever constructed in the nation.

The ship was named for Lēʻahi, also called Kaimana Hila or Diamond Head, the iconic volcanic crater and natural landmark on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Fittingly, Kaimana Hila also happened to be a favorite song of Sen. Inouye. Gabbard was joined aboard by Philly Shipyard CEO Steiner Nerbovik and Matson Chairman and CEO Matt Cox for Kaimana Hila's christening ceremony.

"Our ancestors' mastery of navigation and voyaging shaped a view of the ocean not as a separation, but as a bridge connecting our islands," said Gabbard in her remarks. "Matson continues this tradition today. As an island state, we rely on these ships to deliver many of the goods needed for our daily lives. Thank you to the many hands who built this ship, and those who will safely man her decks, carrying her and her cargo to and from our state."

For more information about Furuno, contact Furuno USA, 4400 N.W. Pacific Rim Blvd., Camas, WA 98607. Phone: (360) 834-9300.

By Professional Mariner Staff