Navatek Donates Advanced Design Catamaran to HPU

Navatek’s TLB CAT

Honolulu, Hawaii — Navatek, Ltd. today donated its advanced design TLB CAT (tandem lifting body catamaran) to Hawaii Pacific University for use in support of the university’s educational programs. The 45-foot power catamaran was launched in 2011 as part of Navatek’s series of advanced, high technology marine craft incorporating the company’s patented lifting body technology developed for the U.S. Navy.

“This boat is an important milestone in the development and commercialization of Navatek’s patented lifting body hull design,” said Steven Loui, Chairman of Navatek and parent company Pacific Marine & Supply Co., Ltd. “Over the past 5 years, the research conducted by this technology demonstrator has allowed us to make progress in designing larger and higher performing ships. Having fulfilled its R&D mission, we are now pleased to donate this vessel to support our local educational community and help student learning in ocean sciences. This boat was designed and built here by our world class hydrodynamic scientists, engineers and skilled craftsmen, upholding Hawaii’s tradition of boat building innovation. The boat voyaged from Honolulu to the Big Island, Maui, Lanai, Niihau and Kauai, in the demanding sea conditions that makes Hawaii a premier ocean laboratory for testing advanced marine technologies.”

“We are extremely grateful for Navatek’s generosity in providing our scientists access to this high-technology platform,” said HPU President Dr. Geoffrey Bannister. “With the oldest baccalaureate program in the state, we have a long tradition of offering our students outstanding opportunities and unique learning experiences. Our marine science program is a major attraction for students from around the world, and this new boat, once fully fitted out, will let us reach waters and bays of Hawaii hitherto out of our reach.”

HPU and its students will benefit from Navatek’s continued refinement that lead to the TLB CAT. Working through several hull designs, the vessel’s configuration has demonstrated excellent motions in high sea states and provides exceptional efficiency due to its reduced drag. The catamaran provides an extremely smooth and comfortable ride, and is a stable working platform with a large enclosed cabin and ample space to accommodate a large group of passengers or crew.

“Our current research vessel, the Kaholo, is aging and has been in service more rigorous than that envisioned by her designer and builder in 1983,” said HPU Provost Matthew Liao-Troth. “Design and structural issues also limit the range and speed of Kaholo to the protected waters of Kaneohe Bay and limited deep waters on rarely-occurring calm days offshore. This new vessel will provide greater range, speed and sea-keeping capability, although it will require extensive re-fitting to serve as an education/research vessel.”

HPU is launching a fundraising program to support the vessel’s upgrades and refitting as an ocean research laboratory.

The TLB CAT will allow HPU to continue offering hands-on learning experiences at sea. Laboratory sessions for many of the courses in the program are held aboard HPU’s research vessel, both in Kaneohe Bay and further offshore. A unique aspect of the curriculum is that student teams develop cruise plans and chart sampling stations just as it is done on blue water oceanographic research cruises. The program enjoys an international reputation attracting students from across the globe.